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The Safe Haven Museum & Education Center - Oswego, N.Y., U.S.A.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member PTCRAZY
N 43° 27.829 W 076° 30.255
18T E 378316 N 4813421
Quick Description: The Safe Haven Museum and Education Center is located in one of the 125 buildings that housed refugees during World War II. Safe Haven was the only "camp" of its kind in the United States for victims of the Nazi Holocaust.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 8/27/2008 8:09:53 PM
Waymark Code: WM4HV6
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 102

Long Description:
From August of 1944 to February of 1946, Fort Ontario in Oswego, New York became the only shelter for European refugees in the United States.
This museum tells the story of these people and the town that was their temporary home during this period of time.

In April of 1943, the United States and Great Britain held a meeting in Bermuda to find a solution to the growing refugee crisis at Evian-Les-Bains, France. However, none of the representatives of the countries that attended the meeting would agree to accept any of the refugees into their country. Finally, on June 9th 1944, President Roosevelt sent a cablegram to Ambassador Robert Murphy in Algiers, that pointed to the fact that the facility in southern Italy for refugees was overtaxed, and it was important that the United States indicate that it is ready to share the burden of caring for refugees during the war. Accordingly, it was decided that approximately 1000 refugees should be immediately brought from Italy to this country. They would be placed in an Emergency Refugee Shelter, established at Fort Ontario in Oswego, New York, where under appropriate security restrictions, they would remain until the end of the war.
President Roosevelt, along with the War Refugee Board, set up the criteria for refugees who were willing to relocate to the United States. Some of the requirements were that families must not be seperated, a wide variety of skilled persons would be needed to help make the "camp" be self sustainable, Those in greatest need would be chosen first, and as many as possible from "concentration camps" that fit the criteria.
Three Thousand refugees applied to relocate to the U.S., but when the selection process was complete, only 982 were selected to make the journey to the U.S., aboard the U.S.S. Henry Gibbons.
Upon the arrival of the Henry Gibbons to New York Harbor, the refugees were ferried to Hoboken, N.J., then by train to Fort Ontario in Oswego.
The City of Oswego welcomed them to their temporary home quickly and soon an advisory committee was formed to deal with any issues that arose, such as employment, schooling, health, welfare and recreation. By mid-September, 211 of the refugees were employed at the fort.

On February 27th, 1945, the first refugee left Fort Ontario to return to their family in South Africa. On May 30th, another group of 13 left to return to Yugoslavia, with another 55 leaving in August. The rest of the refugees had applied for Visa's to stay in the United States. On December 22nd, 1945, President Truman directed the Secretary of State and the Attorney General to process the refugees as immigrants to the U.S. with the last person to leave Fort Ontario on February 5th, 1946.

The museum has many photos and documents relating to this period, however, after taking many pictures to add to the gallery, I was told by the museum curator that all of the photos and documents are protected by copyrights and cannot be published without their expressed permission. The pictures currently in the waymark gallery were taken outside the museum at displays that were set up for potential visitors as a teaser to bring them inside, there is no copyright on these items. NOTE: (information gathered from the Safe Haven website, The Fort Ontario Website, and my own personal visit to the museum.)
Physical Address:
2 East 7th Street
Oswego, NY USA
13126


Date Dedicated: 01/01/1989

Supporting Website: [Web Link]

Fee/Donation: $4.00 adult, $2.00 children, $1.50 students

Memorial Type: Museum

Visit Instructions:
A picture of you is required at the site. A full description of your thoughts and experience on the site.
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mTn_biKer65 visited The Safe Haven Museum & Education Center - Oswego, N.Y., U.S.A. 4/28/2012 mTn_biKer65 visited it