Chapter 8:

"Trying to Save the Refugees"

Quotes from the film:


          “ My strategy is to delay the ship long enough for the refugee advocates to come down. ”

        ~ JL Morewitz, Virginia Maritime Lawyer

      “Yesterday I received a call that a ship is here with 86 Jewish war refugees who have been denied entry into the United States. While they’re stuck on this ship, the least we can do is try and comfort them with some Kosher meals."

~ Elise Margolies, Norfolk NCJW

Conversation Starters:​​​

  • In this excerpt, Virginia Maritime Lawyers JL Morewitz said that his strategy was to delay the ship.  How can a maritime lawyer help refugees on a ship? What's a maritime lawyer? ​

Dig deeper...

  • What are some legal strategies that the lawyer could do to hold the ship at the port?

  • Why was it unpopular to help European Jews at that time?

  • Why was the Assistant Secretary of State, Breckinridge Long suspicious that there were communist and Nazi spies aboard the ship? 

  • What was the US policy regarding foreigners and quotas at that time? (move to chapter with Blanche?)

  • The National Council of Jewish Women brought Kosher meals to the refugees on the ship. What does kosher mean?

  • How can small acts of kindness make an impact on individual's lives? 

  • Discuss some obstacles that refugees may face when hoping to find safety in the US today.

What can I do?

If you found out that refugees needed help today, what are some things that you and your community could do to help them on a local or national level?