Holocaust Memorial Day program based on “The Voyage of the St. Louis” documentary

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Date(s) - 04/23/2017
2:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Knox-St. Paul's United Church


The Voyage of the Saint Louis

For this year’s Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) in Cornwall, the Cornwall Interfaith Partnership will be hosting the screening of a documentary The Voyage of the Saint Louis. The film tells the dramatic and ultimately tragic story of the more than 900 Jewish passengers aboard the German passenger liner the Saint Louis who unsuccessfully sought refuge in Cuba, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay, Argentina, the United States and Canada in the months before the outbreak of World War II.

Due to factors of isolationism, anti-Semitism and economic depression, all these countries turned the vessel back and in full view of the world’s news media it returned to Europe where four countries accepted limited quotas of the passengers: Britain, France, Holland and Belgium. However, many of these Jews subsequently perished when continental Europe was overrun by Nazi forces with the outbreak of war in September 1939.

Nonetheless, a surprising heroic figure emerges –Gustav Schröder, the vessel’s captain, who was consistently respectful and courteous to his Jewish passengers and did all he could to find them refuge. After the war, Captain Schröder, who died in 1959 at the age of 73, was given the honorific “Righteous among the Nations” by the State of Israel. He was also awarded the Order of Merit by the Federal Republic of Germany.

The Cornwall Interfaith Partnership regularly hosts Yom HaShoah out of respect for the horrific suffering of the Jews and others during the Holocaust. The group recognizes that this persecution was enabled by “the indifference of bystanders in every land” and yet “even in hell, even in that hell called the Holocaust, there was goodness, there was kindness, and there was love and compassion.”

The showing followed by discussion will take place at Knox – St. Paul’s United Church, 800 Twelfth Street East, from 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm on Sunday, April 23.

Everyone is welcome and refreshments will be served.

Contact: John Towndrow at 613-930-5438.

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