Sharing fabric cuttings with my worldwide friends

Friday, January 27, 2017

The 70273 Project

Today is the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the, by now, well known concentration camp in Poland run by the Nazis during WWII. On my calendar it is marked as being International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

I searched diligently through the newspaper today looking for some acknowledgement of this day's somber anniversary but could find no specific mention. What I did find was an article about the upcoming election in France and it carried a headline that was pertinent to my topic for this post.

 The 702373 Project is a worldwide collaborative art project commemorating the lives of the 70,273 physically and mentally disabled people (men, women, children) who were murdered by the German Nazis in the period spanning January 1940 to August 1941. Conceived by quiltmaker Jeanne Hewell-Chambers the fiber art project is intended to symbolize the horrific loss of life that occurred and the scant consideration given to the value of those lives.

Each person had a medical form with brief details. The forms were read by a team of three Nazi doctors. If the person was deemed "unfit" or an "economic burden" the doctor placed a red checkmark (or X) on the form. Once a form had two red checkmarks that was sufficient notice that they were to be eliminated and most were murdered within the next one or two hours time. The doctors never saw or spoke with the persons whose fate they were deciding.

The intent of the art project is to create a cloth "form" with the two red checkmarks, one form for each of the lives lost in this callous way. The rules are simple; take a piece of white fabric (white only to remind us of the simple white paper form used) and place two red checkmarks on it. There are three different size you can make. The checkmark can be made with fabric, embroidered, embellished with ribbon or trims or fabric painted. All the details can be found at the website listed above.

I am grateful to Denniele of Louanna Mary Quilt Design  for bringing this to the attention of many quilters. Denniele has been mentioning this frequently on her facebook page and tomorrow is hosting a fullday event in Harrisonville Missouri to invite others to make blocks and then the blocks will be assembled into quilts. 

Today I completed my first block and cut backgrounds and red for the crosses such that I can make more.

Won't you please consider joining in this ambitious effort to commemorate the lives so casually taken? Thanks for reading.

To clarify: this red mark, that I refer to above as a checkmark, might be what you call an "x" or a "cross".