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Large black wardrobe trunk used by German Jewish refugees on the MS St. Louis

Object | Accession Number: 1998.65.1 a-f

Large wardrobe trunk with drawers used by Egon Salmon, 15, and his family when they left Nazi Germany on the MS St. Louis in May 1939. The zinc lined trunk was specially made in Germany to protect clothing in tropical climates. Following Kristallnacht on November 9-10, 1938, Egon’s father Paul was arrested in Rheydt and held in Dachau. He was released after he received a visa for Cuba. Paul left in January 1939 for Havana. On May 13, 1939, Egon, mother Erna, and sister Edith left on the MS St. Louis for Cuba. When the ship reached Havana, the Cuban government refused to allow most of the passengers, nearly all Jewish refugees from Nazi persecution, to disembark. Appeals were made to get US officials to permit entry, but it was denied and the ship had to return to Europe. Jewish aid organizations negotiated agreements with Belgium, France, Great Britain, and Netherlands to accept the passengers. Egon and his family disembarked in Antwerp. After ten months, they got US permits and, on April 12, 1940, Egon, Erna, and Edith joined Paul in New York. Egon served in the US Army during the war, and was awarded three Bronze Stars.

Date
1939 May-1940 April  (use)
Geography
use : St. Louis (Ship);
manufacture : Germany
Language
English
German
Classification
Containers
Category
Luggage
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Egon J. Salmon, in memory of his parents Paul and Erna Salmon
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Record last modified: 2018-10-24 14:05:23
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn12834