Canadian Prime Minister Will Apologize For Turning Away Jewish Refugees In 1939 by the Forward

Canadian Prime Minister Will Apologize For Turning Away Jewish Refugees In 1939

(JTA) — Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Canadian government will formally apologize for turning away a ship full of Jewish refugees who had fled Nazi Germany.

Trudeau made the announcement Tuesday night at a Jewish fundraiser for the March of the Living in honor of its 30th anniversary. He did not say when the apology would take place.

“When Canada denied asylum to the 907 German Jews on board the MS St. Louis, we failed not only those passengers, but also their descendants and community,” Trudeau said in a statement.

“An apology in the House of Commons will not rewrite this shameful chapter of our history,” he said. “It will not bring back those who perished or repair the lives shattered by tragedy. But it is our collective responsibility to acknowledge this difficult truth, learn from this story, and continue to fight against antisemitism every day, as we give meaning to the solemn vow: ‘Never again.’ I look forward to offering this apology on the floor of the House.”

Cuba and the United States also denied entry to the refugees and, after they returned to Europe, about one-quarter of those on board died in the Holocaust.

Canada inaugurated its first national Holocaust memorial in September 2017, and Trudeau disappointed the Jewish community by failing to offer an apology at its unveiling.

Author

Canada Will Apologize For Turning Away Jewish Refugees

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Canadian Prime Minister Will Apologize For Turning Away Jewish Refugees In 1939

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close