Jews Fleeing Nazis
Allison Kaelin, Davis Brooks, Micah Oxner, Greg Gionfriddo

Jewish immigrants waiting to see if they are able to go into America

Little Jewish kids looking out their "window" to see the new land and get some fresh air

The Reasons We Fled

Almost all of the Jews leaving Germany were fleeing from the Third Reich. They were mainly fleeing religious persecution.
Some of the main reasons for the immigration to USA were:
1. The Russia anti-Semitism policy and the pogroms.2. The desire to give their children better education and a happy life.3. The promise of freedom and gold. 4. Modern vehicles like steam engines and trains.

The Tragedy of the S.S. St Louis

Many Jews within Germany decided that is was time to leave. The immigration policies had toughened and
not only were visas needed to be able to enter another country but money was also needed to leave Germany. Since many countries, especially the United States, had immigration quotas, visas were near impossible to acquire within the short time spans in which they were needed. For many, the visas were acquired after it was too late. The opportunity that the S.S. St. Louis represented seemed like a last hope to escape. Though before the ship got to Cuba other ships got there and because of Decree 937 they could not board because there were to many Jewish immigrants already there. They were told to wait to see what happened. The anxiousness or impeding departure transformed into anxiety and suspiciousness as the waiting prolonged from hours to days.
It turned out that the passengers aboard the St. Louis would not be allowed to land, not even 250 to allow room for return passengers. The St. Louis was given notice to leave by Friday, June 2 at 10 a.m. No options we left for the St. Louis, if they did not leave peacefully they would be forced out by the Cuban navy.

An Immigrant family

Jewish immigrants await for their inspection at Ellis Island, New York, before entering the United States.

The First Encounter with America

Starting a New life in America meant finding work for all new immigrants. Some of the earliest Jewish Immigrants came to America as traders. Also some earned livings as bakers, candle makers, shoemakers, engravers, tailors, silversmiths, wig makers, and dye manufacturers. The countless German Jews who arrived after the 1830s introduced a new job for the Jewish American looking for money: a Jewish peddler. Peddlers brought objects that seemed like luxuries to the frontier families they were selling them to. Some Jewish peddlers earned enough money to open their own small store. Many eastern European Jews found work in the garment industry, which was always growing at a rapid pace. Though conditions in the factories were brutal often immigrants were thankful to be getting the meager wages that they did. Safety standards were low, and workers were often maimed by the machinery.

Immigrants loading their stuff on to the ship that will take them to America

Were the New Immigrants Welcome in Our Land of Freedom?

At work and in their daily life jews aced prejudice, called anti- Semitism. Anti- Jewish pamphlets were posted all over towns and ads for jobs sometimes said "No Jews Wanted." However, it was the Eastern European Jews however who suffered the most. They were the poorest of the Jewish immigrants and their language and clothing marked them as "different." Vicious cartoons and actors in plays created their image of a "typical Jew." The Ku Klux Klan, who was originally an anti- black group targeted Jews for its brutal activities. Americans started blaming Jewish immigrants for different things such as the depression that they were going through.

Davis- other Jewish man
Greg- Jewish man
Allison- Ticket person
Micah- Narrator

Boys- Scarves, Plain/dark colored shirt, hats, pants
Girls- Long sleeve shirts, long skirts, and aprons

Davis- shalone

Greg- shalone

Davis- I'm so excited for this trip.. Now that we are leaving Germany we do not have to worry about religious persecution

Greg- it's about time... You see, yesterday my friend was taken to a concentration camp. That was when I knew it was time to leave.

Davis- I know. For so long I have been afraid and hiding in my basement from the Nazi's but now that we are off on the way to America we don't have to be concerned.

Allison (day) Micah (night)- ticket...

(Greg and Davis then give her their tickets then they proceed to get on the boat)

Greg-Yes, this will be a new begining. Are you ready for America?

Davis- Yes, I am ready for freedom in the new land

Greg- I agree, well we better get some sleep, this will be a long trip

Micah-Few months pass and now they are in America. On the long way to America the two men manage to survive with full health. Many were detained on Ellis Island because they had Conjunctivitis or what is now called pink eye. They had no cure for it and the disease spread quickly especially in the confined spaces on the boats over.

Davis- YES! Finally we are in America.

Greg- I know now that we are here we do not have to hide anymore and we can be free to do anything we want and worship and religion we decide to choose.

Davis- Good thing we brought all of our money with us to find a good place to live.

Micah- But even though they brought all of their money with them, it was not enough and they had to find a hardworking job to be able to survive. German Jews who arrived had brought over Jewish peddling, and that's exactly what the two men did. Later on in life the two men got enough money to start their own small store for shoes.