April 23, 2014
COMMEMORATING THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE “VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED”
On May 12, 2014 Temple Beth Torah, North Miami Beach, will commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the “Voyage of the Damned” with a ceremony honoring Herbert Karliner, a survivor of the doomed ship.
In 1939 the United States faced a moral dilemma. The SS St Louis, a German liner carrying over 900 Jewish refugees escaping Nazi terror, was refused safe haven by Secretary of State Cordell Hull. After having been refused entry into Cuba, the ship sailed toward Miami hoping to gain entry into the United States and to provide safe haven for the Jewish refugee passengers. The result of this moral dilemma was the failure of the United States to grant safe haven, the return of the ship to Europe where hundreds of the passengers were killed at the hands of Nazi persecution. The saga of the SS St became a symbol of the world’s indifference to Jews suffering under Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime.
The historic event on Monday May 12 at Temple Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus, North Miami Beach will honor Herbert Karliner of Miami, a survivor of the SS St Louis and tireless advocate for the rights of Holocaust survivors. His efforts resulted in the creation of the SS St Louis Exhibit at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. He is also a Korean War veteran and Board Member of the Holocaust Memorial of Miami Beach.
The event on May 12 will include a Proclamation of Remembrance to be presented to congressional and local dignitaries. As he reflected on the events of this tragedy, Rabbi Farber said “we can understand why evil people do evil things but how do we understand good people standing by and letting evil triumph? This is the challenge of the lesson of the SS St Louis.” The highlight of the evening will be the Miami premiere of the documentary film COMPLICIT, the untold story of why the Roosevelt Administration denied safe haven to Jewish Refugees. The film, an official selection of both the Australian Jewish International Film Festival and the Georgetown University Law School Equal Justice Film Festival, includes a watershed moment in American, Jewish and Holocaust history; the admission of wrongdoing for the failure of the US government to grant safe haven to the passengers of the SS St Louis, along with testimony of passengers, comments by presidential historian and ambassadors. COMPLICIT is production of the SS St Louis Legacy Foundation, a Boca Raton based nonprofit dedicated to education through drama on issues of human rights, anti-Semitism, immigration and the fight against genocide. The Foundation uses education through drama to educate multi-generation audiences about signal events in world history, including the story of the voyage of the SS St Louis and its meaning within world history.
Temple Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus is proud to partner with the SS St Louis Legacy Foundation to present this historic remembrance ceremony. Rabbi Ed Farber, Temple Beth Torah, along with Robert Krakow, Executive Director, SS St Louis Legacy Foundation are dedicating proceeds from this event to support: Temple Beth Torah Scholarship Fund for the March of the Living and the establishment of the permanent SS St Louis Archival Exhibit at the Temple Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus, and worldwide distribution of the documentary film COMPLICIT to high schools, universities, museums, Jewish educational systems and film festivals.
For tickets and sponsorship information contact: Ruth Ann Kalish, Associate Director, SS St Louis Legacy Foundation, ruthann4321@
Ruth Ann Kalish, PhD
Ruth Ann Kalish, PhD