Loading

Chinese export trade serving tray with a floral design acquired in Havana from a Jewish refugee on board the St. Louis

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

One of two serving trays acquired from a passenger on the ocean liner, St. Louis, in May 1939 by the parents of Bertha Loret de Mola, Luis and Maria Luisa, while the ship was docked in the harbor in Havana, Cuba. The de Molas offered to donate money to some of the passengers, but rather than accept charity, passengers sold some of their belongings. The ship left Hamburg, Germany, for Cuba on May 13, 1939. On board were 937 passengers, nearly all Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi controlled territories. The plan was to wait in Cuba for permission to enter the US, but Cuban authorities denied entry to all but 28 passengers. On June 2, the ship was ordered to leave Cuban waters. Despite urgent pleas to the United States government, the US President and Congress chose not to make any special exceptions to the stiff US quota limits and the refugees were denied permission to enter the US. The St. Louis sailed back to Europe on June 6. Jewish aid organizations had negotiated with European governments to admit the passengers rather than return them to Germany; 254 passengers would perish during the Holocaust.

Show lessRead more
  • Title: Chinese export trade serving tray with a floral design acquired in Havana from a Jewish refugee on board the St. Louis
  • Provenance: The serving tray was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2009 by Ignacio Sosa, the son of Bertha Loret de Sola.
  • Subject Keywords: Jews--Germany--History--1933-1945. Jewish refugees--History--20th century. World War, 1939-1945--Refugees.
  • Type: Household Utensils
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Rectangular wooden tray with brass decorative metal plates riveted to the corners. There is a floral design with a stylized circular cut out on the sides. The center has a circular indentation with a round brass plate engraved with Asian characters attached by a rivet and glue. On the reverse is an oval branded maker’s mark with illegible letters and the same design as the corner plates. The wood is split on the back of the tray

Recommended

Home
Explore
Nearby
Profile