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Twitter reveals the Jewish refugees who were murdered after the US turned them away-NewsCO

January 29, 2017

In a touching and timely tribute, a Twitter account is commemorating Jewish refugees who were murdered by the Nazis after being refused entry to the US.

Many thousands of Jewish people tried to obtain visas to the US in the 1930s to escape the growing strength of the German Nazi party, but many were unsuccessful.

For many – including now-high profile people like Anne Frank – this was a death sentence that led to them to be sent to concentration camps and death camps like Auschwitz. 

Social media users have found the tweets, which began on Holocaust Memorial Day, to be particularly poignant given US President Donald Trump chose the day to sign an executive order halting the intake of all refugees and barring everyone from seven countries in particular.

The tweets, issued by Jewish educators Russel Neiss and Charlie Schwartz via a bot using the handle St Louis Manifest, include the name of the Jewish refugee, the year they were turned away from the US and their place of death.

Where possible, a photograph has been included.

What is the St Louis Manifest?

The St Louis Manifest refers to the German transatlantic liner the St Louis which left Hamburg, Germany for Havana Cuba on May 13, 1939 carrying 937 passengers.

Most of the passengers were Jewish refugees who were fleeing the Third Reich and planned to stay in Cuba until they could get visas to enter the US. 

However, upon arrival in Cuba, the majority of the passengers were refused permission to land thanks to a combination of official corruption and public animosity towards the Jewish refugees.

The St Louis then travelled up the coast to Florida and requested permission to dock from US President Franklin Roosevelt, but he never responded and the White House decided not to take special measures to help the passengers.

The refugees on board were told they would have to wait their turn to qualify for immigration visas to the US.

With no other option available to the passengers, the St Louis was forced to sail back to Europe and the refugees were divided between the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

By the end of the war 254 of the passengers had been killed in the Holocaust.

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