Trudeau issues apology for Canada's refusal to harbor Jews fleeing Holocaust

Another apology in works - Canada News

"We 900 immigrants looking for safe haven were denied that and fortunately there are countries such as Canada who are willing to take those truly looking for safe haven and looking for a place to reside without being persecuted", Wiener said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally apologized Wednesday for a shameful episode in Canada's history, when this country turned away more than 900 German Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi terror and persecution.

"We are sorry for not apologizing sooner", Trudeau said.

"We certainly hope it is a catalyst for a greater discussion about contemporary anti-Semitism and what can be done by all of us - regardless of our background - and particularly what can be done on the part of government and elected officials to fight anti-Semitism", Steve McDonald, the director of policy with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said last week.

"Canada and Canadians will continue to stand with the Jewish community and call out the hatred that incited such despicable acts", Trudeau said about the Pittsburgh shooting. The U.S. State Department turned the ship away, citing America's annual immigration quota. "Discrimination and violence against Jewish people in Canada and around the world continues at an alarming rate".

The rejection of the St. Louis the next year helped Hitler sell his "final solution" that ended with the murders of six million Jews: Jews couldn't be expelled from German territory because nobody would accept them.


They first went to Cuba and, when the passengers weren't allowed to disembark there, the United States.

The Canadian prime minister said the Liberal government of the day was then "unmoved by the plight" of the refugees.

Louis returned to Germany and the passengers scattered in Europe. As Nazi Germany expanded its reach, about 254 were captured and killed in death camps, The New York Times reports.

The story of the MS St. Louis resurfaced in headlines again in 2017, when an American Jewish educator launched a Twitter account that names passengers of the ship who were later killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. "Anti-Semitism is still far too present", he said.

The Prime Minister said the "long overdue" apology to the passengers of the St. Louis can not erase the pain suffered by these refugees or those murdered in the Holocaust or their descendants.

The head of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, Avi Benlolo, said it is up to governments to "take serious measures that help counter hate crimes against minority groups".

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