web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



It’s My Opinion: Never Again


In 1939 the Nazi regime was gaining a terrifying momentum.  Nine-hundred-and-thirty Jews tried to flee the nightmare that was about to descend.  The SS St. Louis sailed from Germany.  The terrified passengers knew what was happening.  They were desperate.  

 

The Jews on the St. Louis carried visas to Cuba, the only harbor available to them.  However, even before the ship entered the port of Havana, they were told that the Cuban Government had changed its mind.

 

The St. Louis came close enough to the coast of Miami that the refugees could see the lights of the city.  That sight proved to be just a cruel and ironic tease.

 

Incredibly, these innocent men, women and children were refused sanctuary by President Roosevelt and the United States of America.  The U.S. Coast Guard vessels that accompanied the St. Louis were not there to protect her or escort her to the shores of America.  Their presence was to assure that no Jews would jump overboard and escape. 

 

The Jewish community in America offered politely worded pleas.  The Jewish leadership failed to mount the type of irate and massive protests and demonstrations that would grab front-page headlines and shame Roosevelt into capitulating.  The 930 were shipped back to the hell that awaited them. 

 

The message was clear.  The Nazis now knew that no one really cared about the fate of the Jews.  The Jews now knew that even if they wished to escape, no one was willing to take them in.

 

How could such a shameful incident have happened?  The answers are compelling.  The economy was bad.  The country was reeling from a depression.  Americans were hesitant to take on refugees when jobs and assets were scarce.  Jewish leadership was weak and unwilling to take strong and unpopular stands. Denial of the extent of the danger involving world politics was rampant.   

 

Recently, a 70th anniversary of the St. Louis was commemorated at the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida.  It was the very location that the ill-fated passengers gazed upon before they were returned to Germany.  The surviving 33 passengers attended the event.

 

There are many parallels today that mirror the circumstances that allowed the tragedy of the St. Louis to occur. As Jews, we must be especially vigilant to keep our guard up and stay informed about what is happening in the world. 

 

We are told that people who do not learn from their history are destined to repeat it.  Never again is more than a slogan.  It is a message that needs to be internalized and acted upon.  

About the Author: Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “It’s My Opinion: Never Again”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Part of the Gush Etzion fence near Jerusalem
Cabinet to Vote Sunday on Cutting Gush Etzion Off from Jerusalem
Latest Sections Stories
A-Night-Out-logo

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.

The interpreter was expected to be a talmid chacham himself and be able to also offer explanations and clarifications to the students.

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

“On Sunday I was at the Kotel with the battalion and we said a prayer of thanks. In Gaza there were so many moments of death that I had to thank God that I’m alive. Only then did I realize how frightening it had been there.”

Neglect, indifference or criticism can break a person’s neshama.

It’s fair to say that we all know or have someone in our family who is divorced.

More Articles from Shelley Benveniste
South-Florida-logo

The assumption of a shared kinship is based on being part of the human race. Life is so much easier to figure out when everyone thinks the same way.

South-Florida-logo

Various other learning opportunities will be offered to the community throughout the year.

The new group will also deliver kosher food to Jewish residents in non-kosher facilities, as well as to kosher facilities where the food is not up to par.

The Honey Bee workshop delighted the children and all others who attended the event.

Israel’s neighbors engaged in hostilities from the onset. The War of Independence was a hard-won battle. Aggression and enmity has followed for 66 years.

The inclusion program, in which children with special needs are in the same class as neurotypical (mainstream) peers, is, says Gansburg, the only Jewish program of its kind in Florida.

The contest will include student-created sculpture, computer graphic design, collage, videography, PowerPoint and painting.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/its-my-opinion-never-again/2009/12/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: