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Canada apologizes to the Jews who in 1939 sent back to Antwerp port

The Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday officially apologized for the parliament because Canada in 1939 refused to hundreds of German Jews to capture the regime had fled. Their boat, and returned then back to the port of Antwerp.

On 15 may 1939, only a few months before the outbreak of the Second world War, had the passenger vessel St. Louis to leave Germany with a thousand passengers on board. Among them were 907 German Jews to prosecution tried to escape.

Cuba, the first stop, refused them asylum. The same happened in the United States and later in Canada, because of the discriminatory immigration policy that was in place. Canada had only 11 million inhabitants, and of these, there were only 160.000 Jewish. ‘Yet that was too much for a large number of Canadians, also for Frederick Charles Blair, who was then responsible for immigration within the government, ” said Trudeau to the Canadian house of Commons.

The vessel was eventually rechtsomkeer to Europe, where he landed in the port of Antwerp. From there, swarmed the passengers: some remained in Belgium, others went to France, the Netherlands or the United Kingdom. Final came 254 of Jews during the Holocaust.

“Much too long to wait’

‘Though there are already dozens of years have passed since we, the Jewish refugees have turn their backs on, the time Canada’s debt is not forgiven. Nor is the weight of our shame become lighter, ” said Trudeau. ‘Today I stand in this room in order to apologize to the Jewish refugees that Canada has refused, apologies where they are much too long to have to wait.’

Earlier the liberal government in his office in the parliament one of the last survivors of the tragic journey received, Ana Maria Gordon. He stressed the need to fight against anti-semitism to continue.

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