The Voyage of the St. Louis
By: Dylan Watson
Leaving the Docks
On May 13, 1939, the Old St. Louis Took off in look for a better and much more protected life from Germany and Hitler's Jewish killing army. When all of these adult and a children Jews entered the boat, there was a total of 937 passengers boarded on one boat. There destination was for Cuba. about two weeks before the takeoff to Cuba, all 937 passengers got passports to get into Cuba. But what they didn't know was that they where buying them from a corrupt vice president trying to make some money. On their 6 day journey to Cuba, none had dies or even got attacked by anyone or anything. When they finally arrived there in Cuba, they did not allow anyone except for 27 to pass. The reason why was because of the corrupt person selling invalid passports. The lucky ones where trying to get important jobs so they got to go on threw. The other 910 had been sent back home. But when they where circling around, the sailor made an offer of a bond. a bond is a debt investment in which an investor loans money. he offered to pay 500 dollars per a Jew. that added up to almost 500,000 dollars. surprisingly the president, Fulgencio Batista, Benitez's , denied the bribe and where forced to leave the docks of Havana Cuba. on the long way back home, some Jews got off on little stops including these countries,
Netherlands, france Belgium, and Great Britain. Even after that, all of those countries where being attacked by Hitler's army and where killed later on. Another part of this is when 2 other tiny ships took off to Cuba just like the St. Louis did.The Flandre ship carried 72 passengers and was like the St. Louis voyage. there was also another ship called the Orduna that carried 114 passengers. when they both arrived, they were not permitted into Cuba because of the visa problem. somehow the sailor or ship owner convinced that they should board mainly because those two ship where full of Jewish children. if they were not going into Cuba, they were going to have to go back and sail to their death. only 1 of those 2 ships got to pass so those 72 kids got lucky but the other 114 were sent back home to the sweat old Germany. After all of these horrific things, those 114 kids where later on to be considered death since they where in the way of Hitler's invasion on Germany. The only reason all of these people on all of these ships wanted into Cuba was because the wanted to stall their so they could try to get into the U.S. so they could be saved and maybe be protected from Germany. Just think about this, a total of 1051 people where killed because Cuba didn't want to be attacked because they where holding and letting Jews in against Hitler's army.
On board, there was a dance band in the evenings and even a cinema. There were regular meals with a variety of food that the passengers rarely saw back home.
Feldman, who shared a cabin in the lower part of the ship with her sister Sonja, spent her time walking around the deck chatting with boys of her own age, or swimming in the ship's pool.
The captain allowed traditional Friday night prayers to be held, during which he gave permission for the portrait of Adolf Hitler hanging in the main dining room to be taken down.
288 passengers went to Great Britain, all of whom survived WW2 except one who died in an air raid in 1940
The journey was the subject of the 1976 film Voyage of the Damned
They posted a cash guarantee of $500,000 - or $8 million (£4.7m) in today's money - as part of an agreement to cover any associated costs.
By early June, Captain Schroder had no option but to turn the giant liner back towards Europe. "The joy had gone out of everything," Feldman recalls. "No-one was talking about what would happen now."
It quickly became clear that the ship was not going to dock and that no-one was being allowed off. He kept hearing the words "manana, manana" - tomorrow, tomorrow.
Under orders from the ship's captain, Gustav Schroder, the waiters and crew members treated the passengers politely, in stark contrast to the open hostility Jewish families had become accustomed to under the Nazis.
The captain then steered the St Louis towards the Florida coast, but the US authorities also refused it the right to dock, despite direct appeals to President Franklin Roosevelt