Photograph of a group of European Jews saying morning prayer (Shajarit) aboard the Portuguese steamship São Thomé, en route to Mexico to fle ...

Identity statement area

Supplied Title:

Photograph of a group of European Jews saying morning prayer (Shajarit) aboard the Portuguese steamship São Thomé, en route to Mexico to flee the Holocaust.

Reference number:


Date of creation:

Between 1942-03  -  Between 1942-04

Level of description:

Unidad Documental Simple_en

Reference code:



Archival History:

Biography / Administrative history:

Emilio Rosenstein Ster was a doctor, photographer, and international brigade member of Jewish heritage, born in Lukow (Poland), January 5th, 1912. In 1928 he left for France to study medicine and became an activist in the French leftist alliance Front Populaire. He obtained a degree as a physician, surgeon, and obstetrician from the University of Paris in June of 1938. Later, he pursued various specialized courses in gynecology and colonial medicine at the Universities of Paris and Aix-Marseilles (France).

When the Civil War broke out in Spain, Emilio Rosenstein enlisted as a volunteer in the International Brigades, under the pseudonym Emil Vedin.

With the ranks of captain and physician major, he became part of the Dabrowski battalion of the XI International Brigade, and then part of the Armored Division of the International Brigade, working additionally as an interpreter for Russian soldiers.

Once the International Brigades had dissolved, Negrín's government gave their members Spanish citizenship, which Emilio Rosenstein accepted. Upon his return to France, Vedin took to helping colonies of Spanish children, an effort which he then documented in an important photographic collection. After the Wehrmact occupation of France, he knew he had to leave the country. Together with his sister, Gitta, he left from Casablanca in 1942 on the Portuguese steamship São Thomé, bound for Mexico. He obtained Mexican nationality and founded a medical clinic in Mexico City, where he died in the year 2001.

In Mexico, he undertook the release of the Diccionario de Especialidades Farmaceúticas (Dictionary of Pharmaceutical Specialties), a popular handbook edited annually in many Latin American countries.

Name of the creator(s):

Vedin, Emil (1912-2001)

Name of other related agents:

Centro Documental de la Memoria Histórica (Salamanca, España) - Coleccionista

Content and Structure

Scope and Content:

In 1942, the Portuguese cargo steamship São Thomé completed its journey from the port of Lisbon (Portugal) to the port of Veracruz (Mexico), carrying on board a group of European refugees that included Jews who were fleeing the Shoah, as well as supporters of the Spanish Republic who were fleeing Spain after the victory of Francisco Franco's army in the Civil War. The majority of them relied on passports and visas given to them by the Mexican ambassador in France, Gilberto Bosques Saldívar.

Conditions of Access and Use

General accessibility conditions:

©MCD. Archivos Estatales (España). La difusión de la información descriptiva y de las imágenes digitales de este documento ha sido autorizada por el titular de los derechos de propiedad intelectual exclusivamente para uso privado y para actividades de docencia e investigación. En ningún caso se autoriza su reproducción con finalidad lucrativa ni su distribución, comunicación pública y transformación por cualquier medio sin autorización expresa y por escrito del propietario.

Image accessibility condition:

Images/documents have no access restrictions

State of conservation:


Related documentation

Medium/Archival Material:

Digitized contains digitized images

Extent and medium

1 Fotografía(s) on Película Flexible_en .  Size  35 mm_en. 


Photography Style: