Wednesday, 27 March 2013

St. Louis

In the 1930's in Nazi Germany 937 Jews boarded the St. Louis ship on its way to Cuba in hopes to escape the risk of being captured by the Nazi's. Once they arrived in Cuba they realized that not all could be accommodated, the ship then started to make it's way to Canada in hopes that they would find refuge there.  When they arrived they were turned away due to the discrimination of the Jews that was going on in Canada.  This reveals that Canada's identity during this time period was cowardly.  Canada's identity was cowardly because when the Jews arrived and desperately needed a safe place to stay Canada said no. But once they realized the severity of their situation they then begged the government to let them come to Canada, King stayed silent because of the fear that he would lose future votes. With no where to turn the St. Louis went back to Europe.  England, Belgium and the Netherlands agreed to take in the Jews.  This shows that when Canada was needed the most they turned their backs because they were to scared of what would happen to them and the thoughts of other countries.  If Canada had taken in the passengers of the St. Louis hundreds of lives could have been saved.   


  1. You have shown that the Canadian government was cowardly not to accept the Jewish refugees. On the whole the nation was not cowardly, as evidenced by its participation in battles, but when the situation wouldn't be of direct benefit Canada chose to take the easy road.

  2. If you were in Canada's shoes would you have taken them? It would have been tough to take in so many people when Canada couldn't even support its own people. Do you think Canada made the right decision sending the boat away?

  3. Great questions, Carley. I would like to think that I would have been strong enough to stand morally strong in the face of public opinion, but that is something that I think is hard to say without actually being in the situation.