Monday, 22 July, 2019

Justin Trudeau Apologizes For Turning Away Jewish Refugees In 1939

Another apology in works - Canada News Trudeau issues apology for Canada's refusal to harbor Jews fleeing Holocaust
Deanna Wagner | 08 November, 2018, 22:51

"Anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and hatred have no place in this country, or anywhere in this world", Trudeau said as quoted by his official website.

The Canadian Council for Refugees said many refugees trying to get into Canada are often fleeing persecution just like the St. Louis passengers.

"We apologize to the 907 German Jews aboard the St. Louis, as well as their families", Trudeau told the House of Commons.

He apologized to the Jews on the ship, which was forced to return to Europe, where numerous Jews later were killed in the Holocaust. "Discrimination and violence against Jewish people in Canada and around the world continues at an alarming rate".

The prime minister also pledged to do more to combat anti-Semitism, noting that Jewish Canadians are "feeling vulnerable" after a mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, left 11 people dead.

"When I was 15 years old in junior high school, on a cold, crisp February night in Winnipeg, I went with a friend to a hockey rink", Carr recalled during a reception following Trudeau's apology Wednesday for Canada's refusal to give refuge to more than 900 Jews fleeing Nazi Germany.

"We are sorry for the callousness of Canada's response", he said. The Kristallnacht attacks destroyed synagogues and Jewish businesses, and resulted in the arrests and imprisonment of thousands of Jewish men. The ship came within sight of Miami but the US coast guard turned the ship away. The passengers were denied entry not only by Canada, but by Cuba and the United States as well. He said then that the decision to turn away the St. Louis was a blight on Canada's past.

Earth’s ozone layer is healing
An amendment to the Montreal Protocol that goes into effect next year would cut use of some of those gases. This doesn't mean we can pack up and start planning the fireworks quite yet. "We stopped that", he says.

"By issuing this apology, it is my honest hope that we can shine a light on this painful chapter of our history and ensure that its lessons are never forgotten".

The story of the MS St. Louis resurfaced in headlines again in 2017, when an American Jewish educator launched a Twitter account that names passengers of the ship who were later killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

Trudeau met the only surviving Canadian passenger of the St. Louis shortly before making the apology. "Anti-Semitism is still far too present", he said in the parliament.

The head of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, Avi Benlolo, said it is up to governments to "take serious measures that help counter hate crimes against minority groups". One of them, Ana Maria Gordon, survived a Nazi concentration camp after returning to Europe.

Gordon said she thinks history is repeating itself today, as "many people are discriminated against, starving or running for their lives".

"The community came to say, 'We are with you".