I came across a web page today that I wanted to share, not because the fashions were beautiful but there is a very sad story that is attached to them. Hedy Strnad who lived in Nazi-held Prague in the late 1930s was an expert design, but unfortunately for her, she was also Jewish. Hedy and her husband Paul tried what they could to get out of the country. The sent some designs and a letter to a family member in Milwaukee along with some fashion sketches. The letter allegedly was sent to see if their family could help them to come from Europe. Sadly, the help they were looking for never arrived, and Hedy and her husband were just two of the millions who perished during the Holocaust.
A family member recently found the sketches and the letter. When they found out about the story, the Jewish Museum of Milwaukee decided to recreate some of the styles and contacted the Milwaukee Repertory theater to help. They painstakingly and accurately reproduced many of Hedy’s designs that were based on her the original sketches that were found.
The dress styles are all in the style of my favorite era, the late 30s. The sketches were mailed in December of ’39, so they probably would have been created sometime that year.
I think hearing a story like this makes you really think about history. throughout out our lives, we have all heard of the many millions of people who died, but when you actually hear someone’s story and see their creations and know that they were trying so hard to survive, history really comes alive in the tragedy that surrounds the Holocaust because much more real.
You can see more photos and see more about this exhibit here.