In planning for the anticipated return of Stitching History From The Holocaust and the added stories of the Oelsner and Spira/Stern families, Jewish Museum Milwaukee was excited to present a timeline that would integrate their narratives with the Strnad’s and provide context for events surrounding World War II. Little did we know that in contextualizing the individual experiences that happened seventy-five years ago, we would encounter disturbing parallels to what we are witnessing in our world today.
Check out how Jewish Museum Milwaukee found additional photos and documents relating to Hedy Strnad and her family. These additions show the evolution of Stitching History From the Holocaust, but also demonstrate that historical research is never done. There will always be more archives to explore and people to connect with, but each small salient connection like these helps expand our understanding of the lived experience.
These scenes and accompanying text nag at us. Why the Jews? What power do we have over evil? How do we defend ourselves against irrational governments? How do we protect our most vulnerable citizens? What does it mean to be a refugee? And what responsibilities do we have for those being persecuted?
All of this energy followed me on my trip to open Stitching History in New York. The audience in New York expands the reach of this story considerably. The curation and design in New York is just lovely, adding elements to the exhibit that enliven the story–I love the addition of Hedy’s Signature to the wall and the ingenious way in which they MJH team made the fabrics accessible to touch.