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Safe Haven at Oswego: Where the Holocaust Came to America

posted by Deb Denny at 2019-07-31 09:41:00

A special 75th Anniversary program will be held Monday, Aug. 5, at the Refugee Memorial Monument at Fort Ontario State Historic Site in Oswego, NY to commemorate the Aug. 5, 1944, arrival of nearly 1,000 Holocaust victims from Europe to the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter. 
During World War II, Fort Ontario was the only camp in the United States for victims of the Holocaust. It was at Fort Ontario where the American public and press got to hear first-person accounts from the victims of Nazi persecution and their personal stories of survival, bringing the horrifying Holocaust to Oswego and to the forefront of the nation’s mind and newspapers.
To begin the remembrance, Oswego’s church bells will ring at 7:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 5, to mark the arrival of 982 living and one deceased Holocaust refugee at the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter. Then, at 8:15 a.m. 19 of the approximately 30 surviving refugees and their families will board buses and travel to cemeteries in Central New York to remember and visit the graves of the one refugee who died on the journey and the 13 refugees who died at the shelter while it operated from Aug. 5 1944 to Feb. 5 1946.
At 1 p.m., refugees, their families, and guests will enjoy a kosher lunch together at the site of their first reunion at Fort Ontario State Historic Site and at 2 p.m., the formal 75th Anniversary Commemorative program will begin by the Refugee Monument. Free and open to the public, this portion of the commemorative day will include Ambassador Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York, as the featured speaker. As Consul General, he represents the State of Israel to communities from throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Delaware.

There will be a host of other speakers including Dr. Rebecca Erbelding, Curator and Historian of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, and author of “Rescue Board, The Untold Story of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe.” The nation’s leading expert on U.S. Refugee policy in Europe during World War II, she will present her insights on Fort Ontario’s unique historical significance during the program.

Learn about the Fascinating Story of Safe Haven and the Holocaust any time of year at the Safe Haven Museum at Fort Ontario. For more information, visit https://www.SafeHavenMuseum.com 

Fort Ontario State Historic Site is located at the north end of East Fourth Street, and the Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum is located at 2 E. Seventh St., Oswego.

Photos courtesy of Safe Haven Museum, Oswego NY.

posted at: 2019-07-31 09:41:00, last updated: 2019-08-01 20:46:06

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