Open today: CLOSED

Opening Preview of Stitching Histories From the Holocaust

Loading Map....

Date(s) - Thursday, April 12th
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Jewish Museum Milwaukee

After traveling to venues across the country, this highly acclaimed original exhibit returns to Jewish Museum Milwaukee. With this reinstallation, JMM is expanding the discussion around immigration and cross-continental communication, including two new stories of families attempting to flee the Holocaust.

At its core, Stitching Histories From the Holocaust tells the story of Hedwig Strnad and her husband Paul through the letters to their Milwaukee cousin and the dress designs they sent in the hopes of getting visas. Hedy and Paul were ultimately killed in the Holocaust, but her dress designs survived. The centerpiece of this exhibit is 8 dresses lovingly created by the Milwaukee Repertory Theater Costume Shop. These dresses provide visitors with a tangible connection to the loss of talent in the Holocaust.

Accompanying the Strnad narrative are two more family stories of immigration:

  • The Oelsner family ends up fleeing to Japanese-occupied Shanghai in 1939, the only place that they could go without a visa. Their daughter Edie was born there and this collection reflects the family’s journey from Nazi Germany, to war-torn Shanghai, and ultimately to the United States.
  • While Mary and George Stern escaped to the United States in 1938, Mary’s mother Sara Spira chose to stay in Germany. Mary and George settled in Racine, Wisconsin and maintained communication with their family trapped in Europe. Sara was deported from Germany to Poland, where she continued to send postcards updating her children on the hardships she faced from the Gorlice Ghetto. Sara perished in the Holocaust.

Each of these stories push visitors to examine interconnected family relationships and the challenges around immigration through the Holocaust.

Enjoy Milwaukee’s own chanteuse and accordionist, Robin Pluer, composer and guitarist Chris Hanson and MSO violinist Glen Ashe for an evening of poignant music reminiscent of the WWII period including resistance songs and ballads. Sample delicious European-inspired cuisine and sip a champagne cocktail or a cold beer.  Explore the exhibit throughout the night with a guided tour.

Museum Members $15 | Non-Members $20
RSVP Deadline: Thursday, April 5th

Sponsors: Anonymous Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation, Suzy Ettinger, Drs. Jane and Ellis Avner, The Gerald and Louise Stein Family Donor Advised Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation, Robin Cohen, WE Energies Foundation, Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors Youth Foundation, Toby Recht

All Events >>