Stumbling On History: An Art Project Compels A Small German Town To Face Its Past Edith Westerfeld, an 89-year-old Holocaust refugee, wonders if the memory of the Nazis murdering her parents, along with millions if other victims, will outlive the survivors. Now — 76 years after Edith’s parents saved their daughter’s life by sending her, alone and terrified, to America — she returns to the small German town where her family had lived for hundreds of years. Invited to witness the installation of a memorial to her family — part of an effort throughout Europe to confront the genocide of World War II — she experiences how art is helping today’s generation face and atone for crimes of the past.
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Like Finding My Twin – On the ship that brought her from Nazi Germany to America, young Edith Westerfeld met Gerda Katz. Both 12-year-old girls were traveling alone and immediately became best friends. Unfortunately, the two unaccompanied minors lost touch after their arrival in 1938.
Decades later, after a northern Illinois middle-school class read Is It Night or Day?, a historical novel that captures the two girls’ friendship, the students were so moved by the story that they made it a class project to reunite the two women. Fulfilling a shared life-long dream, the two women, now in their 80s, finally saw each other again in Seattle, Washington, in 2011.
Through photos, historical documents, and storytelling, Like Finding My Twin captures the friendship of the two Holocaust refugees, the students’ research, and the remarkable reunion 73 years after Gerda and Edith shared their immigration journey.
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Is It Night or Day? – It’s 1938, and twelve-year-old Edith is about to move from the tiny German village she’s lived in all her life to a place that seems as foreign as the moon: Chicago, Illinois. And she will be doing it alone. This dramatic and chilling novel about one girl’s escape from Hitler’s Germany was inspired by the experiences of the author’s mother, one of twelve hundred children rescued by Americans as part of the One Thousand Children project.
Motherland – One woman’s moving story of her journey with her mother to find their past and the tragedy that haunts them. In 1938, when Edith Westerfeld was twelve, her parents sent her from Germany to America to escape the Nazis. Edith survived, but most of her family perished in the death camps. Unable to face the losses of her family and homeland, Edith closed the door on her past, refusing to discuss even the smallest details. Fifty-four years later, when the void of her childhood was consuming her and her family, she returned to Stockstadt with her grown daughter Fern to reconnect and reconcile with her past. Together, Edith and Fern found a town that had dramatically changed on the surface, but that hid guilty secrets and lived in enduring denial. Motherland is a story of learning to face the past, of remembering and honoring while looking forward and letting go. It is an account of the war’s lingering grip on its witnesses; yet it is also a loving story of mothers and daughters, roots, understanding, and, ultimately, healing.Buy Now