The Canadian government has set aside an estimated $300,000 to honor the St. Louis Jewish refugee ship.
The funds will pay for an educational program and monument to commemorate the steamship, which in 1939 fled Nazi Germany with 907 passengers bound for Latin America. No country in the region would accept the St. Louis, including the United States and Canada, and it was forced to return to Europe just as World War II broke out.
It is estimated that at least one-third of the passengers ultimately were killed by Nazi forces.
Canadian Jewish advocacy groups have been campaigning for a St. Louis memorial since the late 1980s.
Through a spokesman, Secretary of State Jason Kenney told the Canadian Press news agency that a series of “historical recognition programs” would include a memorial to the St. Louis.
Bernie Farber, the CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, welcomed Kenney’s announcement.
“It’s certainly not too late,” Farber said. “We’re talking 65 years later – that’s a drop in the bucket of history.”