Windham textile museum was the site of this historic and triumphant exhibit of a woman forced to immigrate to the USA after surviving three concentration camps during WWII. Sidonia Perlstein was placed in Auschwitz, Dachau and Bergen Belsen camps in 1944 until the camps were liberated in 1945.
How dd Sidonia manage to survive after hurting her leg? Sewing! This skill took Sidonia off the hard labor lines and into a more refined work load of sewing and mending. After four year’s of living in the Bergen Displaced Persons camp, where her daughter Hanna was born, Sidonia decided to immigrate to the USA and settled in Springfield, MA. Being a single parent, Sidonia had to find a way to make a living. She used her sewing skills to open her own design business. She achieved her dream of fame and recognition.
Hanna was Sidonia’s model and has written a book of the journey that her mother traveled to become a success in the US. Sidonia’s dressmaking skills drew customers from far beyond the Springfield, MA neighborhood. Sidonia continued to design and sew until she turned 90 in 2000.
Sidonia is a role model to women every where! I encourage you to read the book Sidonia’s Thread written by Hanna Perlstein Marcus. It is a wonderful tribute to her mother.