On Friday night’s show, Rachel highlighted an incident in 1939 in which the United States turned away the MS St. Louis, a ship carrying over 900 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. After the United States refused to allow the passengers to disembark, the ship turned around and went back to Europe. Hundreds on board that day were later murdered in Nazi concentration camps.
One of the MS St. Louis passengers was Ruth Mandel, now the director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Ruth was an infant at the time, and she and her parents were among the lucky ones: They survived. Below is the testimony she gave in Washington, D.C., in 1999 about how she and her family were saved. (Thank you, Ruth, for allowing us to share your story here.)