JEWISH SURVIVORS OF 'VOYAGE OF DAMNED' TO RECALL ILL-FATED TRIP
FRI MAY 19 1989 ED: FINAL
SECTION: FRONT PAGE: 1A LENGTH: 33.17" LONG
ILLUST: photo: Ruth and Herbert and Joseph KARLINER on the S.S. St. Louis, Herbert KARLINER at
his North Miami home
SOURCE: DAN FROOMKIN Herald Staff Writer
JEWISH SURVIVORS OF
'VOYAGE OF DAMNED'
TO RECALL ILL-FATED TRIP
Fifty years ago June 4, in what became known as the "Voyage of the Damned," a cruise ship carrying
more than 900 Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany was chased off the Miami Beach coastline by the U.S.
Coast Guard -- forcing the passengers back to war-torn Europe and sending most of them to their deaths.
In two weeks, at a reunion of survivors, about 20 of the damned will be back.
It will be the first commemoration of the tragic voyage of the S.S. St. Louis. The ship left Hamburg,
Germany, for Cuba in 1939, but was denied permission to dock in Havana. When the passengers turned to
the United States for refuge, they were refused because the U.S. State Department refused to make an
exception to the country's strict quota system for immigrants.
Exactly 50 years later, a group of Miami Beach Jewish leaders plans another cruise. The survivors and
100 other guests will sail the Florida Princess to the place where the St. Louis was forced to turn back.
And this time, they will return triumphantly to the Miami Beach Marina, followed by a Coast Guard
cutter and a flotilla of private boats.
According to Rabbi Barry Konovitch, whose Cuban-Hebrew Congregation includes many of the Jews
who watched the St. Louis steam away from Havana, the goal is to call attention to a tragedy that was
historically a "microcosm of the Holocaust," and is to this day "a metaphor for the refugee worldwide."
"It was," Konovitch said, "a demonstration that nobody cared."
For the survivors, including North Miami resident Herbert Karliner, the commemoration has been
"It's a wonderful thing," said Karliner, who at age 12 watched from the deck of the St. Louis as the
Florida coast grew large and then small.
Karliner was on the ship with his mother, father, two sisters and a brother. Only he and his brother
survived after the return to Europe. The rest of his family died in the Auschwitz death camp.
A book called Voyage of the Damned was written about the St. Louis in 1974 by Gordon Thomas and
Max Morgan Witts, and was followed a year later by a movie of the same name.
Karliner remembers that the cruise started off as fun. Children played games and swam in a pool on
Like all 937 passengers -- nearly 300 men, 500 women and 150 children -- the Karliners were granted
landing permits by the Cuban government.
When the St. Louis arrived in the Havana harbor, however, the authorities changed their minds.
Konovitch, who has written about the Cuban decision, said it was due to political infighting, anti-refugee
sentiment and Nazi infiltration.
"The Jews got caught right in the middle."
When the passengers realized that they would not be allowed to disembark, Karliner said, they started
to panic. "We knew what would happen if we came back," he said.
The ship's German captain, Gustav Shroeder, considered a hero by the passengers, steered the ship to
Florida. "We sent telegrams all over the world, hoping that some country would let us in," Karliner said.
Konovitch said the St. Louis' dilemma was straight out of Nazi propaganda plans. "They were going
to demonstrate to the world that no one wanted Jews."
Karliner remembered that aboard the St. Louis on June 4, "I saw the coast of Miami Beach very
vividly. I was so impressed with the palm trees."
But then, Karliner said, "the Coast Guard came by and chased us off. . . . Such a big country wouldn't
let 900 people in."
On the return voyage, the captain stopped in Belgium, France, Holland and England -- the countries
that each agreed to accept a quarter of the refugees.
Those in England were safe. But within a year, the Nazis invaded the other three countries. About 90
percent of the St. Louis passengers on the Continent were killed, Karliner said.
The Karliners were sent to France. Karliner and his brother were sent to children's homes and
survived. The rest of his family was arrested by French collaborators and sent to Auschwitz. They were
never heard from again.
Karliner emigrated to the United States in 1946.
This year, after speaking to Konovitch, Karliner started searching for fellow survivors. He reached
about 70 in all, most in the United States. About 20 are expected to gather here in June, including eight
who live in South Florida. The group is also flying in Capt. Shroeder's nephew from Hamburg.
Karliner said the lesson of the St. Louis is that the United States should never turn back refugees
whose lives are in danger. He does not think that applies to the surge of boats carrying Haitians to the
South Florida coast. The Coast Guard has turned back 2,436 Haitian refugees so far this year.
Это по сути более детальные подробности к более ранним здесь об том сообщениям О замыленных истинах, Рузвельт: не бомбить Аушвиц - пусть работает! и Американские евреи по-прежнему предпочитают голсовать за демократов