Fort Ontario Refugees Expected to Arrive Next Week; Will Not Be Guarded by Army
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Fort Ontario Refugees Expected to Arrive Next Week; Will Not Be Guarded by Army

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The army will not police the emergency refugee shelter at Fort Ontario, according to Dillon S. Myer, director of the War Relocation Authority which takes over custody of the grounds at the fort tomorrow. The 986 refugees who will be housed there are expected to arrive next week.

Although President Roosevelt placed the administration of the camp in the hands of the WRA, he ordered the army to help transport the refugees, provide the equipment needed to convert the army camp, and take the necessary security precautions. The War Department will still be responsible for security plans, but the WRA has arranged to assume full responsibility for carrying out all security measures. No military police, therefore, will surround Fort Ontario as they do the Japanese Relocation Camps, to guard against escapes.

The refugee settlement has been placed under the directorship of Joseph H. Smart, formerly field assistant director of the WRA in Denver and more recently stationed in Peru with the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs. A staff of approximately 40 WRA employees are now stationed at Oswego making final arrangements for the refugees’ arrival. Of the nearly 1,000 refugees, most are Jewish with small contingents of Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, and Protestants. They include persons of 14 nationalities.

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