Life Aboard Ship

Temporary Refuge

"They had parties every night."

"Well, [my Aunt Edie] said there were a lot of young people, and she said that they had parties every night. This was a luxury liner. And it was taken over by the Nazis, so they flew the Nazi flag. They had a big picture of Hitler in the dining room, but the captain was a very compassionate man. He was German, but he wasn’t necessarily on board with the administration, and he told the crew after they sailed that he wanted them to treat these passengers with dignity, and to be honorable to them, and to treat them as if they were any other passengers-- they weren’t Jews, refugees-- and that’s what they did.

And they took down the Nazi flag, and I understand on Shabbat, which was Friday night dinners, they covered the picture of Hitler up. And my youngest aunt apparently had a good time also, because just recently I found a picture of her with several young children that was taken on the boat, and she looked very happy. And it gave me satisfaction to see that, even if I knew that later on it was going to be heartbreaking."