In 1944, many Americans were opposed to taking in European refugees who had been displaced by World War II. In the midst of this unwelcoming climate, 982 refugees, many of whom were Jewish, arrived in Oswego, New York. Here, they were housed at Fort Ontario, the United States’ only refugee camp during the war. In order to be allowed to come to the United States, the refugees had to promise to return to Europe after the war ended. They also faced other difficulties, such as having no legal status in the United States and being unable to work while in the camp.
Join the Museum for a program exploring life at Fort Ontario during World War II. The program will feature an introductory presentation by Rebecca Erbelding, historian, archivist, and curator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, followed by a conversation with Doris Schechter and Ben Alalouf, survivors who lived at Fort Ontario, moderated by journalist and Columbia professor Keren Blankfeld. This program is co-presented with Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum.
A $10 suggested donation enables us to present programs like this one. We thank you for your support.
Live closed captions will be available during this program.
Public programming at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference); the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy C. Hochul and the New York State Legislature; Battery Park City Authority; The Goldie and David Blanksteen Foundation; Marcia Horowitz Educational Fund for Cross-Cultural Awareness; and other generous donors.