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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Event Honoring Surviving Passengers of the MS St. Louis


Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Hannah Rosenthal and Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues Douglas Davidson Invite you to recognize the indomitable spirit of the MS St. Louis survivors with a special program and performance

The German steamer MS St. Louis

Monday, September 24, 11:00 – 12:30 pm
George C Marshall Conference Center
U.S. Department of State
21st and D Streets, NW

Introductory Remarks by
Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns
Moderated by Foreign Service Director General
Linda Thomas-Greenfield

The German steamer MS St. Louis set sail from Germany in 1939 carrying 937 German Jewish refugees bound for Cuba. Upon arriving in Havana, however, they were denied entry to Cuba, and were subsequently denied entry to the United States and Canada. The MS St. Louis was forced to return to Europe. While some refugees were finally accepted in various countries in Europe, nearly a third of the passengers ultimately died in Auschwitz. A number of survivors will attend this event.

A special theatrical presentation will give the audience a chance to weigh in on the difficult decisions faced by U.S. leaders at the time, and gain insight into this dark chapter in U.S. and world history.


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