A Grandson Traces His Grandfather's Voyage to Auschwitz

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Today marks the 75th anniversary of a ship setting sail. It's a ship you probably haven't heard of, but one that tells an important and dark story about our country's past.

The ship was the MS St. Louis. It departed from Hamburg, Germany on May 13th, 1939, with 937 Jewish refugees seeking asylum abroad. But the ship's passengers were denied refuge by the United States, Canada, and Cuba. The ship returned back to Europe on June 20, sealing a tragic fate for many aboard. 

Two of the Jewish refugees were Alexander Goldschmidt and his son Helmut. They returned from their voyage on the St. Louis, only to die in Auschwitz. 

Alexander's grandson, Martin Goldsmith, shares their story in his new book "Alex's Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance." It's a tale of how the ghosts of history, big and small, influence our identity and our future.