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Metis family papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2004.575.1

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    Metis family papers

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    The papers relate to the voyage of the MS St. Louis and include a scrapbook created by Dr. Felix Metis that contains telegrams sent from the MS St. Louis and newspaper clippings about the voyage; an insert about the voyage from the November 28, 1967, edition of "Look" magazine; and six photographs depicting Annette Metis [donor], her mother, Lotte, and her brother, Wolfgang, aboard the MS St. Louis.
    inclusive:  1939-1967
    bulk:  1939
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Annette Gallagher
    Collection Creator
    Annette Gallagher
    Annette Virginia Metis (later Gallagher) was born on December 20, 1930, in Grunberg, Germany, to Felix and Lotte Metis. Felix (1989-1984) was born in Lissa, Germany, later Poland. Lotte (1900-1985) was also born in Poland. Annette had an older brother, Wolfgang (Frank), born on August 8, 1925, in Grunberg. In 1933, the Nazi dictatorship came to power in Germany and implemented antisemitic policies to exclude Jews from German society. Annette’s father left for the United States, arriving December 23, 1938, where he prepared for the arrival of his family in New York. On May 13, 1939, Annette, Wolfgang, and Lotte left Hamburg on board the luxury liner, MS St. Louis, for Havana, Cuba. Most of the other 937 passenger were also Jews fleeing Nazi persecution. They had landing permits for Cuba, from where they planned to eventually emigrate to the United States. On May 5, the ship arrived in Cuba. Only 28 people were permitted to disembark; the Cuban government declared all other permits invalid. A passenger committee worked desperately to negotiate with governments and aid organizations to find an alternative haven. When the US refused to increase its quota limits, the ship had to return to Europe on June 6. The Jewish Distribution committee convinced four European governments to admit the refugees, so they would not have to return to Nazi Germany.

    The passengers began to disembark in Antwerp, Belgium, on June 16. Annette and her family were among those selected to go to Great Britain. The family resided in England until December 28, 1944, when they left from Swansea, Wales, aboard the Ariguani for Nova Scotia, Canada. In mid-January 1945, the family was reunited with Felix in New York where they eventually became naturalized US citizens.

    Physical Details

    German English
    1 folder
    System of Arrangement
    The Metis family papers is arranged in a single series.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Germany. Cuba.
    Corporate Name
    St. Louis (Ship)

    Administrative Notes

    Annette Gallagher donated the Metis family papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this collection has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:21:51
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