web analytics
March 29, 2015 / 9 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


It’s My Opinion: A Voyage From Hell

South-Florida-logo

Americans were riveted to their television screens by the story of the Carnival Cruise ship “Triumph.” The ill-fated voyage was interrupted by an engine fire that left the ship without power and adrift for five days in the Gulf of Mexico. Nonstop coverage documented the misery of passengers, who struggled without electric lights, air conditioning and working toilets.

Lavish meals and buffets were replaced by cold sandwiches. The smell of raw sewage was sickening. Accommodations were primitive. The press dubbed the journey “the voyage from hell.”

What happened on the Triumph was terrible, but was it really a voyage from hell? Perhaps the experience of passengers on another ship will put this in perspective.

On May 13, 1939, 930 Jews sailed from Hamburg, on the steamship St. Louis. Those who boarded were attempting to leave Nazi Germany. They saw what was coming. They tried to escape.

Arrangements for entry had already been made with the government of Cuba. The passengers carried visas. However, when the ship attempted to dock, it was told to turn away. The Jewish refugees were not welcome after all.

The anguished passengers became frantic. A man slashed his wrists and jumped overboard. The captain warned of mass suicide if the vessel were forced to turn back. The Cuban government was adamant. The ship was ordered to leave.

Those on deck sobbed. They feared that return meant concentration camps and death.

The ship hovered in the waters off the coast of Florida for three days. A ray of hope emerged. Certainly, America would understand the Jews’ dire predicament and take them in. Unfortunately, that was not to happen.

FDR also had problems. The quota for refugees had already been filled. Rules were rules, despite life and death circumstances. The State Department suggested the St. Louis passengers follow protocol and take their turns on the waiting list. The St. Louis was turned away and the ship was sent back to Europe.

The Triumph passengers returned to dry land with a hot shower and a good meal. Their ordeal was over. The ordeal of passengers on the St. Louis had just begun.

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: A Voyage From Hell”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Child looks on as Houti rebels' truck passes with weapons.
Houthis Copy Hamas Tactics and Use Civilian Shields to Hit Saudi Planes
Latest Sections Stories
Neuman-Rabbi-M-Gary

Are we allowed to lie for shalom bayis? It would seem so, but what might be a healthy guideline for when it’s okay and when it’s not?

book-To-Fill-The-Sky-With-Stars

The connection between what I experienced as a high school teenager and the adult I am today did not come easy to me.

Respler-032715

Isn’t therapy about being yourself; aren’t there different ways for people to communicate with each other?

South-Florida-logo

Jack was awarded a blue and gold first-place trophy, appropriately topped off with a golden bee.

Participating in ManiCures during the school day may feel like a break from learning, but the intended message to the students was loud and clear. Learning and chesed come in all forms, and can be fun.

Building campaign chairman Jack Gluck has led the effort over many years.

When using an extension cord always make sure to use the correct rated extension cord.

There was no question that when Mrs. Cohen entered the room to meet the teacher she was hostile from the outset.

Szold was among the founders and leaders (she served on its executive committee) of Ichud (“Unity”), a political group that campaigned against the creation of an independent, sovereign Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael.

My friend is a strong and capable Jewish woman, but she acted with a passivity that seemed out of character.

“If you don’t stand straight, you’ll never get a husband.”

First, sit down with your helpers and a pen and paper and break the jobs down into small parts.

More Articles from Shelley Benveniste
South-Florida-logo

Jack was awarded a blue and gold first-place trophy, appropriately topped off with a golden bee.

South-Florida-logo

Participating in ManiCures during the school day may feel like a break from learning, but the intended message to the students was loud and clear. Learning and chesed come in all forms, and can be fun.

Building campaign chairman Jack Gluck has led the effort over many years.

My friend is a strong and capable Jewish woman, but she acted with a passivity that seemed out of character.

The recent holiday of Purim, however, debunks the idea that all females need to be given coaching in the art of moxie.

Close to 100 guests attended the event that took place at Bloomingdales in the Aventura Mall.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/south-florida/its-my-opinion-a-voyage-from-hell/2013/02/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: