Yesterday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a U.N.-designated day of solemn memorial that President Donald Trump spent banning refugees fleeing violence from entering the United States. But as heavily criticized as Trump’s attitudes toward immigrants have been, they would have fit in perfectly in 1939, as demonstrated by a new Twitter account designed to remind people that there’s nothing new under the sun.
The conceit of @Stl_Manifest is simple: written in the first person, each post lists the name of a man or woman who was turned away from the United States as part of the so-called “Voyage Of The Damned”—an attempt by 908 Jewish refugees to escape Nazi persecution by immigrating to North America via the MS St. Louis ocean liner in 1939—and the location where they were eventually killed after being returned to Europe. (The ordeal was later turned into both a book, and a star-studded British film.) Scholars estimate that approximately 254 of the St. Louis’ passengers were eventually killed over the course of World War II, after the countries that finally accepted them—Belgium and France, among others—were overrun by the Nazi threat. Consequently, the twitter account made 250 or so posts yesterday, with pictures where available, as a potent reminder of the human cost when America closes its doors.