Aboard the luxury liner St. Louis, more than 900 passengers waited helplessly at sea. In May 1939, on the eve of World War II, they were Jewish refugees fleeing post-Kristallnacht Germany. Despite having papers meant to let them into Cuba, they were barred from disembarking once they got there. Hoping for a haven, the boat lingered for a while off the Florida coast, while news stories chronicled the passengers’ increasing desperation. Yet the United States also refused the refugees. As the St. Louis carried them back to Hamburg in early June, The New York Times called it “the saddest ship afloat.” The production bears witness to stories from wave after wave of Jewish refugees over many decades, and to what it sees as the eternal outsider experience of Jews in the United States.
Format: Livestream Documentary


Original or Prominent Production: Livestreaming documentary theater piece from Arlekin Players Theater in Needham, Mass.
Original Language: English