Sunday, April 19, 2009

Kindertransport Memory Quilt Exhibit

At the outset of this year's Holocaust Remembrance Week (or Days of Remembrance), I want to draw attention to the Kindertransport Memory Quilt Exhibit of the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

There (and online) you can find several quilts with squares created by Kindertransport survivors. Each square offers a window into the individual experience of someone who escaped the Holocaust thanks to the Kindertransport refugee program.

My mother created this square (Quilt 2, Square 4) in memory of her brother, Siegbert. With the help of their families, the two teens managed to escape Germany together via a Kindertransport train, but their fates turned out to be very different. By clicking on the link and listening to the audio, you can get an idea of the sad fates of Siegbert and his parents.

It strikes me that one lesson to be learned from the story is that the mere existence of a refugee program is not a guarantee that everything will work out well for those assisted by it. Indeed, when a situation demands that a refugee program is needed, I think it must be likely that already a terrible amount of damage has already been set in motion.

Quilt Square by Liese Babette Fischer

1 comment:

Ellen said...

How very sad.... here's a link to NPR's coverage of the kinder transport