Cinda Lawrence - Actress

The Promise

The reason for this web page involves a promise.  The photo above has been on the wall in my living room since 2003.  

It is a photo from an article published in Parade Magazine on December 7, 2003. Here is link to a more recent article:

The article tells the following story about the people in the picture and hundreds more:

On the eve of World War II, the U.S. government turned away the S.S. St. Louis, a ship that left Hamburg, Germany on May 13, 1939 - 78 years ago - carrying 937 men, women, and children fleeing the Nazis. The "U.S. government" here means President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  Pleas were made to Roosevelt to save the passengers; he ignored them. Because of his lack of a response, the ship was forced to return to Europe - back to where the Nazis were exterminating the Jews. And because of it 254 people on that ship - including some of the faces you see above -- lost their lives by the time the war ended in 1939:

“Sailing so close to Florida that they could see the lights of Miami, some passengers on the St. Louis cabled President Franklin D. Roosevelt asking for refuge,” the Holocaust museum noted. “Roosevelt never responded.” 

Years ago when I read this article and I saw this photo, I cut it out and put it on my wall -- for one reason --- so that I would never forget.  I have looked at the faces in this photo many times over the years. The faces alone speak for themselves.  When I put this photo on my wall, I made a promise to the people in the picture who died in the concentration camps.  I promised them: "As long as I am alive, I will never forget."  Now that we have the technology of the internet and websites, I keep this photo on my website for the same reason. 


I think this particular promise, for every one of us on earth, may be the most important promise made in history - never to forget.  


"We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."

Elie Wiesel