MS. St. Louis

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Social Studies
American History

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MS. St. Louis

MS St. Louis

Through the deep blue waters, when given a commitment, boats travel around the world, across the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic Ocean, to accomplish what needs to be completed. Gustav Schroder was the ship captain of the MS St. Louis. He would not only sail boats during a world war, but also protects almost 1,000 passengers from the evil that is upon them. In the 1900’s, WWII began, and with a ship called the MS St. Louis and a heroic captain who would not give up, almost all the Jewish families on the boat were transported safely. MS St. Louis was used as German transport with its most famous journey in 1939. Aboard the ocean liner were 938 individuals who went searching to find an appropriate place to stay at during the war. Majority of the people on the boat were Jewish folks searching for refugees after the war had started. Denied by Canada, Cuba, and the United States of America, the passengers worried. The remaining passengers that were not granted into other countries arrived back in Europe where most of them died in Concentration Camps. On May 13, 1939, the ship, MS St. Louis sailed from Hamburg, Germany, to their first stop at Havana Cuba. The ship was carrying regular Germans, mostly Jews, and some passengers who were declared with no country. What happened just before WWI was called, “The Night of Broken Glass.” In just two days, November 9 through the 10 in the year 1938, 250 churches were burnt, 7,000 Jewish businesses were destroyed, and many Jews were killed. It is referred to as the “Night of Broken Glass,” because of all glass on the sidewalks. There was glass on the sidewalks because burglars smashed the windows on the businesses. There are other names for the occurrence of this scenario, but “The Night of Broken Glass,” is the most famous it is referred to as. That event that started the dramatic beginnings, making the war that hard to get through. Havana, Cuba was the first stop of the ship. The president of the Cuban community was President Federico, who did not except the Jewish residents. After many days and tries to find these Jews a home, Captain Gustav Schroder brought them back to Cuba, where they accepted twenty-two people into their country because one of their belongings was an official Cuban Visa. After the twenty-two were accepted, 915 others had to get forced back into Europe. At the captain’s next stop through their journey, Great Britain accepted the most Jews out of the other countries, taking 228 passengers from the MS St. Louis. The Netherlands then took 181 passengers; Belgium took 214, the second highest amount, and 224 Jewish folks aboard the MS. St. Louis, were taken to France. With the remainder of the passengers sailing, 620 Jews hoping to flee the country, went back to the continent, where 532 of them were in the Germans hands. Continuing on, 278 survived out and 254 died out of the 532 trapped in Germany. The surviving people found refuge in Belgium, where 84 survived, Holland, where 84 survivors were, and France, where the remaining of the survivors had left. Not many of the Jewish townspeople were accepted into the United States. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the president at the time of this war. “Roosevelt was not alone in his reluctance to challenge the mood of the nation on the immigrant issue” (United States Holocaust Museum, “Voyage of the St. Louis”). In Germany, the German Government wanted the immigration to go faster because the Nazis and their leader, Adolf Hitler, wanted other nations to deny their passengers from Germany, so they could return to Europe. On the MS St. Louis, there were over 900 aboard the ship trying to find a home other than Germany. Most were trying the enter Cuba and the U.S. The United States was not going to accept any Germans unless their number that was tattooed on their arm onto their arm got called, or they had a US Visa. Cuba denied the passengers papers, so once again, the passengers set sail to go find somewhere close to the U.S. Coast. In the U.S., the association called the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, JDC, a lawyer named Morris Trooper, tried to talk to other countries into accepting the Jewish passengers. He tried talking to Belgium, The Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom. Lastly, after the war, the ship, MS. St. Louis, had damage. Captain Gustav Schroder was given an award called, “Order of Merit by the Federal Republic of Germany.” The heroic part of this non-Jewish man was phenomenal. He did not judge people by nationality, but he helped them get safe, which was very hard and challenging during the Second World War. Would you ever help out others in a tragic time like this just like this commander did?



In the picture labeled one, a mother and daughter are looking out the window seeking a safe trip. They are looking out the porthole on the MS St. Louis.

In the last picture, number four, its a zoomed out picture of the boat MS St. Louid. This is also all the passengers aboard waving goodbye, as their journey just begins.

In picture number three, Morris Trooper and his wife stop and take a photo with passengers. Morris Trooper helped immigration for the Jews, and make their lives better to come. This relates to another part of the MS. St. Louis of fleeing to other countries because hitler did not want jews to flee to other countries.

In the other picture labeled two, the passengers are looking out the boat. They are waving goodbye as the boat starts to set sail.

This is Captain Gustav Schroder, was the Captain of the MS St. Louis. He was a brave person who put others needs in front of his own, to get them to safety during WWII.



Samantha Corbo

"Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live." -Adolf HitlerClick here for quote

"Unfortunately many of the younger ones did not have time to escape and they all got taken by the French police and sent to concentration camps." - H. KarlinerClick here for quote

MS St. Louis Ship. This is the ship captained by Gustav Schroder, sailing.

In the picture of the young boy, numbered 5, is Herbert Karliner. He is a passenger of the MS St. Louis that got denied to several countries. To the right of the photo, is Herbert Karliner now, labeled six. Watch him tell his story at:




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