Radiogram from Moritz Schoenberger on the "St. Louis" [LCID: 1998x4d6]

Radiogram from Moritz Schoenberger on the "St. Louis"

On May 25, 1939, artist Moritz Schoenberger sent this radiogram (a telegram sent by radio) from the ocean liner "St. Louis" during the voyage from Hamburg, Germany, to Havana, Cuba. On this voyage, the "St. Louis" carried over 900 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. The telegram reads, in part, "Physically and spiritually recovered and invigorated most confident about reaching Havana Saturday. Money received. Many thanks. Kisses. Papa." Schoenberger's optimism proved unfounded. Cuban authorities refused entry to the refugees. After the United States also denied entry to the passengers, the "St. Louis" was forced to return to Europe. During the return voyage, Great Britain, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands agreed to accept the Jewish refugees. French authorities interned Mr. Schoenberger in southern France.

Critical Thinking Questions

What questions does this document raise for you?

Why are photographs, artifacts, and documents like this one important historical evidence?

Use the Museum's website and Collections to learn more about the fates of the passengers of the St. Louis.

How did government policies, public opinion, and global events in the 1920s and 1930s affect the ability of Jews to flee from Germany?


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum - Collections

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