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Black headband embroidered MS St. Louis worn by a young girl on board the ship

Object | Accession Number: 2004.575.2

Embroidered headband worn by 9 year old Annette Metis, while a passenger on board the MS St. Louis during the ill-fated roundtrip journey from Germany to Cuba in May-June 1939. The ship name on the headband is flanked by two flags, one with the HAPAG company logo; the other appears to be a now disguised German flag with swastika. As a German ship, the company would have displayed a German flag. Annette, her mother, Lotte, and brother Wolfgang, age 14, fled Germany because of the increasing persecution of Jews by the Nazi dictatorship. Her father, Dr. Felix Metis, had previously emigrated to New York to prepare for the family's relocation. Annette and her family left Hamburg on the Hamburg-Amerika luxury liner, MS St. Louis, for Havana, Cuba, on May 13, 1939. The plan was to wait in Cuba for permission to enter the US. Cuban authorities declared most permits invalid and denied entry to all but 28 of the 937 passengers. A passenger committee conducted a desperate search for a safe haven, while the ship was ordered to leave Havana after a week. Despite pleas to the US, no exceptions were made to the quota limits and the refugees were denied permission to enter the US. The ship had to head back to Europe on June 6. Jewish aid organizations negotiated with European governments to admit the passengers rather than return them to Nazi Germany. The ship docked in Antwerp, Belgium, on June 17. The Metis family continued on to England. They joined Felix in New York in January 1945.

Date
1939 May 13-1939 June 17  (use)
Geography
use : St. Louis (Ship);
Language
English
Classification
Dress Accessories
Category
Headgear
Object Type
Headbands (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Annette Gallagher
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Record last modified: 2018-01-11 14:26:01
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn516067