Eva Bass

Eva Bass

There was once a time when Eva Bass was a nightclub singer in Paris. And a time when she was living a happy life in Milan with her husband and son.

But then war came. And she and her son were sent to prison for the crime of being Jewish.

From prison they were sent to a concentration camp. And from there to “free confinement” in Potenza, Italy. Where she gave birth to a daughter.

“When the Allies landed in Italy she set out on foot with her children on a 60km trip through the fighting lines. She carried the baby in one arm, the boy in the other. Sometimes for days they had no food.”

On August 3rd, 1944, she arrived in the U.S. with 982 other refugees from Allied relief camps in Italy. These refugees were sent to The Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter, also known as “Safe Haven,” the only refugee center established in the U.S. during WWII.

In this photograph, Eva and her children walk in through the gates of their new home at Fort Ontario.

Sources: LIFE Magazine, Vol 17, No. 8, 8/21/1944, www.ajwnews.com/discovering-family-roots/