The Trial of FDR is a live docudrama stage play dramatizing the controversy surrounding the voyage of the SS St. Louis, a ship carrying 937 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany motivated by the ever-increasing Nazi campaign against the Jews culminating in the events of Kristallnacht. The ship was turned away first by Cuba and then by the U.S., thus forced to return to Europe where ultimately over 200 of its passengers perished in the Holocaust. This play considers the terrible impact of the decision to deny asylum to these desperate refugees. It is written and directed by Robert M. Krakow, an attorney, playwright, and documentarian.
Kristallnacht – the Night of Broken Glass – commemorates when Nazis rampaged throughout Germany destroying synagogues, murdering over 100 innocent people, vandalizing Jewish businesses, and seizing 30,000 Jewish men who were taken to concentration camps, with little or no response from the world, demonstrating to Hitler that he was free to proceed with his nefarious plans against the Jewish people. The Roosevelt Administration’s handling of the Holocaust Jewish refugee issue has been a hotly debated topic for decades. No single event has had more influence on this debate than the ill-fated Voyage of the SS St. Louis. This unique docudrama puts President Roosevelt on trial for the decision
to refuse US entry to the asylum-seeking passengers.
Co-sponsored by Jewish Federation and Foundation of Greater Toledo Ruth Fajerman Markowicz Holocaust Resource Center, the University of Toledo Roger Ray Institute for the Humanities,
and the College of Arts and Letters.