80th Anniversary Celebration

                     August 2nd - 4th, 2024

The Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum will be hosting a program of events tocommemorate the August 5, 1944 arrival of the nearly 1,000 European refugees of theHolocaust to Fort Ontario in Oswego, NY. The Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter was the only shelter for victims of the Holocaust located in the United States during World War II.


(For Printable forms please visit: )

Schedule of Events

Friday August 2, 2024

7:30 a.m. – Bells will ring throughout the City of Oswego signifying a welcome to therefugees.

11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Free admission to the Safe Haven Museum including short tours of refugee sites. Open to the public. Free entrance to Fort Ontario for refugee families only.

5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. – Welcoming Cocktail hour for former refugees and their families at GS Steamers - Wine and hors d'oeuvres (Cash Bar) dinner on your own.

Saturday August 3, 2024

11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Free Admission to Safe Haven including short tours of refugee sites. Open to the public.  Free entrance to Fort Ontario for refugee families only.

1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Conversations with Authors Location: Lake Ontario Event andConference Center

1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. local Author Anne Allen – book signing “Holocaust Refugees in Oswego: From Nazi Europe to Lake Ontario” is the story of how one small community
        welcomed 982 refugees fleeing Nazi persecution, opening its doors at a time when Anti-Semitism was rampant in the country. Once safe on American soil, the refugees  

       and the citizens of Oswego began to build community together. These new residents were integrated into all aspects of communal life, dissolving barriersof fear and          distrust. The book chronicles individual stories of the impact the refugees and Oswegonians had on one another and throughout the course of their lives.

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Fort Ontario Site Manager Paul Lear will give a history ofFort Ontario including the Emergency Refugee Shelter.

3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Historian Rebecca Erbelding – Refugee families please bring your stories to share with Rebecca.

5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. 80th Anniversary Commemoration of the Fort Ontario EmergencyShelter Refugees Commemoration Buffet Dinner/Speakers Event Location: Lake Ontario Event          and Conference Center Open to the public. Reservations are required.


You must be a member of Safe Haven to attend.If you would like to speak and share your family stories, please email Shaynee Rainboltat


Sunday August 4, 2024

10:30 a.m. – Bus departs for private commemoration ceremonies at cemeteries whererefugees who died at the shelter are buried: Riverside Cemetery in Oswego. Open only to officials, former refugees and their families, and invited press/guests. Reservations are Required.Please contact Judy Coe Rapaport (315) 591-1050 or email formore information and reservations.