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  • ? I can’t find the pattern. Knitting Hope refers me to Ravelry, and Ravelry refers me to Knitting Hope. What am I doing wrong?
    A most amazing story!

  • Shanghai as a place of refuge for European Jews is a bit of Holocaust history of which I was unaware. Thanks to Tanya for adding to my knowledge. I’m off now to check out Knitting Hope and the books she refers us to. I’m quite sure I have suitable red yarn in my stash so I will set aside my WIPs, including a KAL, and knit a little red dress.

    • Thank you, Lynn. I am looking forward to knitting with you.

    • I too had no knowledge of Shanghai as a refuge during the Holocaust! Thank you for sharing this story Tanya

  • Thank you so much for this post which combines two of my greatest interests Knitting and the Holocaust (I know that must sound really odd.) I have been an active member of my local Holocaust Commission in southeastern Virginia for over twenty five years and have been knitting even longer. We also have a similar program to the Illinois trunk education project called What We Carry. One of the stories we tell is that of a survivor from our community who was a refugee from Germany to Shanghai so it was wonderful to learn about another chapter of that story. The first thing I thought of before I even read the entire article was of course of the little girl with the red coat in Schindler’s List. I cannot wait to explore all of the links to Tanya’s story. Again a thousand thanks!

    • Your comment certainly is not strange to me! Thank you for sharing your knowledge of the What We Carry program with me. I will look forward to learning more about it.

  • Such a beautiful story of hope and faith! Hearing stories like these reminds me of how knitting, something we do with our hands, connects our hearts throughout time.

    “Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises”.

    -Elizabeth Zimmerman

    • Beautifully said!

  • Thank you Tanya for sharing this incredible story. I feel lucky to know you!!
    As a grandchild of Holocaust survivors, I know how important this story is. It reminds me so much of my seamstress knitting grandmother who escaped France. We must continue to share this story and others and never forget.

    Rebecca Kevelson

    • So grateful for your support and for your work as an advocate for Holocaust education.

  • Thank You so much for this moving story of courage and perserverance and HOPE. Very meaningful. Today as I knit by the warm fire I shall think of your family and all the others who endured with nothing more than their own Spirits.

    • Beautiful! Happy knitting!

    • Beautiful story of Judy and her little red dress. School children visiting the Museum in Skokie identify with the dress with precious family memories and the fact that Judy and her family lived so far away in Shanghai. They learn so much from artifacts.

  • Thank you so much for your beautiful story. I visited the Jewish museum in Shanghai shortly before the world went into lockdown. It is a wonderful museum, memorializing the experiences of Jewish refugees in Shanghai. While we were there, a group of business students were also present. All of a sudden, we heard a shout: “That’s my grandma!” One of the students had just seen the portion of the exhibit dedicated to his grandmother and her family. The family had later settled in Israel. We spent some time talking to him about his grandmother and her stories. It made our visit even more meaningful, even more poignant.

    • What an incredible experience! Thank you for sharing that.

  • Wow. Just wow.

  • I just watched a PBS documentary about the “Shanghai Jews”, people I never knew about
    what a riveting story, especially the interviews

  • PBS recently aired a documentary about the Jews who took refuge in Shanghai.

    This little sweater has a very different story and yet it too survived:
    It’s also been written about in Piecework and patterned.

    I have worked with surviving textiles from the Holocaust and each object does indeed tell a story.

    • Thank you, Gail. I would love to learn more about your experience with these textiles. Thank you for the comment.

    • Thank you! This was my project and we have raised over $10 thousand dollars in pattern sales that goes directly to the Museum

  • When I studied Russian in the US Navy, my civilian instructor was a Holocaust survivor as a boy in Harbin, China. Life was very tough, especially when the letters from family and friends stopped coming because the people had died of starvation.

  • My friend Lea Stern came upon a small green sweater at the US Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. With the museum’s permission she reverse engineered the pattern and it is now available through the museum’s gift shop. These small, treasured garments really bring home the scale of the horror that was the Holocaust. Here is a link to the pattern. https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-green-sweater

    • Lea is amazing and her work is incredible! I had the pleasure of meeting her in Rhinebeck. She is part of the Knit Along for the Little Red Dress!

  • The tears have begun as I think of the horror of Nazi Germany and the bravery of so many people who did survive and those who never had a chance. I’m grateful for our Democracy and the chance it had to survive this latest challenge and I am so deeply touched by the red dress. Thank You

    • Thank you, Annie. We cannot overstate the importance of preserving our Democracy. You are so right!

  • Thank you so much for this enlightening article

  • Here is a thread on Twitter The Judy Project, by the current Judy. It is complete with photographs and a shirt video of the original Judy. She made it her life’s work to teach acceptance and understanding to children. Her ability to experience the evil she did and be able to live such a life of love is a triumph. And *whatever* helps you do that is a blessing.


  • This story resonates for me in a number of different ways. My husband’s uncle (who was Jewish) was stationed in Shanghai during WWII and I remember him sharing stories when I was a young bride and we would visit. I am also a heart attack survivor and have been wearing my “Red Dress” pin all month and will continue to do so until the end of February. Even though all our medical research should be geared towards the pandemic, we need to remember that the #1 killer of women pre-pandemic was Heart Disease.

    I am not only a Jewish woman whose Dad is 92 and a WWII veteran but after the war he worked in the fashion industry in San Francisco (where I was raised) and knew the founders of Levi Strauss very well. Lastly, and thank you for allowing me to share, I am a Wellesley grad… I went back to school in my 40’s to obtain my BA (I didn’t have the opportunity as a young woman) as a Davis Scholar while taking care of 3 children, husband, house and dog. 🙂 I graduated in 2005 and am very proud to be a Wellesley sister.

    • Wow! We share so many interesting connections. I did not know about the red dress pins and symbolism. Kudos to you for attending Wellesley as a Davis Scholar and juggling school with a full house. Thank you for sharing.

  • addendum: Levi Strauss was founded in the 1800’s, my Dad knew the family who continued in the business during the1950’s-80’s.

    • The amazing Judy Fleischer Kolb has photos of her family working at Levi-Strauss. We have been able to connect with the company and hope to add yet another aspect of her incredible family’s life to the historical record!

  • Wonderful story! Thank you for sharing.

  • Thank you, today this encouraged me as my way through trauma of sexual abuse, being the the wife of two alcoholics and a husband with epilepsy I have realised apart from my faith, knitting and in latter years crochet have been my saviour. Thank you for telling your story and giving me the courage to share mine.

    • Thank goodness we have our craft and our community! Sending you strength, Karen.

  • What a moving story. Thank you.

  • Thanks for this. I feel so ignorant as I hadn’t known about China taking in WWII refugees.

    Also thank you for providing the perfect knit gift — now I know why I had so much trouble deciding what to knit for the new addition, because I was waiting for this dress! Mine will be in linen because it’s a California baby!

    • I can’t wait to see it! What a very special gift!