- The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society passenger cards of the S.S. [sic; actually M.S.] St. Louis were prepared to coordinate fundraising in support of individuals and families once the ship returned to Europe after an unsuccessful attempt to land in Cuba in 1939. The cards contain passenger information including names, locations, occupations, and status of immigration applications to the United States, if any. The cards also document the names of relatives in the United States and elsewhere, as well as money on deposit with the National Refugee Service on behalf of individual refugees.
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
- Collection Creator
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, was founded in the 1881 in the Lower East Side of New York City. Their original mission was to rescue Jews in Eastern Europe and Russia who were being persecuted and murdered in pogroms. They provided the recent refugees with meals and shelter, and helped them find jobs. In 1904, HIAS set up an office on Ellis Island and expanded their aid services to new arrivals, guiding them through the immigration process, preventing deportations, and searching for relatives. The organization expanded during the interwar years to ensure that Jewish refugees could find welcome and safety in their new countries. HIAS helped form HICEM, a joint bureau of three aid agencies established in Paris to centralize eastern European immigration. By the 1930s, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (AJDC) provided most of the money and HIAS provided the majority of the staff members. After the occupation of France by Nazi Germany in June 1940, the office moved to Marseille and an office was opened in Lisbon, Portugal. HIAS continued to assist refugees in America during World War II (1939-1945), but the restrictive immigration policies of the US government severely limited new arrivals. After the war ended in May 1945, HIAS was instrumental in the resettlement of hundreds of thousands of displaced persons to communities in the US and around the world. In this century, their mission was expanded to aid non-Jewish persons. HIAS continues to work on the front lines, assisting refugees no matter where they are.
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
- Topical Term
- St. Louis (Ship)
- Geographic Name
- Germany--Emigration and immigration--History. United States--Emigration and immigration--History.
- Corporate Name
- HIAS (Agency)
- Holder of Originals
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Legal Status
- Permanent Collection
- The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) donated this collection to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in March, 1989.
- Record last modified:
- 2023-05-31 07:46:14
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