By Gary Ginsburg, Commander, Post 41-NY
Nearly 1,000 refugees and Holocaust survivors arrived in the United States’ only refugee camp on August 5, 1944. Exactly 75 years later, 200 people gathered to remember them at The Safe Haven Museum, which is located at the site of the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter in Oswego, New York. Among the crowd were 19 of those refugees, as well as their families, friends, and community leaders.
The Consul General of Israel in New York, Dani Dayan, was just one of the many speakers at the event. Dayan expressed his “most sincere thanks and appreciation to the people of this small city with a population of about 18,000 – Oswego, New York for opening the space of Fort Ontario and their hearts to these Holocaust survivors during 1944, which was a most difficult and violent time in history.”
While many of us think of Oswego, New York in terms of only three things – a State University of New York college campus, a nuclear power plant, and severe winter weather – the Safe Haven Museum and story of the Fort Ontario Refugee Shelter is both an extraordinary and positive chapter in both Jewish and American history.
Volume 73. Number 3. 2019