27 - The Well

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(From the Tapestry): “January 1943. One day in Grabowka, while working for the old couple who took me in, I went to the well and was surprised to see it surrounded by Gestapo officers. I started to draw the water when one came over and speaking Polish, offered to help. I thanked him, and he clicked his heels in response.”

Embroidery and fabric collage, with fabric wash, 1994.

37-3/16″W x 37-1/8″H.

Transcript of Narration

"Once again, Esther had to overcome her fear and face the German soldier in front of her. She had gone to live with an elderly farmer from the village whose wife was infirm and needed someone to keep house for him. Among her chores, she would go to the village well every day, and with some difficulty, would turn the wheel to pull up a bucketful of water. On this cold winter day, captured so artfully with the stitched snow and icicles and the icy blue paint across the sky, a German soldier stood by the well. When he saw my mother struggling to pull up the bucket, he offered to help her turn the wheel. My mother thanked him, and politely, he clicked his heels in response. She often thought about what he would have done had he known she was Jewish."