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Module - The story of the St. Louis

“Hopefully, a solution will be found soon, where we can land, it doesn’t matter in which country. One already has to have nerves like a horse to be able to get through everything.“

St. Louis passenger Julius Hermann, May 30, 1939

Aims

To examine the story of the ship St. Louis from different aspects and perspectives, giving voice to the different actors that were part to it.

To discuss the historical circumstances leading to the situation of German refugees,  that the passengers of the St. Louis are an example for.

To examine the relevance of the story of the St. Louis today and discussing complex questions of responsibility, civic duties and moral personal and international obligations.

Time Frame

90 minutes

Stage 1

This stage serves as an introduction for the module and is aimed to get the students into the topic and to formulate their first questions. The same method will be used to close this unit.

Stage 2

Working in small groups with primary sources connected to the case of the St. Louis. The participants can be divided into four or five groups. Four groups deal with the story of the St. Louis, whereas an optional fifth small group deals with the issue of international responsibility for the situation of refugees. 

Stage 3

In the last phase of this educational unit, participants are asked to work in small groups again and formulate and convey a message they consider important in regard to the topic of escape and seeking refuge.

Materials for Download