Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The SS St Louis

  This cartoon appeared in the New York Daily Mirror on June 6, 1939 while the S.S. St. Louis, which had over 900 German Jewish refugees, was awaiting admission to the United States from the Roosevelt administration. The administration refused admission The passengers aboard the S.S. St. Louis left Germany after Kristallnacht, looking for freedom in the United States they were rejected, and thus went to Cuba. Cuba allowed them to dock, but wouldn’t let the passengers stay in their country. The ship, set sail back to Europe and the passengers all prayed they would not have to return to Germany. They had this fear because no country on earth would take them. At the last second, as the S.S St. Louis approached Europe, Holland, France, Great Britain and Belgium each agreed to take a proportion of the refugees.

            The cartoon itself has a critical oxymoron;  it’s the first thing most refugees sailing by ship to America dream an anxiously await to see, The Statue of Liberty, an international symbol of freedom for people all over the world is holding a sign shouting, “KEEP OUT”. A ship in the political cartoon with words in the smoke saying “JEWISH REFUGEE SHIP” it appears is sailing away from the city which lies beyond the Statue of Liberty. This symbolizes the ship; the S.S St. Louis is being rejected by the Statue of Liberty which symbolizes the United States government.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great posting but I need to correct something. These refugees had Visas to go to Cuba but when they arrived, the Cuban government refused to honor them - saying their laws changed. The United States posted the Coast Guard off the waters of Florida to make sure none of the refugees jumped ship and tried to come to the United States.