Voyage of the Damned: A Shocking True Story of Hope, Betrayal, and Nazi Terror

Voyage of the Damned: A Shocking True Story of Hope, Betrayal, and Nazi Terror

Gordon Thomas Max Morgan-Witts / Jan 28, 2020

Voyage of the Damned A Shocking True Story of Hope Betrayal and Nazi Terror On May the luxury liner St Louis sailed from Hamburg one of the last ships to leave Nazi Germany before World War II erupted Aboard were Jews some had already been in concentration camp

  • Title: Voyage of the Damned: A Shocking True Story of Hope, Betrayal, and Nazi Terror
  • Author: Gordon Thomas Max Morgan-Witts
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 339
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • On May 13, 1939, the luxury liner St Louis sailed from Hamburg, one of the last ships to leave Nazi Germany before World War II erupted Aboard were 937 Jews some had already been in concentration camps who believed they had bought visas to enter Cuba The voyage of the damned had begun.Before the St Louis was halfway across the Atlantic, a power struggle ensued betweenOn May 13, 1939, the luxury liner St Louis sailed from Hamburg, one of the last ships to leave Nazi Germany before World War II erupted Aboard were 937 Jews some had already been in concentration camps who believed they had bought visas to enter Cuba The voyage of the damned had begun.Before the St Louis was halfway across the Atlantic, a power struggle ensued between the corrupt Cuban immigration minister who issued the visas and his superior, President Bru The outcome The refugees would not be allowed to land in Cuba.In America, the Brown Shirts were holding Nazi rallies in Madison Square Garden anti Semitic Father Coughlin had an audience of fifteen million Back in Germany, plans were being laid to implement the final solution And aboard the St Louis, 937 refugees awaited the decision that would determine their fate.Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts have re created history in this meticulous reconstruction of the voyage of the St Louis Every word of their account is true the German High Command s ulterior motive in granting permission for the mission of mercy the confrontations between the refugees and the German crewmen the suicide attempts among the passengers and the attitudes of those who might have averted the catastrophe, but didn t.In reviewing the work, the New York Times was unequivocal An extraordinary human document and a suspense story that is hard to put down But it is than that It is a modern allegory, in which the SS St Louis becomes a symbol of the SS Planet Earth In this larger sense the book serves a greater purpose than mere drama.

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    • Best Read [Gordon Thomas Max Morgan-Witts] Ü Voyage of the Damned: A Shocking True Story of Hope, Betrayal, and Nazi Terror || [Suspense Book] PDF ✓
      339 Gordon Thomas Max Morgan-Witts
    • thumbnail Title: Best Read [Gordon Thomas Max Morgan-Witts] Ü Voyage of the Damned: A Shocking True Story of Hope, Betrayal, and Nazi Terror || [Suspense Book] PDF ✓
      Posted by:Gordon Thomas Max Morgan-Witts
      Published :2019-07-08T20:08:06+00:00

    About "Gordon Thomas Max Morgan-Witts"

      • Gordon Thomas Max Morgan-Witts

        Gordon Thomas born 1933 is a Welsh author who has written than fifty books.Thomas was born in Wales, in a cemetery keeper s cottage where his grandmother lived He had his first story published at nine years old in a Boy s Own Paper competition With his father in the RAF, he traveled widely and was educated at the Cairo High School, the Maritz Brothers in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and, lastly, at Bedford Modern School His first book, completed at the age of seventeen, is the story of a British spy in Russia during World War II, titled Descent Into Danger He refused the offer of a job at a university in order to accompany a traveling fair for a year he used those experiences for his novel, Bed of Nails Since then his books have been published worldwide He has been a foreign correspondent beginning with the Suez Crisis and ending with the first Gulf War He was a BBC writer producer for three flagship BBC programmes Man Alive, Tomorrow s World and Horizon.He is a regular contributor to Facta, the respected monthly Japanese news magazine, and he lectures widely on the secret world of intelligence He also provides expert analysis on intelligence for US and European television and radio programs.His book Gideon s Spies Mossad s Secret Warriors became a major documentary for Channel Four that he wrote and narrated The Spy Machine It followed three years of research during which he was given unprecedented access to Mossad s main personnel The documentary was co produced by Open Media and Israfilm.Gideon s Spies Mossad s Secret Warriors has so far been published in 16 languages A source for this book was Ari Ben Menashe, a former Israeli intelligence agent, and legendary Israeli spy Rafi Eitan According to Charles Foster in Contemporary Review Writers who know their place are few and far between fortunately Mr Thomas is one of them By keeping to his place as a tremendous storyteller without a preacher s pretensions, he has put his book amongst the important chronicles of the state of Israel.


    1. I came across this book purely by chance while researching a different book.This is a shocking True Story of Hope, Betrayal and Nazi Terror. German ocean Liner The St. Louis set sail from Hamburg to Cuba on May 13, 1939. The vessel was carrying 937 Jewish refugees seeking asylum from the Nazi death camps. The ship was under the command of a very capable and compassionate Captain called Gustav Schröder and the destination was Cuba where asylum was requested and granted for the passengers . Howev [...]

    2. What an astounding, compelling, infuriating book. It is no mean feat to take a story where the ending is, or should be, well known, and make it suspenseful, but Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts do exactly that here. Published in 1974, when there were survivors still present to share their memories, VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED tells the story of "the ship that shamed the world." The St. Louis left Hamburg, Germany in May 1939 with 900 Jewish refugees aboard. Their destination was Havana, Cuba and, to [...]

    3. CLOSING THOUGHTS:It seems almost trite to talk about what happened to the passengers of the St. Louis as *tragic*, given the enormity of the Holocaust (and, especially since some at least survived the ordeal), and yet, there's the added element of worldwide rejection. Here are Jews who escaped and yet were not accepted, most notably not by the United States. Their ship turns into an unintentional floating concentration camp. As the author says, they find themselves bereft of the most fundamental [...]

    4. This is an excellent but very sad true account of the May 1939 trans Atlantic voyage of the St. Louis ocean-liner from Hamburg Germany to Cuba. 937 Jewish refugees were attempting to leave Nazi controlled Germany with the eventual goal of immigrating to the United States. This is a day by day detailed account of that voyage, telling personal events of the passengers and crew. A great deal of this book focuses on political discussions amongst Germany, Cuba, United States, England, France and othe [...]

    5. I recently visited the Holocaust museum in Washington D.C. It was so hard and sad to see the graphic images. What I learned from the museum is that it was not only the Jews who were persecuted for their religion and looks but anyone who looked different than what Hitler thought they should.I read this book as I believe my brother-in-laws father was a young boy on the SS St Louis. I wanted to read the plight of what he went through. I now see there were so many hands in the cookie jar. I have alw [...]

    6. Following the tragic voyage of the St. Louis and the Jewish refugees that were aboard, you'll learn that the Nazis weren't the only ones who felt Jews were less then human. Bound for Cuba, you'll read about individual people who make this tragic story so heartwrenching and infuriating. From the captain who realized the ordeal he was in charge of, to the corrupt Cuban officials who only thought of money and power, there are so many interesting and complex people in this story you'll find yourself [...]

    7. You think the US has immigration problems today? What about the world? How is it that nine hundred people became hostage on the St. Louis? Where were all the open borders back in the late 30’s? That’s right, they didn’t exist. As the world geared up for the coming war everyone knew Germany was getting ready to launch, instead of taking action, they all sat on their hands waiting for the storm to pass. Germany was offering Jews to get out, but at what cost? It’s amazing how many people we [...]

    8. The true story of the voyage of the SS St. Louis and its Jewish refugee passengers on the eve of WWII. I listened to the audiobook, primarly on two long drives. The book is a just-the-facts chronological recitation based upon extensive interviews with the survivors. Part of me wouldn't have minded a little more background/discussion regarding the refugee problem and the role of the various world leaders, especially FDR who is a bit of a cipher here, but on the other hand the book does not suffer [...]

    9. 3.5 stars. I read the Kindle version which had an unacceptably high number of typos. Also, the second photo insert gave away a spoiler which degraded the reading experience.Almost as much current events (persecuted minorites are forced to flee their homeland & are unwelcome everywhere else) as history (events take place a few months before the outbreak of WW II). The storytelling is straightforward & unadorned and each chapter tells what happened each day of the voyage. No chapters are t [...]

    10. A TRULY INCREDIBLE TALE“In 1939, with an election pending, an opinion poll showed that 83 per cent of the [U.S.] electorate was against increasing the number of refugees allowed into the country.” (p. 18). It’s easy to loath bureaucracies. At best they’re often inefficient and/or incompetent. At worst evil and/or corrupt.Voyage of the Damned: A Shocking True Story of Hope, Betrayal and Nazi Terror, by Gordon Thomas & Max Morgan-Witts is a story about committees and bureaucracies. Som [...]

    11. The story is incredible and one that we should all know. The writing was very-fact driven, which is the natural result of the author piecing together his research, but it made for somewhat dry reading. Still read it because you should know how these atrocities happened.

    12. I'm inclined to begin with "there are no words," but of course, there are. It's just impossible to do this story justice, and I feel that I can not even begin to adequately come close to reviewing it. So, just this: I couldn't put it down. The detail, the historical facts, the writing, everything about this book was incredible. More so, thought is that it is disturbing and frightening and sobering to think this HAPPENED, and it is disturbing and frightening and sobering to think that THIS IS HAP [...]

    13. A very powerful book about the 937 Jews who were fortunate enough to board the ship known as the St. Louis in Hamburg in 1939 and sail to Havana Harbour. However, as the author describes so vividly, they were disappointed and bitterly frustrated by the refusal of the Cuban government to admit them and this was repeated by the Americans as well. Eventually, the majority were returned to Europe where many found their way to the very concentration camps they thought they had avoided. The author is [...]

    14. A necessary and sometimes shocking read, chronicling the fate of Jewish refugees seeking for a welcoming port as they escaped the trouble brewing in Germany. The turning away from their plight was both challenging and horrifying, especially in light of the current mood regarding immigration. "there existed a xenophobia which made the US not so much a melting pot for racial and religious differences, but rather a pit for racial and religious antagonisms. On the edge of this caldron perched the 10 [...]

    15. A story I didn't know, the voyage of Jews fleeing persecution from Germany prior to WW2 bound for Cuba. As they arrive the Cuban government refuse to take them, the passengers becoming hostages to politics, prejudice and incompetence. Well researched having interviews and documents from those on-board giving a hard and uncomfortable story.

    16. The best totally depressing book I've read in a long, long time. Reading how these people, in fact all the refugees from Hitler's Reich were treated by the world made me embarrassed to be part of the human race. Yes. The ironic analogies to Trump's America were pretty powerful here.

    17. Compelling way to present history. Here are heart wrenching stories and enough historical information to keep the attention of those interested in information as well as those interested in stories.

    18. It always feels strange to say I "liked" a book about the atrocities of Nazi-torn Germany. This older book was recommended by a friend who shares my interest in that era, though, and I'm glad that I took her advice and read it, because it answered a lot of questions for me.I have always wondered how the rest of the world could sit by for so long and do nothing while hundreds of thousands of Jews were sent to concentration camps and ultimately put to death by the Nazis. This book answers that que [...]

    19. History repeats itself. Roosevelt refused help to refugees then. Trump now.I knew the story of the St. Louis for many years, but this book sets out the details of the terrible stay in Cuban waters while their lives became nothing more than political pawns and a means for more money and corruption. I was amazed at the egos of so called professional negotiators from New York's Joint Committee. If these are accurate facts, Berenson's ego got in the way of successful negotiations to release the pass [...]

    20. I enjoyed this book about the voyage of the St. Louis, carrying Jewish passengers to Cuba, where they hoped to settle or move to the United States. The cruelty of the Nazis was nothing new, but I was surprised to learn about the corruption and greed of Cuba at that time. To enter Cuba, passengers were required by the Cuban government to buy a $500 visa. However, The Cuban director of immigration Manuel Benitez concocted a plan to sell the Jews a cheaper $150 landing permit, which was totally bog [...]

    21. I have to admit that I'd never heard of the SS St Louis before I picked up this book, and had only vaguely heard of the title of the book, with no real associations.Later, in some other source (I believe it was The Terrible Secret) I got some background information about why refugees were not permitted to land in places like Cuba, or Canada, or the US. Basically, the fear was that refugees would flee wholesale, spread their horror stories, and force the US and other governments into precipitate [...]

    22. There are so many important events in history that you never learn about unless you research a specific area. Perhaps it's because the event only impacted a "small" number of people such as, let's say, only 937 of them.This book tells the true story of the cruise ship St. Louis which, in 1939, sailed from Hamburg, Germany, on a trip to Havana, Cuba. On board were 937 Jews who had been allowed to leave Germany in exchange for, basically, everything that they owned. They also had to promise that t [...]

    23. A very interesting, worthwhile read, the story of the 900 or so Jewish refugees banished from their homeland, Germany in the spring/summer of 1939. Stylistically, the book reads like a soap opera or a play, dramatizing the 'good' and 'evil' characters on the ship, from their departure in Hamburg to the arrival in Havana, and finally, the sad return back to Europe. I found this to be a bit fluffy for my taste. Captain Schroeder is an interesting charactera German Navy captain that earnestly tries [...]

    24. I read this book many years ago, but have not forgotten this painful story. Many are familiar with the saga of the S.S.St.Louis, which purportedly was to rescue Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe and deliver them to safe haven. The narration conveys the frustration, fear and outrageous, unjustifiable manipulations these people encountered in their numerous attempts to flee. Despite the fact that I had known of this ship, I was horrified to discover thatDemocraticUSA was a party to these shameful, [...]

    25. I purchased this book years ago because the title intrigued me. Now that I am reading about World War II this year, I selected it from my library. This book doesn't have much good to say about all the nations that turned their backs on the plight of Jews fleeing Germany and the threat of extermination in Nazi concentration camps. This group of almost 1000 Jewish refugees was transported around the seas on the St. Louis, a German luxury liner, while the kind captain (Gustav Schroeder) and authori [...]

    26. I read this book in preparation for a library event focusing on the St. Louis (the name of the ship that carries the passengers on the titular damned voyage).Though not an exciting read, it was extremely interesting, and - as one would expect of a book with a Holocaust theme - extremely sad. When I got about halfway or three quarters of the way through, I took a break of several weeks. I can't tell if the break was that I was getting bored with the non-action (after all, a book the plot of which [...]

    27. This is an amazing book about a dreadful episode just before the Second World War. As the number of people trying to flee Nazi Germany increased, other countries became less and less happy to accept the refugees because of the strain it put on their own economies and social systems. In May/June 1939 one particular ship, the SS Louis, with 937 passengers aboard was refused permission to dock and offload in Cuba and this book follows the voyage day by day together with the discussions and negotiat [...]

    28. This was a very sound account of one of the most disgraceful stories of the immediate pre second world war period. Nine hundred passengers, a majority of them Jewish refugees from Germany sail to Cuba expecting to be allowed to stay there while they wait permission to enter the United States. You should read the book to discover what happens next.The authors' have done their homework extremely well, using interviews from those who were there, newsreels, newspaper coverage and other sources to pr [...]

    29. Recounts the events of 900+ German Jews ordered to leave their home country of Germany and sail to Cuba. Of course, they are first bilked of all money, their own and more from friends abroad. But they were never meant to be received in Cuba nor elsewhere because the Germans under Hitler's wicked spell cast the spell across the Atlantic through propaganda and so incited hate and fear of the refugees. Excellent writing because of the extent and honesty the authors went to get first hand accounts f [...]

    30. Although not especially well written, this book fills a niche by directly addressing the feelings and observations of those actually involved in this sad example of the way the humans, especially those in positions of power react to popular pressure when making decisions about those without power and at risk. I could not help but see parallels in to the treatment of those trying to escape the tragedy playing itself out in the Middle East now. now, as then, the United States is on the wrong side [...]

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