My friend Diane Moore, a quilter extrodiaire, has done it again. This time with a piece made special for a fundraiser auction at our synagogue. May 1, is Holocaust Remembrance Day so this piece is extra special and timely because it depicts one family's losses during that time. I will let Diane tell you about her quilt, first with the photos and then I will add her words. She told me she is available to answer any questions you may have after viewing this piece. Leave questions for Diane in the comments section and I will make sure she gets them.
Double Click on photos to see them enlarged in more detail. The third photo shows the whole quilt wall hanging. The words you see are in Yiddish.
Diane wrote: Shmiel went to NY. Came back to Bolechow because there he was a king. (Eldest son of many, Jewish prince, needed to be the big frog in a small pond.) Like Otto Frank, he wrote a lot of letters to America looking for help, many of them to his brother who was Daniel's grandfather. And there is a photo of him in uniform. Daniel is the spitting image of him. He and his second daughter, Frydka, were hidden in a tiny cellar meant for pickle jars and such. When Daniel found the place, there was a round woven rug over the trap door, and a ring to pull it up.
Frydka was so beautiful and had such a strong personality that everyone who started to talk about anyone in the family wound up talking about her.
Lorka was in the forest with the partisans. Her friend remembered how she always had the first strawberries of the season; her father brought them from Lemberg in his truck. His two trucks played a big part in his story.
Lemberg became Lvov (now Lviv); did you see the bit of map in Shmiel's section with Lvov on it?
Ruchele, only 16, was picked up with two friends (the little medallion) and a lot of other people. They spent three terrible days in the Catholic building, pretentiously called the Dom but really just a square ugly building. It's outlined in her section, as is the synagogue. After that they were taken to a beautiful field (someone said
"It was always in a beautiful place") and shot on a plank over a trench already dug.
Ester and Bronia we know less about as people because all the survivors who were still alive to talk to Daniel were contemporaries of the older girls. Ester's contemporaries were dead even if they survived the war; Bronia's didn't survive. And survivors who were friends or sweethearts of the older girls knew Ester only as a balebosteh and Bronia only as a child still concerned with her games.
Ester probably crocheted; people said ladies in that town did. The crochet lace I included was made by an old lady in central Europe; Libby gave it to me. There's a freight car in that section too.
Addition from Diane: Daniel Mendelsohn is no relation to me, but I have for the last few years been working on translations from the Yizkor book of the shtetl my grandparents came from, so a lot of what DM (hey, he has my initials, what does that mean?) found out sounded familiar to me. His town, Bolechow, is in Galicia, at the foot of the Carpathian mountains, once part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Mine, Vladimirets, is farther north, up by the Pripet Marshes and the border of Belorus. That province is called Volhynia. Both were Polish between the wars and are in Ukraine now, and had a lot of Ukrainian population then.
Oh, about the time -- I started the quilt in January and finished about April 1. I thought about it for quite a while before I started.