We are gathering 70,273 blocks of fabric, marked with two red crosses to commemorate the number of physically and mentally disabled men, women and children who were murdered between January 1940 and August 1941 in the Aktion T4 Programme - a largely unrecognised atrocity which only received a memorial to the victims in 2014.
The two red crosses represent the marks made by the assessing Doctors as to whether the person was deemed ‘unfit’ or an economic burden on Nazi society. It is such a simple symbol, and in this project, the simplicity with which someone could sign someone’s life away is turned into a symbol of love and strength. The white fabric represents the sheet of paper that their death sentence was signed on. Seeing the crosses stitched together sends a powerful message of tolerance, community and love. Its impact comes from the huge variety of these two red marks - each beautiful in their own perfectly imperfect way.
The blocks will be stitched into quilts and wall hangings and will be displayed in Rochester, Lincoln and Durham Cathedrals during January 2018, to mark National Holocaust Memorial Day. Blocks will be on display throughout the world, in 100 countries.
Will you help blanket the world in XX? You don’t have to be an expert stitcher – the less perfect you are the better! There are a host of ways to create a block – stitched, appliqued fabric, ribbon, fabric paint, screen print … you can be as creative as you want. The only guidelines are that the fabric needs to be white (cotton, poly blend, wool, felt – this is a great chance to upcycle shirts and sheets and give Granny’s tablecloth a new legacy) and the two crosses in red. The crosses don’t need to be identical, or even the same size – we are celebrating difference after all!
Size is important! There are three block sizes, so pick which one you want to make, or make a mixture of all three – just allow a quarter inch border from your crosses to give space to stitch the blocks together. The overall size should include the quarter inch hem edge. 3.5” x 6.5”/ 9 x 16.5cm 6.5” x 9.5” / 16.5 x 24.2cm 9.5” x 12.5”/ 24.2 x 31.8cm
Download, print out and fill in the provenance form (if you’ve made a bundle of blocks you only need to fill this in once, if you are a group then each contributor needs to fill in a form) safety pin the sheet to the relevant block/s and send them to
Lucy Horner, Francis Iles, 103 High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 1LX
We will need funds for backing materials and wadding, so if you would like to be part of The Project by contributing then please visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/70273
For more information and ideas about how to make blocks contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Project packs are available for groups and schools.
This project is the brainchild of Jeanne Hewell-Chambers, who woke up one morning with this plan for global domination with Love. You can read more about the project and its progress, and join the community at www.thebarefootheart.com
Thank you for being part of it XX
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has a number of pages dedicated to Aktion T4 and there are links to printable pages
A pdf of Anna Lehnkering's life story - a victim of Aktion T4
John Sim reading the words ofÂ Sigrid Falkenstein who is Anna Lehnkering's niece
And a little about the life story of Helene Melanie Lebel, another victim
A number of presentations on Aktion T4 given by history students at Deakin University.
BBC news report on the anniversary of the Wannsee Conference
A blog site written by Brenda Brueggemann on her research into Aktion T4
An overview of the euthanasia programme from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
A comprehensive resource about T4
An article about the memorial to the victims of Aktion T4
A short dramatised film by Liz Crow
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