21- Stefan's House

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(From Tapestry): “October 15, 1942. My sister and I arrived in the village of Dombrowa and went to the house of Stefan, our father’s friend. We begged him to help us. He embraced us and promised to help. But after two days, he sent us out into the rain, with no place to go but the forest.”

Embroidery and fabric collage, 1993.
55-15/16″W x 39-11/16″H.

Transcript of Narration

"Esther and Mania made their way to Stefan’s house on their own. They explained that they were Hersh’s daughters and begged him to help them. Over the next couple of days, they worked in his attic. But on the third day, he called them down for breakfast, and told them they had to leave. Everyone in Mniszek knows you’re here, and if the Germans come and find you, they’ll kill all of us.

 

"So out they went, into the pouring rain until they came to the forest. Esther now realized that they could not survive as Hersh’s daughters. So she made up new identities for them, as two Polish Catholic girls, Maria and Josefina Grochowiezka, from a town on the other side of the Vistula River. They would go to a village where no one knew them, and ask for work.

 

"That Esther found a way to tell this story in a single picture is quite remarkable. Esther may not have been trained as an artist, but this picture reminds us that she brought enormous artistry to her work."