Jeanne Hewell-Chambers, the founder of the 70,273 project shares a horrible story in a creative way. Her approach enticed me to learn about more about a difficult subject. I'll share how I learned about the project.
May is mental health awareness month and I recently attended a forum on Mental Health Awareness at the Traverse City governmental building (see earlier blog post). From across the room I spotted an artistic quilt display featuring bright red xx's on a white background with the caption, ""70,273 Project." Intrigued, I made my way to that information table. What I quickly learned was 70,273 was the number of "disabled" persons who were murdered by the Nazi's between 1940 and 1941. Doctors, working for the Nazis, were asked to read case studies about people with disabilities. They were asked to judge whether this person was an asset or detriment to society. Each case was read by three doctors. If two doctors put an X next to the person's file, this meant they were deemed not productive to society and were rounded up and murdered.
Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer, stitcher, and storyteller learned of this horrible crime while viewing the film Auschwitz: The Nazis and 'The Final Solution. She decided to share this story by creating Project 70,273. She is collecting a quilt block for each disabled person murdered by the Nazis between 1940-1941. Not only does it share this story in a way that can be heard, it also serves as a loving memorial to those who were murdered.
To learn more about this project and how you can participate, visit the facebook page or website at thebarefootheart.com. And yes please share this story!