10 - The Labor Camp

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(From the Tapestry): "April 1941. My mother had brought me to work for a farmer in Goscieradow, next to the labor camp. As I was spreading manure, I heard someone calling my name. I looked up to see my cousin Moishe. I was so sad and wanted to go home to tell my mother." 

Embroidery and fabric collage, 1994.

33″W x 29″H.

Transcript of Narration

"By April 1941, the Jews of Mniszek were no longer allowed to own livestock, and since Esther’s father had been a horse trader and her mother raised poultry for market, they could no longer support the family. So Esther and her next youngest sister, Mania, went to work for Polish neighbors as farmhands."

"Here, Esther recalls helping a farmer in the neighboring town of Goscieradow spread manure in the fields before spring planting. She looked up to see her cousin Moishe behind the barbed wire fence of a prison camp. He told her that his father was also in the camp. In the caption, Esther says she was so sad to learn this, because she knew that as tailors, the two men were unaccustomed to such hard labor and would not be able to survive the camp."