Canada apologizes for turning away Jews fleeing Nazi Germany

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"While decades have passed since we turned our backs on Jewish refugees, time has by no means absolved Canada of its guilt or lessened the weight of its shame", Trudeau said in a speech.

Gordon said history continues to repeat itself and even today "many people are discriminated against, starving or running for their lives". The ship came within sight of Miami but the US coast guard turned the ship away.

Canada's refusal to accept the St. Louis passengers took place more than six months after the infamous Kristallnacht in November 1938 where storm troopers and Hitler Youth burned hundreds of synagogues, smashed thousands of shop windows and killed dozens of Jews.

The ensuing days have seen countrywide vigils and, Trudeau said, calls for the government do to more through a federal program that funds security improvements at places at risk of hate-motivated crimes, such as synagogues.

"I pledge to you all now we will do more", Trudeau said, without providing more details.

"Anti-Semitism directly affects Jews, but it doesn't only affect Jews and it's not a Jewish problem".

They first went to Cuba and, when the passengers weren't allowed to disembark there, the United States.

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The MS St. Louis eventually turned back to Europe, and the Jewish refugees scattered across the continent. However, about a quarter of them faced a gruesome fate of being killed in Nazi death camps, historians estimate.

Louis, carrying more than 900 German Jewish passengers fleeing Nazi violence, tried to dock in Halifax, but passengers were denied asylum by then-prime minister Mackenzie King.

In 2012, the U.S. State Department formally apologized for turning away the MS St. Louis' Jewish refugees. The Twitter account was a protest against President Donald Trump's travel ban, which targeted refugees.

While a majority of Canadians (63%) say they have followed the news of Jamal Khashoggi's murder, it does not appear to have an impact on views of the Saudi Arms deal.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated Americans on Wednesday for electing a "historic number of women" in midterm elections.

As the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould told the reception later that "today represented the very best of what Parliament can be".

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