The Voyage of the SS St. Louis
The plight of German-Jewish refugees, persecuted at home and unwanted abroad, is illustrated by the voyage of the SS St. Louis. On May 13, 1939, the SS St. Louis, a German ocean liner, left Germany with almost a thousand Jewish refugees on board. The refugees' destination was Cuba, but before their arrival the Cuban government revoked their permission to land. The St. Louis was forced to return to Europe in June 1939. However, Great Britain, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands agreed to accept the stranded refugees. After German forces occupied Western Europe in 1940, many St. Louis passengers and other Jewish refugees who had entered those countries were caught up in the "Final Solution," the Nazi plan to murder the Jews of Europe.