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Kindertransport Memorial Quilts Travelling Exhibit comes to NWSS

North West Surrey Synagogue (NWSS) are extremely proud to announce that the Kindertransport Memorial Quilts Traveling Exhibit will be on display in the United Kingdom for the first time in April at the synagogue.

The Traveling Exhibit, which comprises replicas of the three large quilts, has been shown all over the United States at Holocaust museums, schools, Jewish community centres, and synagogues.

The Kindertransport quilts are a form of folk art. Each square expresses its creator’s view of the Kindertransport experience: pictures of the past, fears and nightmares, memorials to lost family. They express traumatic childhood experiences, as recalled with the perspective of maturity. The panels of the quilts show a great variety of expressions.

The quilts include children’s drawings of trains, one captioned, “Thank You for Saving Grandma’s Life.” Some panels picture the all-important travel documents. Most poignant, perhaps, is a child’s drawing of her mother behind barbed wire waving good-bye, and a photo taken on the station platform, labelled “The Last Time I Saw My Parents.”

The quilts are the brain-child of Anita Grosz, whose father, Hanus Grosz, came to the United Kingdom in 1939 on a Kindertransport from the former Czechoslovakia. Anita’s mother was the coordinator of the project. Guidelines on how to make a quilt square were published in the Kinderlink, the Kindertransport Association’s quarterly newsletter. With each square submitted, they asked for a page describing the person’s experience with the Kindertransport.

There are 65 squares, made into three large quilts and two small ones, assembled by a professional Amish quilter. Today, the originals are on display at the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus Library in Farmington Hills, Michigan in the United States.

NWSS will highlight the Exhibit at its annual Yom Hashoah Commemoration on Sunday 23April at 7:30pm and Anita Grosz will be participating in the programme that evening.

Additionally, NWSS will hold an Open Day on Sunday 30 April from 1:00pm to 4:00pm for the public to view the replica quilts.

For additional information or if you would like to attend either event, please email Jean Cohen: pressofficer@nwss.org.uk.

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