Thursday, December 14, 2017

Spreading the News—70,273 Project

Have you ever “gone down the rabbit hole” while surfing the Internet? Well, I have done it many times. The last time I did this I discovered a project in which I am VERY interested (and I hope you are too). It is called the 70,273 Project.

Let me give you a quick description. This is a project that will use white quilts with red Xs to commemorate the lives of the 70,273 physically and/or mentally disabled people that were murdered between January 1940 and August 1941 by the Nazis. Each pair of red Xs on the quilts represent one life. To explain—after three Nazi doctors read the medical files of a disabled person being evaluated, it only took two of them to make a red X on the medical form to condem that person to death. The 20,273 website says that “most were murdered within hours.” 

Jeanne Hewell-Chambers decided she wanted to commemorate these 70,273 voiceless, powerless people who were so callously and casually murdered by gathering 70,273 blocks of white fabric (representing innocence and the paper the doctors read), each bearing two red X’s (representing one person) and stitch them together into quilts. She knew she couldn’t do this alone, so she has created a world-wide project in which you can participate.

This past weekend I was at an art retreat and made some blocks to contribute to this project. I used recycled sari silk strips and stitched them down with red embroidery thread. I stitched Xs to hold the strips down. I thought that was both meaningful and attrative—adding a nice texture to the blocks.
I am an Amazon Prime subscriber and have enjoyed some of their original programming. One of the programs I have watched is “Man in the High Castle.” “Man in the High Castle” is described on the Internet as a “series, loosely based on Philip K. Dick's novel of the same name. It takes a look at what the world might look like had the outcome of World War II turned out differently. In this dystopian scenario, the Axis powers won the war, leading to the United States being divided into three parts, an area controlled by the Japanese, a Nazi-controlled section, and a buffer zone between the two.” 

One of the episodes in Season 2 is about a child who has a disability. The child’s father is a Nazi officer and is asked to give his son a shot that will kill him simply because he has a dibilitating disease. (I won’t tell you what happens so as not to spoil the story for those of you who haven’t yet watched the show.) That episode was SO heart wrenching for me that I couldn’t get it out of my mind. When I saw this project, I knew I HAD to participate. 

As you can see above, I have made some blocks so far, but I am thinking the REAL need will be putting the blocks together into quilt tops and quilting these quilts. I’m hoping, at some point in time, I can help with that too.

Check it out. You can read more about the project here Maybe you will feel moved to participate too. (You don’t even have to be a “quilter” to contribute. There are LOTS of ways to participate.)


Robin Stewart said...

Thanks for sharing Beth. I too feel I need to make a couple of these blocks. I have subscribed to her site.

Lisa Greenbow said...

This sounds like a good cause.

Robbie said...

Thanks for sharing this initiative! What a task for sure but knowing the quilting community, I'm sure this will be completed. I also watched Man in the High Castle. Although, I enjoyed the 1st season better than the 2nd. Interesting concept....

jeanne hewell-chambers said...

I am so grateful to you for becoming part of The 70273 Project Tribe, commemorating those who died, celebrating those who live, and educating all who will listen. Such a wonderful blog post, and again, thank you for commemorating these people who might otherwise be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

I posted about this last year, and I am amazed they haven't gotten enough after so long collecting. I enjoy seeing the blocks people make, and yours are no exception. It was a horrible, horrible thing they did, and I'm glad it's being brought to light this way. So many younger people half (or completely) believe that these things never happened. I'm glad General Eisenhower took so many pictures. He was prophetic when he said the day would come when people would deny it happened. And by the way, I keep meaning to tell you that I like the picture of you in that first post. You look so good! That length hair is perfect for you. I'm tempted, but I haven't given in yet, though it is shorter than it was before.