We are delighted to announce that the memory quilts as produced by the ’45 aid society will be on display at the National Holocaust Centre and Museum. The quilts will be available to view from Monday 14th September.

At the end of World War II in 1945, Britain agreed to take in 1,000 Holocaust survivors under the age of 18.  However, only 732 could be found.  The 732 children and teenagers who were brought to these shores came to be called “The Boys”, but it must be noted that there were also girls within this group.  In many cases, these children were the only survivors from their hometowns, villages and communities.  They were the last to experience the obliterated world of pre-war Jewish Europe.

At an early age, these young people were wrenched from their homes.  Almost all survived imprisonment, enslavement, severe starvation and brutalisation in ghettos and concentration camps. Many endured death marches and weeks on open wagons, exposed to the elements of the Eastern European winter.  Other wartime experiences included escape and hiding, along with heroism such as fighting in the resistance and in the Warsaw ghetto uprising.

Many of The Boys remained in the UK, although some later moved abroad. They formed their own organisation, the ’45 Aid Society, to provide support to members in need and raise money for good causes and continue to meet each year to celebrate their liberation and survival.

These quilts have been created by The Boys, their children and grandchildren and are symbolic of survival. They pay tribute to their lives, the journeys made and their transcendence of the horrors they experienced. They commemorate the homes, lives, families and communities that were lost and serve as a memorial to those who did not survive.  The quilts celebrate the new lives that The Boys built; their spirit, their resilience, their enduring light and humanity in the face of all they witnessed and suffered, and their tremendous achievements. 

The Quilts will be on display at the Museum until October 2015.

For further information on the Quilts please visit http://45aid.org/the-finished-quilts/.