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Never Forget the MS St. Louis

February 3, 2017

When rumors of a possible immigration ban from President Trump came over Facebook late last week, the first thing to pop into my head was the story of the M.S. St. Louis. Some people say that if you fail to learn history, it will repeat itself. Unfortunately, it looks as though this statement is about to become true. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the German ship M.S. St. Louis departed Hamburg, Germany on May 13th, 1939 carrying 937 passengers, almost all of them Jewish refugees attempting to escape Nazi Germany. Originally headed to Cuba until the passengers could receive visas to the United States, only 29 of the 937 passengers of the St. Louis were admitted at the Port of Havana, with the rest turned away.

The vessel then headed to the United States, where it sailed off the coast of Florida while waiting to be approved to port. Due to the anti-Semitic feelings in America, the St. Louis was denied entry and forced to sail to the United Kingdom, where 288 of the passengers were allowed in. The rest of the passengers were forced to return to Germany. By the end of World War II, 254 of the passengers were brutally murdered by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. 254 mothers, daughters, sons, and fathers who could have been saved if they were allowed in.

With the refugee ban now in place due to the Trump administration, this story could soon repeat itself. Due to Islamophobia and a fear of refugees, many people are cheering on the ban. By enforcing this ban, the American people are putting others in danger of being killed in war-torn areas.

On our own campus, one of our fellow Scots is at risk of being executed for standing up for what they believe in if they are sent back to their homeland. Many other Scots who escaped war-torn areas to attend our wonderful college could be forced back there, where they could be injured or killed. We must be better than this and help other people who are in need by allowing them into our homeland. This false sense of security is not worth putting others at risk due to myths. We cannot allow the story of the M.S. St. Louis to repeat itself.

Jacob Marx
Political Editor

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