WJC President Lauder praises Canada’s formal apology for turning away M.S. St. Louis in 1939

07 Nov 2018
07 Nov 2018 Facebook Twitter Email Print

NEW YORK – World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder on Wednesday praised the Canadian government for issuing a formal apology over its 1939 decision to turn away the M.S. St. Louis ship carrying Jewish refugees fleeing from Europe.
“The World Jewish Congress welcomes the Canadian government’s apology for turning away a ship filled with Jews in 1939 and for its ‘none is too many policy’ regarding these refugees, which returned them to Europe where many of them ended up murdered by the Nazis and their accomplices,” Lauder said. “We are grateful to our Canadian affiliate, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), for its role in bringing about this important apology and public recognition of the ills of this fateful decision.”
“Today, xenophobia and antisemitism have made a frightening recurrence across the globe, an indisputable reality which bears the potential for horrendous and deadly consequences, as the history of the Holocaust teaches us,” Lauder said.
“We must always remember the dangers that can arise when we stand idly by as hatred rears its ugly head. Let the lesson of the M.S. St. Louis ring loudly and clearly in the disquieting political climate of today and let us remind ourselves of the importance of protecting and defending those in need, including the strangers in our midst,” he added.
“We also urge Canada and other democracies around the world to take a step in the right direction and adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s universal definition of antisemitism, to ensure that across the board, there are clear guidelines for defining the problem, in order to reach a solution,” Lauder added. “Together we must remember our past, and protect our future.”