Voyage of the Damned: In 1939, the U.S. turned back a ship carrying refugees from Nazi Germany


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But… but… but they could have actually been secret Nazis, coming here to destroy our country! Uhm…


My great aunt and uncle were on the SS Koenigstein which in 1939 sailed to South America with 300 Jewish refugees on board. After being refused entry to Trinidad and Honduras, they were finally allowed to disembark in Venezuela. The SS Caribia had a similar story, being refused entry to British Guiana and being allowed in to Venezuela.


Its always a good story to bring up when nativist dumbasses start making noise about turning away refugees. In my eyes the people who turn away refugees from a conflict and genocide are practically pulling the trigger themselves to murder them.


The film’s worth a watch, from what I remember.


How much modern conflict would have been averted if America had welcomed all Jewish immigrants instead of backing the creation of Israel?


Oh History, why do you come back and bite the USA in the ass? Said the USA…


No, they were Jews and no one really wanted them. One of the reason Poland had so many at the beginning of the war is their policies weren’t as restrictive as every other European country.

Unicorn chaser - there were those who did make efforts to save some Jewish children -


Israel is and always was inevitable.


They always seem to be able to rationalize how this time is TOTALLY DIFFERENT and IN NO WAY COMPARABLE TO THAT DARK CHAPTER IN AMERICAN HISTORY though.


I’m not going to debate that hypothetical, but Jewish-American author Michael Chabon did a bang-up job with the premise in his alternate history/hardboiled detective novel.

(Confession: I started reading it without realizing it was set in an alternate history and thus spent a couple chapters wondering why I’d never heard of the Jewish refugee settlement in Sitka, Alaska.)


While I am not against taking in some refugees, one would think Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar and other fairly stable governments in the Middle East would be able to absorb and assimilate refugees from Syria with greater ease. I haven’t heard why they haven’t. Or have they and it just doesn’t make the news.


I recently read the autobiography of famous Austrian-jewish author Stefan Zweig, “Die Welt von Gestern”. After the annexation of Austria by Hitler, he left for the UK, but had to move through New York, Argentinia and Paraguay to finally settle in Brasil. Where he killed himself together with his wife in '42.

While I hope that it’s clear that the third Reich was the epitome of murderous antisemitism back then, Jews weren’t exactly welcome in other parts of the world either. And refugees in general.


I imagine people were saying the same thing about Jewish refugees during WWII. But even if it’s true, it’s a poor excuse for us to avoid providing what help we can.


It’s not an excuse - but genuine curiosity. We know why Europe didn’t want the Jews. We knew it at the time. The Swiss could have taken them in, some of the Scandinavian countries.

Probably they are the wrong KIND of Muslims being part of the issue. I should go look it up more later.


One thing, religious/sectarian differences. For example, Saudi Arabia with its promotion of Salafism will certainly not welcome people fleeing from the IS or other hardcore Sunni groups. Edit, likewise Iran is probably not welcoming people fleeing from Assad.

Other thing, the more “neutral” countries like Turkey or Jemen already host millions of refugees.


Saudi Arabia has taken in 3 million refugees.


Because “fairly stable governments in the middle east” is a fiction for everyone in the area besides Israel. Those countries you listed are all absolute dictatorships, known for financing much of the mayhem the Syrian refugees are fleeing from and treat their own people like crap.

The countries which are taking them in are making the news. Lebanon and Jordan have taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees. These places are typically where the refugees are coming from prior to reaching the US and Europe.
They don’t have the ability to care for them or absorb that many people. Plus both countries have to contend with Islamicist proxies for Iran and Saudi Arabia who already cause trouble there (Hezbollah and Fatah respectively).


You mean Jordan instead of Yemen?

are they really stable? if I understand the situation correctly most of the countries currently drowning political discontent with oil(-money)


Yeah, caught me there. But to cover my ass a bit, it’s illustrative of the situation at large: the whole region is such a giant shitpool right now that it’s impossible to pick the “good guys”.