A Holocaust Memorial will take place at Fort Ontario to remember the refugees that fled to America and the humanitarian efforts to help them.
75 years ago nearly 1000 refugees were taken in and cared for at Fort Ontario. The Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter was set up during WWII, and the anniversary will be remembered with the community as well as surviving refugees and their families.
Fort Ontario was the only shelter for Holocaust refugees in the United States at the time, and is the only Holocaust site formally recognized in the US, according to New York State Parks Historic Site Manager Paul Lear.
Around 19 of the original 982 refugees will attend the event, which will be open to the public at 2pm at the Overlook Parking lot where the monument for Holocaust victims is located.
“It’s dedicated to the 982 refugees and millions of victims of Nazis who didn’t get the chance to live out their lives,” said Lear of the special monument.
The humanitarian efforts that took place at Fort Ontario was a project by President Roosevelt to help those fleeing the Nazis at the time.
“Roosevelt was trying to induce allied countries to accept refugees in their countries and territories,” said Lear.
There will be a morning bus ride to cemeteries where refugees that died at the shelter were buried, and surviving refugees and their families will attend to pray.
For more information, visit FortOntario.com