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Three drawings created by an 11 year old girl about her trip on the ill-fated voyage of the MS St. Louis

Object | Accession Number: 1991.164.117

Trio of drawings on one sheet of paper created by 11 year old Liesl Joseph in August 1939 shortly after arriving in England following the forced return of the MS St. Louis from Cuba. One drawing depicts the ocean liner; one marks each location the ship passed; one depicts the cottage lent to her family by the Rowntree family in England. Liesl and her parents, Josef and Lilly, left Germany soon after the Kristallnacht pogrom in November 1938. They left on the Hamburg-Amerika luxury liner, MS St. Louis, sailing for Havana on May 13, 1939. The plan was to wait there for permission to enter the US. But Cuban authorities denied entry to all but 28 of the 937 passengers. Josef chaired the passenger committee that tried to find a safe harbor. Liesl remembers feeling that "as long as my father was involved, we would be all right." After a week, the ship was ordered to leave. The US government refused to make any exception to the quota limits. The ship was forced to head back to Europe on June 6. Jewish aid organizations negotiated with European governments to admit the passengers rather than return them to Germany. The ship docked in Antwerp, Belgium, on June 17 and the Joseph family continued on to England. Joseph was interned as an enemy alien, but when they received US visas, the family departed on the Cameronia and arrived in the US on September 10, 1940.

Artwork Title
Journey of the M.S. St. Louis
creation:  1939 August
depiction:  1939 May 13-1939 August
creation: London (England)
depiction: St. Louis (Ship) route; Atlantic Ocean
Children's art
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Liesl Joseph Loeb
Record last modified: 2023-06-02 09:16:24
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