On May 13, 1939, the St. Louis set sail from Hamburg, Germany, to Cuba with 937 Jewish refugees on board. Captain Gustav Schroder, a non-Jewish German, was determined to rescue these men, women and children from Nazi Germany. To his dismay, he was forced to return 907 passengers to Europe, landing in Antwerp, Belgium, on June 17, 1939.
Four months before Hitler invaded Poland, officially starting World War II, Jews were fleeing Germany by the thousands. Captain Schroder agreed to take a shipload on his luxury cruise liner to Cuba. Shortly before leaving, he was informed Cuba rejected most of the visas issued to his passengers. He left with them anyway, praying for a miracle.
Covering up a portrait of Adolf Hitler in the dining hall, Schroder made sure his passengers were given the dignity and respect they deserved. They were fed the best food, given the best entertainment, provided Friday night religious services, and furnished with luxuries denied them for years.
Upon arrival at Cuba, the St. Louis was not allowed to dock. Captain Schroder worked for a week in vain to allow his passengers to disembark. He was denied. Only 22 Jewish refugees were allowed entry as they did have acceptable passage, along with four Spanish citizens and two Cuban nationals. One gentleman, so distraught over returning to Nazi Germany, attempted suicide. He was taken to a hospital in Havana for treatment for his wounds.
Captain Schroder turned to America, pleading to President Franklin D. Roosevelt for help. Claims of improper paperwork, German Jewish immigration quotas and national security were given as excuses for rejecting the passengers. Afraid Schroder would run his ship ashore in Florida, forcing America to accept the refugees, the Coast Guard was sent to watch the St. Louis as it sailed close to our shores.
Finding no help anywhere in North America, Schroder was forced to return to Europe. Determined to be the liberator of his remaining 907 passengers (as one person died during the voyage), Schroder refused to return his ship to Germany until all the refugees were given protection in other countries. The United States finally stepped in and helped secure those arrangements in European countries.
Once those agreements for asylum were made, Captain Schroder docked his boat in Antwerp, Belgium, on June 17th. The United Kingdom accepted 288 passengers while France welcomed 224, Belgium accepted 214, and the Netherlands received 181. In less than a year, Hitler invaded Belgium and France in May of 1940, again threatening those refugees who for a moment had a taste of true freedom. It is estimated that 254 of the 907 returned to Europe were victims of the Holocaust, loosing their lives in concentration or internment camps.
Progressive Liberals are citing this incident as reason why America must accept Syrian refugees. Thanks to their rewriting of history, they don’t even realize how wrong they are.
Roosevelt and his administration claimed these refugees could contain German spies and we could not take that risk. There was one case in 1942 that was exploited to perpetrate this propaganda, giving the government cover to reject millions of Jews over several years. Historians believe this case was overblown and sensationalized in the media. On the other hand, we know from their own documents that ISIS is infiltrating Syrian refugee camps with the express purpose of making it to America. Jewish refugees included many women and children, while Syrian refugees are dominated by twenty-something males. It is estimated 1 in 50 refugees is an ISIS fighter.
Roosevelt rejected the Jewish refugees like Obama is rejecting those truly being persecuted and slaughtered by ISIS: Christians.
Progressive liberals refuse to hear any argument for rejecting Syrian refugees, accusing the opposition of Islamophobia. What has been conveniently kept hidden, that is until recently, is Roosevelt’s obvious distain for the Jewish people. In 1923, he limited the number of Jews allowed in each class at Harvard. He accused the Jewish people of dominating economies, monopolizing predominate professions, and overrunning populations. During his 12 years as president, there is only one year he allowed America to reach its quota of German Jewish immigrants, usually keeping it under 25% of the allowed number.
Roosevelt’s racism and bigotry was not limited to Jews. While he used the European conflict to reject German Jews, he used the Pacific conflict to round up and imprison Japanese-Americans. Again claiming national security, he placed them in internment camps here in the United States in conditions slightly better than Hitler’s. Roosevelt wrote in a 1925 column for the Macon Daily Telegraph, “Anyone who has traveled in the Far East knows that the mingling of Asiatic blood with European or American blood produces, in nine cases out of ten, the most unfortunate results.” He continued, “Japanese immigrants are not capable of assimilation into the American population.” Americans then and now admire his racism.
We have refused to learn and understand history and progressives are repeating every horrible mistake progressives have made. Since Obama took office, Islamic extremists have attacked us in Boston, Chattanooga, Fort Hood, San Bernardino, and now Orlando, just to name a few. And who does Obama and the media blame? Christians and right-wing constitutionalists, just like Hitler and Roosevelt blamed the Jews.
The Pulse nightclub massacre is proving the mistake we are making now is become more and more catastrophic. It is leading to devastating consequences, but I will continue to pray I am proven wrong.
But that’s just my 2 cents.