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Negotiations for Admission of Refugees Go on As St. Louis Waits Outside Cuban Waters

June 5, 1939
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Hamburg-American Liner St. Louis, with its cargo of 907 Jewish refugees dreading return to the Reich, lay outside the twelve-mile limit today while negotiations proceeded for possible admission to Cuba or to the Dominican Republic.

A committee of Cuban Cabinet members and other prominent persons planned to lay before President Federico Laredo Bru and Army Chief Fulgencio Batista today a plan whereby the refugees could return to Havana, from where the ship sailed Friday under President Bru’s order to leave or be towed out of the harbor by a gunboat.

An offer of the Dominican Government to admit the refugees if a landing fee of $500 each was given had been made by Nestor Pou, Dominican consul, to Luis Clasing, agent of the German line, and to Lawrence Berenson, representative of the National Coordinating Committee for Refugees in New York. Later, he said the Government would consider a lump sum payment.

(In New York, Prof. Joseph P. Chamberlain stated, on behalf of the Coordinating Committee and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, that constant contact was being maintained with Mr. Berenson and Miss Cecilia Razovsky, “and there is still a possibility that a solution may be found before the St. Louis leaves American waters.” The Coordinating Committee was advising relatives of passengers here to prepare $500 bonds in case landing in Cuba was arranged.)

Meanwhile, the Jewish Center here received a radioed appeal from 104 refugees aboard the French liner Flandres, who were barred from Mexico after not being permitted to land in Cuba last weekend, to try to arrange their entry when the ship stops at Havana en route back to Germany. The appeal said: “Save us. Mexico will not let us land. They are sending us back to Germany via Cuba. The lives of women and children are in danger. Do not let us perish.”

(A Veracruz dispatch said these refugees had been granted authorization by the United States Government to stay on its territory until arrangements can be made for them to go to some Latin-American country. The authorization was said to have been arranged by a United States Jewish aid committee.)

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