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Jornada Da Esperança - A Saga Do St. Louis (2013)

by Kathy Kacer(Favorite Author)
3.98 of 5 Votes: 3
Editora Melhoramentos
review 1: To Hope and BackBy Kathy KacerTo Hope and Back by Kathy Kacer is set in pre-World War 2 Germany. The year is 1939 and times are becoming unsettled and dangerous for Jews right across Europe. They are demonised and suffer persecution even before the vile events after the outbreak of war. Over 900 Jews board the sailing boat St. Louis in Hamburg and seek refuge in Cuba. Some have spent their life savings to purchase their tickets and once on board the ship they are treated with respect by the crew and Captain Schroeder. They sailed with much hope of starting a new life in Cuba with the ultimate aim of moving to the USA. However, as the ship races at top speed across the Atlantic Ocean, they lose favour with the Cubans as the Nazi propaganda machine takes hold. The Nazis conv... moreince the Cubans that the Jews on board are little better than criminals and that they should not accept them onto their shores. The hopes and dreams of the passengers are destroyed upon arrival when they are not permitted to disembark. Many people plead their case but all arguments fall upon deaf ears and they are faced with the prospect of returning to Germany, which they know would lead to their death. The book is told from three different perspectives, Sol and Lisa (both children) and ‘What the Captain Knew’. The reader empathises with the children who come from different social strata but both experience ship life, hopes and fears. Interspersed with their stories, is the Captain’s experiences and his desire to get his passengers to safety as soon as possible. The reader is frustrated by the lack of empathy shown by the Cuban, US and Canadian governments given what events took place a few years later. Eventually the ship is accepted by other countries in Europe but there is little comfort for many of the passengers because they are eventually captured by the Nazis anyway and therefore their quest for freedom was all in vain. The author finishes the book with explanatory notes about what happened to the main characters and fortunately they survived Hitler’s tyranny and eventually found safe haven in England and the USA.Karen Kacer is the author of similar books, including The Diary of Laura’s Twin and Hiding Edith. Students who enjoy war history, World War 2 and The Holocaust would find this book interesting because it adds insight into an aspect of war that I was not aware of before reading it.
review 2: In 1939, over 900 Jews sought refugee from Hitler and the rise of Nazism in Germany by boarding the St. Louis and heading to Cuba. Having purchased costly tickets, which in some cases used up families' entire life savings, they were treated kindly by the crew, including Captain Schroeder, and they were anticipating a new life in Cuba, or after a brief stay in Cuba, in the U.S. However, as the ship was racing across the ocean, trouble was brewing, as Nazi propaganda convinced many Cubans the soon-to-arrive Jews were poor, dirty criminals. As the ship reached Cuba, no one was allowed to disembark. While a few concerned people tried to convince either the Cuban government or the U.S. government to allow the emigrants in, the Jews feared what would happen if no one would take them--because returning to Germany would mean almost certain death.This is first-rate book that really makes the story of the St. Louis and her passengers come to life. It follows two children who really traveled on the ship, one a wealthy passenger experiencing seasickness and the other a third class passenger loving every minute on the ship. In alternating chapters, we follow them as they leave their homeland--and their fear--behind, only to be faced with a whole new fear when they reach Cuba. Interspersed throughout the books are also chapters titled "What the Captain Knew," which is a bit of a misnomer since the captain didn't know exactly what was going on, just that something wasn't right as he tried to get his passengers to Cuba as quickly as he could, in hopes of getting them into the country before anything could keep them out. The narrative style makes it a gripping choice, and readers will be aghast at the decisions made by hostile and/or weak governments who haggled over the Jews and their situation with little regard for their suffering. With its bittersweet ending, as the Jews did find new countries back in Europe but many were captured by the Nazis anyway, it shows readers the sobering reality of weakness and disregard for human life. less
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Good way to introduce children to this part of history. My 11 year old and I read it together.
Wow, that was really a surprised. It was a good read, and I learnt a few things!
Beautiful just beautiful!!!
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