The MS St. Louis set sail from Hamburg

The MS St. Louis sail from Hamburg, Germany, on May 13, 1939 with 937 passengers on board. The majority of them were Jewish refugees trying to escape Nazi oppression in Europe. Anchored in the port of Havana on May 27, the Cuban government refuses asylum to the MS St. Louis passengers, despite them detaining legal visas. Captain Gustav Schröder then decides to sail along the U.S. coast, but the American government refused to take on the refugees. On June 7, Canadian Prime Minister William Mackenzie King also denied asylum to the MS St. Louis passengers.

Black and white photograph of a passenger ship surrounded by smaller boats.
The MS St. Louis in the port of Havana, Cuba. After Cuba, the United-States and Canada denied entry to the refugees, the ship returned to Europe only a few months before the beginning of World War II. (Wikimedia Commons)

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