Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Safe Haven

Few people including myself (until last month) know that there is a Safe Haven Museum on the grounds of historic Fort Ontario. Even fewer know what the museum is about....I decided to take a quick trip to the museum and try to bring word of it to the public. 

The day was beautiful which allowed me the opportunity to take pictures inside and out for a video.  The story went on from there as I found out that there was a made for TV movie staring many notable people including Anne Bancroft and Martin Landau, recreating the story of Safe Haven and the woman who wrote the novel "Haven" about it.

The woman was Ruth Gruber and Ruth is an unbelievably remarkable woman...she is 100 years old and has written many books on her experiences and the story of Oswego and the Fort Ontario Refugee camp..America's only "Displace Persons" camp.
The reality of this secret sort of history I think is because over the years it has been pointed out that this was a shameful part of our World War II history.  History that included locking up our own Americans of Japanese decent.

Yes with the WWII raging, with concentration camps being liberated leaving thousands homeless and starving, nations from all over the world took in refugees from the Holocaust and displaced persons, but we did not......it took massive political pressure to take in only the 982 souls who would reside in Oswego until the end of the war in a camp at Fort Ontario......they were then to be sent back to their homeland at the end of the war....go to http://www.historystarproductions.com and read more about this...and how they were saved from deportation....

And as for history repeating itself..well the big topic of discussion today on immigration rages....now however it is not about Jews..it is about Mexicans....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Gruber   http://www.npr.org/blogs/pictureshow/2011/10/15/141325143/a-woman-of-photos-and-firsts-ruth-gruber-at-100

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