Talk:MS St. Louis

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Nazi Propaganda[edit]

The jews who were leaving on the St. Louis, were fleeing from the Nazi's there was no propaganda exercise.

Yes, I would certainly like some reliable sources for this. It seems like a very unlikely conspiracy. I would not be surprised if the nazi's latched onto the fact that the ship was turned away from Cuba and America, and used it for more propaganda, but that they planned it from the start seems too unlikely to me. Would certainly like sources for this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:43, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

To Cuba first[edit]

From other sites, I am under the impression that the SS St. Louis went to Cuba first and THEN to the United States. The article does not reflect this. Would someone clear this up?

I have a source, which clarifies both of your questions. The Problem is, it is in german.,1518,421002,00.html has a longer Article about this. It states that all the jews on board wanted to go to the US and had numbers for the immigration lottery. Problem was, that they could not for 3-4 years. So they planned to go to Cuba for some years, because at the time you could get visa for cuba quite easily. Unfortunately most of them were forged by various parties. So Cuba denied them immigration, so did the US (at the time). When they returned to europe, the captain, who sympathised with them threatened to strand his ship at the british coast, evacuate and burn it to force entry. After that 287 were allowed in GB, 224 in France, 181 in the netherlands and 214 in belgium. About a third of them died later in concentration camps, even more at least interned. The article is quite interesting, but is not on the english version of the site. Also it does not make a good wiki source, because after some time (a month?) you can only read them for money. -- 13:22, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Well, I just read it a year later with no problems for free, so this doesn't seem to be a problem for this article, which is generally consistent with the other sources I've read and a good source.John Z 02:24, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Requested move - MS not SS St. Louis[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was move Anthony Appleyard (talk) 09:09, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
As stated in the specifications, the St Louis was a Motor Ship and not a Steam Ship, so the current name of the page/redirect set-up is clearly wrong. Nick Cooper 00:30, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Hmm. The ship is commonly known as "SS St. Louis". Shall we rename the article into St. Louis (ship) (like Exodus (ship)) with both S.S. St. Louis and M.S. St. Louis redirecting to that title? �?Humus sapiens ну? 02:37, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Mr. Cooper is correct. The MS St. Louis and SS St. Louis are two different ships. We should correct the misconception, not propagate it. Darkfrog24 13:31, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

2009 discussion[edit]

Agree, except that are we sure it should not be the MV St. Louis? PatGallacher (talk) 11:08, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Just looking at Ship name it seems that MS and MV are interchangeable, but there seems to be a slight preference for MS. So we move it to this, OK? PatGallacher (talk) 16:20, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Although I am aware that the ship was not steam-powered and should properly not use the SS (steamship)prefix—a point well-addressed in the first paragraph of the lead article—Wikipedia's job is to describe common usage rather than prescribe "correct" usage. The vast majority of mentions, discussions, etc., of this ship use the unfortunately incorrect "SS St. Louis", and so the article should remain at that name per WP:COMMONAME. — Bellhalla (talk) 10:39, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Support WP:COMMONAME says that this guideline should be treated with common sense and the occasional exception. I also quote the section "Don't Over Do It: In cases where the common name of a subject is misleading, then it is sometimes reasonable to fall back on a well-accepted alternative. For example a "common" name for a tsunami is "tidal wave" (this term being less often used for the tides-related tidal bore). For this reason, the Tidal wave page is a disambiguation page, with links to the two other pages, and not a page giving details about either tsunami or tidal bore." In this case the title is misleading as it goes against well-established conventions of naming ships. There are a few articles already which have not used the common name because it is clearly incorrect or unduly problematic e.g. Mary Celeste (not Marie Celeste) and Katharine O'Shea (not Kitty O'Shea). PatGallacher (talk) 11:31, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Boudica (not Boadicea) is another example. PatGallacher (talk) 16:14, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Support as per PatGallacher's reasoning above. As the ship is widely known as SS St. Louis, a redirect from that namespace should probably be maintained—however the actual article should IMO be under the correct prefix. IMHO an MS prefix should be used here instead of MV as in my experience the German-speaking world prefers MS over MV. — Kjet (talk · contribs) 12:35, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Support as the ship was not steam-powered it shouldn't be under a SS title. Agree that a redirect from the SS title should be maintained as various sources refer to her as SS St Louis. Mjroots (talk) 14:24, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Support wpcommonname is flawed in that it perpetuates myths and errors. WP should be as accurate as possible and not support common errors. The errors and alternative names for this ship should be explained in detail in the opening paragraph and maintain the most common redirects to the correct title. --Brad (talk) 15:09, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment - One can't actually use a redirect for this article as "SS St. Louis" is already a dab page. I guess what one would have to do is have a "see also MV St. Louis" entry on that page. In regards to the proposal itself, I think we would need at least one and preferably more reliable sources that actually refer to the vessel as "MV St. Louis", otherwise we would arguably be engaging in original research to rename the article as such. Gatoclass (talk) 03:35, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
    • Comment - All we need is a reliable source which states that she was powered by a diesel engine, then ship prefix and WP:NC-S can be brought into play. Mjroots (talk) 08:46, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
      • Comment - William H. Miller's The Pictorial Encyclopedia of Ocean Liners 1860-1994 (page 114) clearly states that the St. Louis was diesel-powered. — Kjet (talk · contribs) 09:20, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Diesel powered, sure, no argument there. I'm simply saying, do we have a reliable source that refers to the ship as MV or MS? If not, I suggest that naming the ship as such when all available sources refer to it as "SS" would constitute original research. I mean, for all we know the company that owned it decided to refer to it as "SS" even though it was a diesel. Or maybe someone made a mistake and it was decided to leave it that way. One does come across such anomalies from time to time. Gatoclass (talk) 14:42, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Apologies, I should have probably specified I agree with Mjroots reasoning. However, by a quick search I have discovered a source which proves at least some contemporary (German) sources referred to the ship as MS St. Louis (, postcard #2). — Kjet (talk · contribs) 16:29, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Additionally, of the references and external links already used in the article, the ones from United States Holocaust Memorial Museum uses the MS prefix. Additionally so does Miller & Ogilvie's book listed in References (although not actually used as a footnote?) at least according to an online article on the book. — Kjet (talk · contribs) 16:41, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Okay, on reviewing the refs, I think I would support a move to MS St. Louis. The Holocaust Museum site in the article refers to it as such, the book Refuge Denied does the same, and so do your additional contemporary photos. There doesn't seem to be much reason, as another user suggested, to perpetuate what otherwise appears to be a commonly made error when we can correct it. Gatoclass (talk) 03:25, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Return from Cuba[edit]

This may be the wrong paragraph to add this, but .... It appears, and has been mentioned in several accounts, including <url> </url>, that, on the return from Cuba and the US, Capt. Schroeder seriously considered running the ship ("accidentally", of course) aground in the English Channel so it's occupants would be evacuated by French and English rescue boats, rather than bringing its passengers back to Germany. Some versions of the story even have him giving the ship's helmsman instructions to this effect, but that detail is improbable in light of the fact that the message accepting the refugees in Belgium and Holland came at least a full day before the ship would have reached the English Channel. 11:02, 16 May 2008 (UTC)~~

(New York before Havana)[edit]

on setting sail it was always the intention to dock in Havana not NY (although the intentions of the passengers may well have been to emigrate to the US after a few years)Discussions seem to suggest that its first port of call was intended to be NY, however this is not the case-many people already had relatives in Cuba and VISAs for Cuba( all be it fake) . This is why everyone had Visas for Cuba and not the US. Also please see below for the real reason for the departure of the ship:

The Nazi party used the setting to sail of 900+ Jewish passengers as a propoganda exercise. Firstly it would appear that the Nazis were allowing the Jewish refugees a new life in Havana. However, the Nazi party were aware that with rising anti-semitism (stirred by Nazi party officials) and unofficial visas that they would be unable to alight in Havana. Subsequently, having been refused entry in Cuba, if the allied Nations were to refuse entry for the refugees it would force the world to admit their was a 'Jewish problem'. With no one allowing the passengers entry they would be in no position, in the future, to morally object when Germany dealt with their 'problem' jewish population. --Philm101 (talk) 16:54, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Conflict of survival figures[edit]

This article says that Thomas and Morgan-Witts estimate the number of the passengers killed in the Holocaust as between 200-300. According to the article for Voyage of the Damned, a film based on Thomas and Morgan-Witts' book, however, the film claims that it was more than 600 who lost their lives in the concentration camps. Can anyone resolve this discrepancy? -- 22:51, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Looks like the movie (or some editor who may have made an error about just what the movie said) is just taking the number of people who debarked on the continent and then assuming they all were killed, which wasn't the case. The 2006 Ogilvy-Miller book should be a good (probably the best) source, but I don't think anyone has used it here yet. (I added it to the refs a few months ago; just checked, google has a limited preview now - on p 35 it says that at the beginning of their research they had already gotten down to 350 (/ 937 ) unaccounted, didn't find the more interesting final "unaccounted" number) It goes to some pains to track individual survivors.John Z (talk) 01:44, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Would be cool if someone could look into this further. I was watching an interview with Arthur Miller and he brought up this incident. He said that according to the research he had done, that the ship had returned to Germany and as far as he knew all the passengers were killed, it is likely he's wrong though, but if someone could go to a library or something and try to find out more about this.

New York before Havana[edit]

The ship was not permitted to land in New York Harbor as it came from Germany and as a consequence left towards Cuba. I will try to look up the source for this but help is appreciated. -Antonio.sierra 20:39, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Twice scrapped??[edit]

It appears to be scrapped in 1952 (intro table) and again in 1956 (last paragraph). Amazing, dun you think?


"She is often known as the "SS St. Louis", but this is incorrect as she did not have a steam engine." What is the reliable source that states that the name SS St. Louis is incorrect because she was not a steam ship. --PBS (talk) 20:10, 2 May 2009 (UTC)


I was trying to research this topic, and could not really find too many answers. I am wondering if the United States or Canada every apologized to the Jewish people for refusing them entry into their countries. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:03, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes, and why were the passengers turned away? Surely some reason would have been given at the time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:40, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

619 or 620[edit]

I don't know if there's much we can do about this but the article currently gives both 619 and 620 as the number accepted in continential Europe. I think 619 is correct since 937 original - 288 UK + 29 Cuba + 1 died during voyage = 619. The 620 probably arises because the source was not aware or neglected to take account of the 1 who died during the voyage. However since it appears to be a direct quote and the source uses 620 there's perhaps not much we can do Nil Einne (talk) 05:17, 6 June 2011 (UTC)