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Safe Haven Museum Wants Your Stories

OSWEGO, NY – If you or someone in your family has memories of the 1944-1946 Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter located in Oswego, then the Safe Haven Museum wants to hear from you.

Museum board members and SUNY Oswego students have launched a project called, “The Neighbors Project,” to collect and catalogue these stories.

SUNY Oswego student Tuqa Youssef said, “We are interested in any of the stories of Oswego residents who interacted with the refugees, or who were in any way involved with the camp.”

The group is collecting memories for the 70th reunion of the camp, which will be celebrated June 19-22.

Board president of Oswego’s Safe Haven Museum and Education Center, Judy Coe Rapaport, said, “We value the remembrances of the Oswego residents who are such an important part of the history of the shelter. As we plan this 70th anniversary, we want to make sure their stories are heard.”

The Safe Haven Museum and Education Center is located at 2 E. Seventh St., near Fort Ontario in Oswego.

It commemorates the lives of the 982 European refugees from the Holocaust who were welcomed into the camp in 1944; the only one of its kind in the United States.

A number of events to mark the anniversary and celebrate the reunion are being planned as well.

Youssef and Rapaport want to encourage interested residents to participate in the Neighbors Project by contacting Professor Denise DiRienzo at (315) 312-2022 or through e-mail at [email protected]

Please use the subject “Neighbors” and be sure to leave a name and phone number.