Emergency Refugee Shelter at Fort Ontario

Fort Ontario from the air In August of 1944, 982 refugees from war-torn Europe were placed in an internment camp at Fort Ontario to await the outcome of the Second World War. The majority of these refugees were Jewish and had recently been liberated from the persecutions of Nazism in central Europe. The Emergency Refugee Shelter at Fort Ontario was established by a directive from President Franklin Roosevelt.

Their stay in Oswego was to become an emotional event for the community of Oswego and a political conundrum for the nation. It was not until January of 1946 that the gates of the War Refugee Center were opened and the refugees allowed to become truly free.

The following information related to Safe Haven is available from Penfield Library:

Additional information is available from: