“Show us your story!” – Beginning in 2017, the Jewish participants in the Object Days project have answered this invitation by recounting their migration stories.
This is an heirloom embroidered by my great grandmother. My great-grandmother passed down this tapestry to my grandmother. When my grandmother died, it came to me – because I’m the only person left in my family who speaks German. This is my object. Gutes Gericht, frohes Gesicht. [Good meal, big smile.] Besides me, nobody in my family understands what that’s supposed to mean. It is so goody-goody, so German. Each generation of my family was born in a different country. My great-grandmother was born in what is now Lithuania, in the Memel Territory, which was German-speaking. In the late 1920s, when my grandmother was six months old, she emigrated to South Africa. My mother was born in South Africa, then went to the US, where I was born. My great-grandmother spoke German, Russian, English, Yiddish, and even a bit of Lithuanian. But she felt strongest about German, which is why she always embroidered her handiwork in German. I don’t have a German passport, but I live in Berlin. I have a German husband and feel at home here.
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Object Days: Berlin (7)
Jews in Berlin tell their migration story
Anatol Benjamin Schapiro