Monday, 24 October 2016

The 70,273 Project

Recently I heard about a project set up by Jeanne Hewell-Chambers at The Barefoot Heart. Jeanne has a heart for disabled people. When she heard on a documentary that between January 1940 and August 1941 (before the Holocaust began), many of Germany's loved sons, daughters, father's, mother's, relations and friends were murdered at the command of the Nazi's because they were deemed "unfit" or an “economic burden on society", Jeanne decided those people had to be commemorated. Some were visibly disabled, some were old, some were mentally disabled, some were slowly recovering from an illness or injury. They were men, women, teens, boys, and girls.
Three doctors were to read each medical file, and when two of them made a red X on the page, the disabled person’s fate was sealed. Most were murdered within 1-2 hours. Very few of these 70,273 people were even met by the doctors who wrote an X, let alone examined.

The 70,273 Project involves collecting 70,273 pieces of white fabric, each with 2 red X's on them. These will then be made up into quilts to be exhibited in various places around the world.

This speaks to my heart, too. And is made even more poignant knowing people like my 96 year old mother-in-law who would have never reached that age under those circumstance. Or my brother who lived over 20 years after having a kidney transplant. Or to bring it even closer home - me...with my pains and headaches and 'malaise' or what ever you might want to call fibromyalgia.

I have read a lot about that period of history. I recently read about a nurse who was made to let them come and empty the building of her disabled patients...being told they were being taken to a lovely place in the country where they could get much better. But I didn't know about the totality of the decisions on this aspect of the Nazi regime.

So, I decided to make some of the blocks. Here is the info about the blocks.
Because each block commemorates a perfectly imperfect person,
blocks can be perfectly imperfect, too.
There are only other two guidelines:
~ finished blocks must be made in one of three sizes 3.5″ x 6.5″ (9 cm x 16.5 cm) or 6.5″ x 9.5″ (16.5 cm x 24.2 cm) or 9.5″ x 12.5″ (24.2 cm x 31.8 cm)
~ A completed and signed Provenance Form (release) must accompany the blocks.
For more information about The 70273 Project, visit There are also links on Jeanne's blog where you can find out how to get involved, more specific detail about making the blocks, and how to get your group or family involved.

If we don't tell people, who will stand up if we are the ones on a list somewhere? Actually, in some places people are being ticked off a list.
More information on the "T-4" programme can be found on the website of the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

I have started out with the small size. I want to document them on the blog.
I haven't the skills to do a patchwork quilt, but I can contribute blocks for the people able to do that!








While we were visiting my Mother-in-law in hospital last week, I made the first 5. They don't take too long. Just the thing for keeping your hands busy. Perhaps I will put a few blank pieces and some red thread in the kitchen to do while waiting for things to cook.

1 comment:

chemistafloat said...

You are inspiring. We do need to remember these horrible events. The circumstances that led to the Nazi regime are not so different from what is happening today.