Haven: The Dramatic Story of 1,000 World War II Refugees and How They Came to America (Paperback)

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Haven: The Dramatic Story of 1,000 World War II Refugees and How They Came to America By Ruth Gruber Cover Image
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Imagine you must flee your home in hope of shelter, never knowing if you'll return to the place you once knew. Thanks to President FDR and the First Lady, 982 unfortunate individuals found the one thing they had been longing for on the grounds of Fort Ontario, a place where no harm would come to them for their religion, ethnicity or physical qualities. The community of Oswego welcomed the refugees with understanding and consideration. Haven reflects in detail upon the actions taken to make Fort Ontario a safe haven. Author, photographer, and journalist Ruth Gruber captures the voyage taken by the refugees across the Atlantic Ocean from Italy to New York, while also documenting their day-to-day life at the shelter. Haven is a literary work of historical importance, a must read in my view.


— From Alexandra K.'s Recs


Award-winning journalist Ruth Gruber’s powerful account of a top-secret mission to rescue one thousand European refugees in the midst of World War II

In 1943, nearly one thousand European Jewish refugees from eighteen different countries were chosen by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration to receive asylum in the United States. All they had to do was get there.
Ruth Gruber, with the support of Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, volunteered to escort them on their secret route across the Atlantic from a port in Italy to a “safe haven” camp in Oswego, New York. The dangerous endeavor carried the threat of Nazi capture with each passing day.
While on the ship, Gruber recorded the refugees’ emotional stories and recounts them here in vivid detail, along with the aftermath of their arrival in the US, which involved a fight for their right to stay after the war ended.
The result is a poignant and engrossing true story of suffering under Nazi persecution and incredible courage in the face of overwhelming circumstances.

About the Author

Ruth Gruber (1911–2016) was an award-winning Jewish American journalist, photographer, and humanitarian. Born in Brooklyn in 1911, she was the author of nineteen books, including the National Jewish Book Award–winning biography Raquela (1978). She also wrote several memoirs documenting her astonishing experiences, among them Ahead of Time (1991), Inside of Time (2002), and Haven (1983), which documents her role in the rescue of one thousand refugees from Europe and their safe transport to America. Gruber passed away in 2016 at the age of 105.

Praise For…

“A visceral jolt.” —The New York Times“Everyone concerned about courage in a grievous time will want to read Haven . . . An enduring and inspiring gift.” —Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of Eleanor Roosevelt

Product Details
ISBN: 9781453206331
ISBN-10: 1453206337
Publisher: Open Road Media
Publication Date: October 19th, 2010
Pages: 374
Language: English