Trudeau says Canada will apologize for MS St. Louis incident

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (centre) in quiet contemplation during a visit to the National Holocaust Monument, September 27. (PMO)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (centre) in quiet contemplation during a visit to the National Holocaust Monument, September 27, 2017. (PMO)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, attending a gala in Toronto, May 8, marking 30 years of the March of the Living (MOL) and honouring Holocaust survivor educators and MOL National Director Eli Rubenstein, announced he will make a formal apology in the House of Commons for Canada’s refusal to admit Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany on board the MS St. Louis in 1939. More than 900 refugees were on board the ship and more than 250 of them were ultimately murdered during the Holocaust.

“When Canada denied asylum to the 907 German Jews on board the MS St. Louis, we failed not only those passengers, but also their descendants and community. An apology in the House of Commons will not rewrite this shameful chapter of our history. It will not bring back those who perished or repair the lives shattered by tragedy. But it is our collective responsibility to acknowledge this difficult truth, learn from this story, and continue to fight against anti-Semitism every day, as we give meaning to the solemn vow: ‘Never again.’ I look forward to offering this apology on the floor of the House,” said Trudeau. [Read more…]

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National Holocaust Monument will stay open during winter

The entrance to the National Holocaust Monument. (Benita Baker)

The entrance to the National Holocaust Monument. (Benita Baker)

(JTA) – The federal government backed off a decision to close the newly opened National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa for the winter, apparently relenting to complaints from the Jewish community.

“Canadians will be able to reflect on the horrors committed against 6 million Jewish victims and others while paying tribute to the survivors,” Heritage Minister Melanie Joly said in a tweet Friday. [Read more…]

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