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Oral Histories: Emergency Refugee Shelter at Fort Ontario (Safe Haven)

In August 1944, almost one thousand refugees from Europe were moved to an internment camp at Fort Ontario in New York to await the outcome of World War II. Their time in Oswego was an emotional one, and they were finally given their total freedom in January 1946 when the war refugee center released them. Decades later, Professor Lawrence Baron of St. Lawrence University interviewed a number of those former refugees as part of a three-part radio series in conjunction with WRVO, a local NPR affiliate. In 2004 and 2005, a group of SUNY-Oswego students digitized these interviews from their original audiocassettes, and they are now available right here for the web-browsing public. Visitors can listen to the interviews in their entirety, though it is worth noting that some of the recordings stop abruptly. The interviewees include Joseph Smart, who was the director of the center from 1944 to 1945 and a host of others, such as teachers at the center and former residents.
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Date of Scout Publication 2011-04-15
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