Medical certificate : Paper : Printed, Handwritten : Ink : Beige, Black, Grey ; Ht: 4 in. x W: 6 1/4 in.
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March 20, 1944-May 02, 1944
1 horizontal page, single-sided. Folded once vertically. Document is a vaccination certificate for Jakob Baron, issued by the Health Service of the Colonial Navigation Company. Document attests that he was vaccinated against smallpox on March 3, 1944, and a test on May 2, 1944 found him to be immune. Document is signed by the surgeon of the ship Serpa Pinto. Narrative: Jakob Baron was the father of the donor, Maurice Baron. Maurice Baron was born in Nancy, France in 1931. He fled south to Toulouse in 1940 with his family, where they were assigned forced residence status on February 2, 1941. The Vichy Statute of October 4, 1940 stated that foreign Jews could at any time be assigned a forced residence by the prefect of the department in which they resided. This forced residence was in Bagnères-de-Luchon, on the Spanish border. On December 17, 1942 the Barons left Bagnères-de-Luchon, crossed the Pyrenees on foot, entered Spain and lived in Barcelona for one year.The Barons obtained visas to enter Canada via Portugal and travelled to Philadelphia via the Serpa Pinto, which left Lisbon on March 23, 1944 and docked in Philadelphia on April 6, 1944. They arrived in Montreal by train on April 8, 1944. The Serpa Pinto was a Portuguese transport ship, which sailed under the command of Captain Americo Dos Santos. With a capacity of 600 people, the ship made regular trips from Lisbon, Portugal to Rio de Janeiro, New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore. It has been estimated that the ship transported about 7800 refugees, among them hundreds of Jews during the Second World War.