1939 May 14, GERMAN LINER ST. LOUIS (Germany-Cuba-USA)
Set sail from Hamburg with 930 Jewish refugees with American quota permits and special permission to stay temporarily in Cuba. Cuban President Frederico Bru declared all but 30 of the permits worthless due to new regulations. Despite exhaustive efforts by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the depositing of half a million dollars in a Havana account, President Bru refused to budge. The U.S. also refused to take in any refugees and sent Coast Guard boats to prevent passengers from jumping overboard. After all efforts failed, The St. Louis was forced to return to Europe. The German Press gloated: "We say we don't want Jews while the democracies claim they are willing to receive them." A Gallup poll reported that 83 percent of Americans opposed the admission of a larger number of Jewish refugees.