World News

Canada apologises for turning away Jews fleeing Nazi Germany

Canada apologises for turning away Jews fleeing Nazi Germany

The ship arrived in Canada more than six months after the Nazis in Germany attacked Jewish homes and businesses, burned 250 synagogues and killed at least 91 people, on a night which came to be known as Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass. However, the refugees were denied entry there. "We are sorry for not apologizing sooner".

Trudeau admitted that Jewish Canadians "are understandably feeling unwelcome and uncomfortable" and shared that 17 percent of all Canadian hate crimes target Jewish people and "discrimination and violence against Jewish people in Canada and around the world continues at an alarming rate".

The MS St. Louis eventually turned back to Europe, and the Jewish refugees scattered across the continent.

The Canadian Council for Refugees said many refugees trying to get into Canada are often fleeing persecution just like the St. Louis passengers. However, about a quarter of them faced a gruesome fate of being killed in Nazi death camps, historians estimate.

"By issuing this apology, it is my honest hope that we can shine a light on this painful chapter of our history and ensure that its lessons are never forgotten".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a moment on the morning following the USA midterms to highlight the "historic" number of women elected.

More news: Sri Lanka's president dissolves Parliament, calls for an election

Following the outbreak of the #MeToo movement denouncing sexual assault, and the massive women's protests against US President Donald Trump, women voters and candidates were poised to play critical roles in the first major election since Trump took power.

He said the October 27 attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue, where a gunman shot and killed 11 people simply because they were Jewish, shows anti-Semitism still exists in society.

Some former passengers of the MS St. Louis were present at the apology.

Gordon told the Canadian Press that the apology was "very meaningful" to her ― although she said the emotional scars of surviving the Holocaust still run deep.

"We refused to help them when we could have".

Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said in a statement that his organization would work with the government on the details of the pledge "and on other practical policies to combat anti-Semitism in all its forms today".


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