Material Information

Rena Block - Safe Haven Refugee Interview
Series Title:
Safe Haven 50th Reunion
Scanlon, Scott
Publication Date:
Physical Description:


Subjects / Keywords:
Safe Haven
Emergency Refugee Shelter at Fort Ontario
50th reunion
Safe Haven Inc.
Special Collections 2012.008.0009
Oral History


Rena Block, a resident of the Safe Haven refugee camp from Sarajevo, recounts her family's escape to Italy following the Nazis' invasion of Zagreb in 1940, their experience in Italy, first living free and then in internment camps, and their being selected for Safe Haven in the U.S. She discusses life on the ship and the new foods she experienced. She recounts her memories of the time she spent in the camp, including the generosity of the people of Oswego, recreational activities, and going to school. She talks briefly about her life after Oswego, her family's losses, and being grateful to those who helped her family in Europe during the war. Penfield Library, SUNY Oswego
Collected for SUNY Oswego's Institutional Repository by the OswegoIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Marilyn Ochoa.
General Note:
On August 5-7th 1994 a 50th reunion was held for Safe Haven refugees and their families at the SUNY Oswego campus (Oswego, NY). The reunion was organized by Safe Haven Inc, a non-profit organization raising money to establish a permanent refugee museum at Fort Ontario. The reunion included religious services at Temple Adath Israel in Oswego, interviews, a dinner-dance, and three panel discussions held on the SUNY Oswego campus. The interviews were conducted Saturday, August 6th, 1994. Several were conducted by Safe Haven Inc. President Scott Scanlon. The refugees describe their hardships in Europe during WWII, their journey aboard the Henry Fitzgibbons, life in Oswego and at the refugee camp. They also discuss their lives after they became United States citizens. The following video interviews were digitized from archival VHS tapes by two Syracuse University interns at Penfield Library in 2012. These complement Safe Haven audio files ( and the Safe Haven bibliography (

Record Information

Source Institution:
SUNY Oswego Institution
Holding Location:
SUNY Oswego Institution
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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