Ruth B. Mandel, a Voice for Women in Politics, Dies at 81Breaking News
tags: obituaries, Holocaust, Jewish history, refugees, womens history
Ruth B. Mandel was an infant when she and her parents fled Germany on the eve of World War II. They were among the 937 passengers, almost all of them Jewish refugees, aboard the ocean liner St. Louis on what was often called the Voyage of the Damned.
The Nazis had allowed the ship to sail with the expectation that the Jews would never be allowed to disembark — thus, the Nazis claimed, proving Hitler’s point that Jews were unwanted and justifying his persecution of them.
Indeed, Cuba spurned them. So did the United States and Canada. The ship was forced back to Europe, where roughly a quarter of the passengers would die in Hitler’s death camps.
A lucky few, including Ruth and her parents, made it safely to England. They moved to the United States after the war, and she went on to become director of the influential Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
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