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22 - Gestapo Barracks


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(From Tapestry): “October 24, 1942. I came out of the thick woods on the road from Ksiezomiesz and was terrified. I found myself in front of Gestapo barracks. An officer asked me, in German, where I was going; I kept saying, in Polish, I don’t understand. Finally, a Polish-speaking guard came to ask me, and I said I was going to my grandmother’s. The officer laughed and waved me on.”

Embroidery and fabric collage, 1993.

41-1/8″W x 23-11/16″H.

Transcript of Narration

"Although Esther usually tried to avoid encountering German soldiers, in this case, she decided it was safer to face them. After leaving Stefan’s, Esther and Mania went to the village of Ksiezomierz and found work with a family there. After a few days, though, they were asked for papers, and Esther left the village saying she would go to her home but intending to go to Mnizsek to see if she could get news of her family.


"To get there, she had to go through a forest and as she was coming out, she realized she was within sight of a Nazi barracks. She was terrified to go forward, but realized that she would raise suspicions if she were seen turning back into the forest. So she summoned all her courage and kept going, passing directly in front of these two soldiers. 'Where are you going?,' they asked her. 'To my grandmother’s,' she replied, thinking of Little Red Riding Hood. The soldiers just laughed and waved her on."

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