Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Canada apologizes for turning away Jews fleeing Nazi Germany

Trudeau issues apology for Canada's refusal to harbor Jews fleeing Holocaust Trudeau says Canada’s 1939 refusal to accept ship of Jewish refugees emboldened Hitler
Patty Aguilar | 10 November, 2018, 16:01

Justin Trudeau sat down in his office with the only surviving passenger of the MS St. Louis.

Most of the passengers scattered across the continent and more than 250 of them died in the Holocaust. "We must always speak out against xenophobic and anti-Semitic relations, and also of hatred in all its manifestations", - said the Prime Minister of Canada.

"The recent attack on the Jewish community show how much we still have to do". A poppy symbolizing remembrance ablaze on his lapel in the House of Commons, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday issued "a long overdue apology" for the denial that followed amid anti-Semitic sentiment.

Trudeau said 17 percent of all hate crimes in Canada target Jewish people. One of the victims, 75-year-old Joyce Fienberg, grew up in Toronto and had ties to the city's Jewish community.

Gordon said history continues to repeat itself and even today "many people are discriminated against, starving or running for their lives".

When Cuba, the United States and Canada turned the ship away, it returned to Europe where several countries took the refugees in and, according to historians and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), 255 of them were later killed in World War II, majority in concentration camps. However, the refugees were denied entry there.

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We apologize to the 907 German Jews aboard the MS Saint Louis, as well as their families. "Instead, it will whitewash a government that did nothing to help the Jews who were fleeing the Nazis and ignored the type of anti-Semitism that was endemic in Canada until the 1970s". The Kristallnacht attacks destroyed synagogues and Jewish businesses, and resulted in the arrests and imprisonment of thousands of Jewish men.

The St. Louis left Hamburg in May 1939 in a desperate search for a safe haven from persecution by Nazi Germany.

They first went to Cuba and, when the passengers weren't allowed to disembark there, the United States. The US State Department issued its own apology in 2012. The Twitter account was a protest against President Donald Trump's travel ban, which targeted refugees.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a moment on the morning following the USA midterms to highlight the "historic" number of women elected.

"That's obviously good news", Trudeau said to reporters on his way into the weekly Liberal caucus meeting on Parliament Hill.

Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said in a statement that his organization would work with the government on the details of the pledge "and on other practical policies to combat anti-Semitism in all its forms today".

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