TORONTO — Canada will present a formal apology for refusing entry to a ship of jewish refugees fleeing nazi Germany in 1939, an episode that has made it so that several of them returned to Europe and died in concentration camps, said Tuesday the prime minister Justin Trudeau.
In a speech well received at a fundraising activity on an educational program jewish in Toronto, Mr. Trudeau has claimed that the decision in respect of the ship MS St. Louis was a “shameful chapter” of the collective history of canada.
“This apology will not bring back those whose lives have been stolen, or repair the lives shattered by this tragedy. However, we have a shared responsibility to acknowledge this reality difficult, to learn lessons, and we continue to stand against anti-semitism every day. It is as well that we give a meaning to the solemn vow: “never”,” said the prime minister.
In the moments leading up to the Second world War and during the Holocaust, the canadian government responded to the sense anti-semitic in that severely restrict jewish immigration. From 1933 to 1945, only about 5,000 jewish refugees were accepted because of what Mr. Trudeau called the “immigration policy is discriminatory “, it is still too” in force at the time”.
The prime minister spoke of the case of the MS St. Louis as the example of the “more obvious” this policy is misguided.
The MS St. Louis, carrying 907 German jews who sought a refuge to escape the persecution. The ship’s captain, Gustav Schröder, tried in vain to find places where to stay for its passengers. In addition to Cuba, the United States has also refused entry to these refugees.
Forced to return to Europe, 254 of these passengers were eventually murdered during the Holocaust.
“We can’t turn our backs to this truth uncomfortable, and the role played by Canada”, said Mr. Trudeau in the margins of the event March of the living. The March of the living program is an annual education, which allows students to visit the concentration camp and extermination camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Mr. Trudeau was said to be eager to offer himself the excuse of Canada on the floor of the House of commons, without specifying a date where they could be pronounced.