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The Girl Scout Sash

Artifacts Unpacked Video Series

The Holocaust and World War II had taken a heavy toll on Ruth Hendel’s family and on her childhood. So when they, along with hundreds of other Jewish refugees, arrived in the United States in 1944, nine-year-old Ruth embraced going to school and joining the Girl Scouts.

While the refugee families lived for 18 months behind fences at Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter in Oswego, New York, Ruth’s activities included baking cookies, ice skating, and swimming—instead of fleeing and hiding.

Watch to see how Ruth’s Girl Scout sash represented a second chance at childhood.

Ruth, now known as Tamar Hendel-Fishman, donated her sash, a Girl Scout pin, and a collection of photos to the Museum.

About the Artifacts

Artifacts shown in the video were donated to the Museum by Tamar Hendel-Fishman. Explore the Hendel and Weissman Families Collection.