Machine pieced, raw edge appliqued, machine quilted. Smaller faces
drawn on by pencil and watercolor markers.
41” x 47”
Photo by Pearl Yee Wong, all rights reserved Michigan
State University Museum
"This is a memorial quilt dedicated to my mother, who
was a Holocaust survivor. She was liberated in Bergen-Belsen. After
liberation Bergen-Belsen became a DP camp. It took her a while to
recuperated from starvation. Once she was physically stronger she
wanted to return home and find her family. Survivors were promised
transportation home but after many months no transportation was
provided. My mother with 4 other survivors from Budapest decided
to go home on their own. Most of their journey was on foot. Somewhere
on that journey a tiny group photo was Taken of the 5 survivors.
In the group photo my mother is the second from the left, the large
portrait is also of her when she was old and fragile, before she
I don’t recall the names of the other people. My mother and
them parted ways when they got into Budapest. She said the two girls
on the right were sisters and the shorter one was only 15 years
old. The woman on the left was a married woman who had a little
girl left behind in the Ghetto. All through that long and hard journey
she was carrying a doll for the child as a gift. On the last leg
of the journey they were traveling on a crowded train. While they
slept someone stole the doll. This woman was inconsolable, how can
she come home without a gift for her daughter? She didn’t
even know if her child was still alive.
My mother didn’t want to talk about her war time experiences,
but stories bubbled to the surface in the most unexpected ways.
She never allowed me to wear yellow and never explained why. During
the war, Jews were forced to wear a yellow star on their clothing
to mark them. She would never allow my ears to be pierced. When
I was older, she told me: 'I saw too many times woman’s earrings
getting torn out of their ears.' "