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'The most important assignment of my life' -- an interview with Ruth Gruber

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Courtesy: Safe Haven Museum

Ruth Gruber died last week at 105. She was an accomplished journalist and humanitarian. But in Oswego she is remembered and celebrated for the role she played when the United States offered safe harbor to 986 European refugees during World War II.

Gruber worked for the department of the interior when she was chosen to escort the mostly Jewish refugees on their voyage to America. They were housed at Fort Ontario in Oswego for the remainder of the war. Eventually, Gruber championed the refugees' fight to gain American citizenship.

WRVO was able to capture her story in an interview in 1984.

Audio from Gruber's interview with WRVO, which was collected with assistance from professor Lawrence Baron, is archived online. "Oral Histories: Emergency Refugee Shelter at Fort Ontario (Safe Haven)"/Tape 271, Special Collections, Penfield Library, SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY.

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.