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Voyage of the Doomed: Commemorating the SS St. Louis

Tuesday, June 14, 2022, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
HIAS Pennsylvania Zoom

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Voyage of the Doomed: Commemorating the SS St. Louis

HIAS Pennsylvania’s June 2022 Advocacy Event

On Tuesday, June 14th, 2022, at 7PM, HIAS Pennsylvania commemorated the SS St. Louis with a virtual conversation over Zoom. In 1939, the SS St. Louis, a ship that carried more than 900 Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust, was turned away from Cuba, the United States, and Canada and then forced to return to Europe, where many SS St. Louis passengers perished in the Holocaust. This event is also known as the “Voyage of the Damned”.

HIAS Pennsylvania’s virtual program featured Gratz College Professor Paul Finkelman, who shared his knowledge about the doomed voyage in the context of US immigration history, and then participated in a Q&A with Executive Director of HIAS PA, Cathryn Miller-Wilson, about how this event and its context are being experienced again now, and where we go from here.

As an immigration legal and social services and refugee resettlement organization, HIAS Pennsylvania is dedicated to helping refugees and immigrants from all over the world. In addition to providing direct services to regional newcomers, we advocate for immigrants at the policy level and provide educational activities about immigration-related events, past and present, in US history. As we go from worldwide refugee crisis to worldwide refugee crisis, we see these events repeating themselves.

Faced with the three current crises in Haiti, Afghanistan, and Ukraine, this is a singular moment to be on the right side of history while learning about a time when we, as a nation, refused to open the doors of opportunity for people from all parts of the world.

“Now, more than ever, at this time when our world is being pummeled by war and natural and political disasters, it is critical to learn about past events in US history, which brought us to where we are today, so we do not repeat them,” says HIAS PA’s Executive Director, Cathryn Miller-Wilson.


This program was generously supported by Dveera Segal & Bradley Bridge


 Here’s a documentary we recommend if you want to learn more about the Voyage of the Damned.