Deputy Secretary of State Welcomes Delegation of Surviving SS St. Louis Passengers

On September 24, 2012 the US Department of State welcomed a delegation of surviving SS St Louis passengers for an historic ceremony which included:

  • The welcoming address by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns who told the assembled surviving passengers:

“And to the survivors of the M.S. Saint Louis, on behalf of the President and Secretary of State, I am honored to say what we should have said so long ago: welcome.”

  •  The ceremony, led by Special Envoy Hannah Rosenthal.  She acknowledged the courage and patriotism of the Passengers as well as their exceptional contributions to American society.
  • The presentation of Passengers’ Proclamation to the representatives of France, England, Belgium and Holland including the Ambassadors of Belgium and The Netherlands;  The Proclamation, signed by 14 St. Louis Passengers, expresses  their  appreciation for being granted safe haven in June, 1939.  The Proclamation also honors the memories of these nation’s brave citizens who risked their lives to shelter and protect Jews during the wartime period.   Belgian Ambassador the US, the Honorable Jan Mattysen spoke on behalf of the delegation.
  • The presentation of Senate Resolution 111 carrying the signatures of thirty seven SS St Louis passengers to the US Department of State.  The Resolution was presented to Deputy Secretary of State William Burns by St. Louis passenger, US Army Col. (ret) Phillip Freund.
  • The theatrical presentation of The Trial of Franklin D Roosevelt directed by off-Broadway director Eleanor Holdridge and written by St. Louis Legacy Project Director, Robert M Krakow.
  • A Q & A with the St. Louis Passengers and the US Department of State Foreign Service officers which explores the lessons of the saga of the St Louis including issues related to immigration, human rights, racism and America’s proper role in a refugee crisis.
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