But the heart of his public work life was service to refugees and immigrants, starting with the heroic effort to save German Jews from Nazi extermination. He was head of the National Refugee Service (1939–1941), served as adviser on Jewish Affairs to the American command in Germany (1945–1948), and had a long-term commitment as President of the American Organization for Rehabilitation Through Training Federation (1950–1975).
In these positions, he met the heroes and villains of the 20th century, including those struggling to get Jews out of Germany before World War II — all while America shamefully sat on its hands. Haber helped “displaced persons” in Germany find their futures: Of the 850,000 people in so-called displaced person (DP) camps, 250,000 were Jewish survivors of the Nazi death camps. Later, Haber worked with Jewish immigrants and refugees all over the world to find the economic training and skills to make them a welcome presence in their new societies.