WHY SHOULD WE CELEBRATE THE DOMINICAN NORTH COAST?
THE CITY OF SOSÚA HAS A DEEP AND RICH HISTORY
Our Case Statement
Just over a year before the official onset of World War II, and a mere four months prior to Kristallnacht, in response to the plight of Jewish refugees desperate to flee murderous persecution, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt convened the Evian Conference in 1938. Hopeful European Jews looked to the Evian Conference for “safe haven”. The world did NOT act. Following Britain’s and the United States lead, no attending country committed to accept a significant number of refugees; except one, the Dominican Republic. Led by instruction from then Dominican Dictator Rafael Trujillo, The Dominican Republic offered to accept up to 100,000 Jewish refugees during World War II. In 1940, an agreement was signed and the first Jewish settlers came to Sosua, an abandoned banana plantation and small beach town on the northern coast of the island. Through this remarkable story of Holocaust survival, help us celebrate Sosua's past, present, and future. Please join us by raising public awareness of this scarcely known historic series of events to help teach future generations to stand up to intolerance and what the terrible results of NOT taking action can be.
The genesis of the Sosua75 project vision combines the historic legacy of the post Evian Conference 1940's arrival and survival of the European Jewish settlers, what the Mirabal Sisters represent to the Dominican Republic and to all women of the world in terms of hope, justice, and resistance; both in tandem with connecting the indigenous Taino culture's survival and presence.
Sharing a rich multi-ethnic cultural heritage, Sosúa is the intersection where many memories and cultures interact serving as a harmonious place where their blended history can come together to benefit the community.
-Elihu Baver, Sosua75 Board Chairman