Social Justice Stories

building compassion, tolerance, and responsible citizenship through social justice narratives

To Hope and Back: The Journey of the St. Louis begins in the German city of Hamburg, where the ship St Louis is harbored. Hamburg is the largest port city in Germany, a country in Central Europe. By 1938, The Jewish population in Germany had been stripped of their human rights and faced constant danger. In November of that year, Jewish homes and businesses were destroyed and 30,0000 Jews were taken to concentration camps in what would become known as Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. In this climate, many, including Sol and Lisa's families, were desperate to escape. They boarded the St. Louis and were bound for Cuba with 930 other Jewish refugees. Upon arrival at the port city of Havana in Cuba however, the Cuban government refused to allow them entry into to the country. The ship then sailed up the coast of United States and then towards Canada, before it was forced to return to Europe.