How not to evoke the fate of these Germans driven out of their fatherland for the only reason they were Jews? Indeed, 937 of them, of which 550 women and children, were authorized to leave, with the confiscation of their goods as a counterpart! May 13, they embarked in HAMBURG on the steamer "SAINT-LOUIS" of Maritime Company HAPAG bound for Havana.

But, arrived at Havana, they could not unload. Long discussions were engaged with the cuban authorities who purely and simply decided to drive back the steamer and its passengers.

O June, the 2nd, order was given to Captain SCHRÖDER, ordering the ship, to go back to HAMBURG as fast as possible. Conscious that this low operation would dedicate its passengers to an unquestionable death in Germany, he did not obey and in vain tried steps with the United States and Canada. As he did not know where to go, SCHRÖDER addressed a last petition to England, France, Belgium and Netherlands.

June the 10th, they were close to the English coasts and the contacted countries finally agreed to accomodate all the passengers of "SAINT-LOUIS".

Under the pressure of the Refugees Committee that was created in France and placed under the presidency of George BONNET, and whose secretary-general was Louise WEISS, writer and future academician, France accepted a quota of 224 people.

June 17, "SAINT-LOUIS" arrived in roads of VLISSINGEN (Holland) where it accomodated the French committee. After the entry of the steamer in the wearing of ANTWERP, the transshipment of the 224 passengers allotted to France could be done on a ship in departure for BOULOGNE-SUR-MER.

Arrived to France at the end of a nightmarish tour of more than one month, exiled found finally asylum in various places with the assistance of the Refugees Committee.

Alas, their situation was not definitively regulated. September 1, 1939, a decree imposed the internment of all the men from 17 to 65 years old. The refugees were again touched head-on. As German citizens, they were considered from now on as "enemies of France".

Thus, a little later, a certain number of them were found at DAMIGNY and, after May 1940, in other French camps. All the hopes they had put in France as a welcome land were destroyed.

Among them, how many have later known the hell of the death camps after being delivered to the Nazis? This will probably never be known!

For its courageous action, the memory of Captain SCHRÖDER will be honoured by Yad Vashem, which will grant to him in 1993 the title of "Just of the Nations".

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