"I am alive! It is a miracle from G'd"
START Origin Home Discrimination Emigration SS St Louis Camp Odyssey New Life
Mina
Markus
Jakob and Frieda
Oskar
Salo
Leon
The luxury cruise liner, St. Louis, sailed regularly for the Hamburg-Amerika line. Oskar with other passengers on board the St. Louis. The St. Louis reached Havana on the 27th May 1939. The Government refused entry into Cuba and the ship anchored outside the harbour. View of Havana from the St. Louis. The passengers were not allowed to disembark and the ship had to return to Germany. Oskar with other passengers on board the St. Louis.
Notice from HAPAG 1939, advising of the special voyage of the St. Louis to Cuba. The special voyage of the SS St Louis.
The special voyage of the SS St Louis.The special voyage of the SS St Louis. The St. Louis travelled regularly on the Hamburg-Amerika line. It set sail on the 13th May 1939 from Hamburg for Havana.
The special voyage of the SS St Louis. Oskar's registration on the Polish Quota to enter the USA. Cuba was only a "stepping-stone" for the majority of refugees. The St. Louis travelled regularly on the Hamburg-Amerika line. It set sail on the 13th May 1939 from Hamburg for Havana.
The special voyage of the SS St Louis.
The special voyage of the SS St Louis.
The special voyage of the SS St Louis.
The special voyage of the SS St Louis. Visa for Cuba. The Cuban Government however refused to recognise these documents. The special voyage of the SS St Louis.
The special voyage of the SS St Louis.

Voyage of the SS St. Louis

Oskar Blechner, the second eldest of the four brothers tries to emigrate to the USA via Cuba on board the Hapag-Lloyd steamer St. Louis. The ship leaves Hamburg on 13th May 1939. The fate of the 937 almost entirely Jewish passengers is uncertain from the outset. The majority of passengers possess only tourist visas and no valid entry documents for Cuba. The visas were issued by the Immigration Director on his own initiative. The Cuban Government refuses to acknowledge them and declares them invalid.

The United States, the next nearest immigration destination, also refuses entry to the St. Louis passengers. The ship has to return to Hamburg. Thanks to the untiring efforts of the Jewish aid organisations and growing public pressure, Belgium, Holland, France and Great Britain decide to accept the threatened refugees. Oskar was lucky. He was allowed to come to England. Those who were taken in by the other countries would suffer their later occupation by the Nazis.