The MS St. Louis
Atlantic ocean, 1939
The MS St. Louis was a transatlantic liner that in May, 1939, boarded over 900 hundred German-Jewish refugees for a voyage to Cuba. Captained by Gustav Schroder, the ship’s passengers were denied entry to Cuba at the last minute. Sailing on to the United States and Canada, both of which denied asylum for the refugees, the St. Louis was forced to return to Antwerp in Europe. Around 250 of its passengers were eventually killed in the Holocaust. The ship became a powerful symbol of the peril in which the Jews of Europe found themselves at the end of the 1930s: unable to find a country to take them in, they were left to the mercy of the violent fascist regimes proliferating across the continent.