Holocaust Memorial Day: Stories of Jewish refugees remembered in commemorative quilt

Textile artist Louise Underwood with Local Studies Manager Julie Broad and Assistant Head of Library Services Marie Brett joined children from Grangetown Primary School at the City Library and Arts Centre to view the completed Kindertransport Memorial Quilt.
Textile artist Louise Underwood with Local Studies Manager Julie Broad and Assistant Head of Library Services Marie Brett joined children from Grangetown Primary School at the City Library and Arts Centre to view the completed Kindertransport Memorial Quilt.
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City youngsters have created a commemorative artwork to help raise awareness of Holocaust Memorial Day.

Pupils from Grangetown Primary School have made a patchwork quilt, designing individual squares based on the memories and experiences of Jewish children who fled to Britain to escape Nazi persecution before the Second World War.

As part of a Sunderland City Council Library Services-funded project, they were asked to think how it must have felt to have been one of the 10,000 mainly Jewish children evacuated from Germany and Austria through the “Kindertransport” programme. The quilt was unveiled at the City Library and Arts Centre in Fawcett Street and will be on display until Friday, February 12.

After being on display at the library for Holocaust Memorial Day, on January 27, the quilt will be on view at other city community venues.

Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health Wellness and Culture, Councillor John Kelly, said: “It is vital that we never forget such chapters in our history, and getting young people involved in arts projects such as this is an invaluable method of teaching.

“The quilt created by the pupils at Grangetown Primary provides a poignant and permanent reminder of how previous generations of children have suffered through persecution and war.”

Headteacher of Grangetown Primary School, Les McAnaney, said: “Teaching children about the Holocaust is important, but is undoubtedly a challenge.

“However, it’s also true that art provides one means by which children can begin to access the realities of life for those who were fleeing persecution.”