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Chinese export trade serving tray with a floral design acquired in Havana from a Jewish refugee on board the St. Louis

Object | Accession Number: 2009.363.2

One of two serving trays acquired from a passenger on the ocean liner, St. Louis, in May 1939 by the parents of Bertha Loret de Mola, Luis and Maria Luisa, while the ship was docked in the harbor in Havana, Cuba. The de Molas offered to donate money to some of the passengers, but rather than accept charity, passengers sold some of their belongings. The ship left Hamburg, Germany, for Cuba on May 13, 1939. On board were 937 passengers, nearly all Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi controlled territories. The plan was to wait in Cuba for permission to enter the US, but Cuban authorities denied entry to all but 28 passengers. On June 2, the ship was ordered to leave Cuban waters. Despite urgent pleas to the United States government, the US President and Congress chose not to make any special exceptions to the stiff US quota limits and the refugees were denied permission to enter the US. The St. Louis sailed back to Europe on June 6. Jewish aid organizations had negotiated with European governments to admit the passengers rather than return them to Germany; 254 passengers would perish during the Holocaust.

Date
1939 May 27-1939 June 02  (received)
Geography
received : St. Louis (Ship); Havana Bay (Cuba)
Classification
Household Utensils
Category
Tableware
Object Type
Painted trays (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ignacio Sosa
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Record last modified: 2018-10-24 14:04:36
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn39861