Monday, October 17, 2005

Knitting and survival

I was asked to speak at a local service club today about two friends who were in a Communist Concentration Camp after World War 2. I made a comment in passing in the knitting group, and it led to this speech today. People really listened.

I met Kathy and Katrina through our church, but our real point of contact was knitting. Very early in our friendship, Kathy looked at Serena and me knitting, and said, "You would never have made it in the concentration camp -- you would have starved to death!" It shocked us, and surprised her that she said it! She and her mom had worked in a knitting factory after the war, if they made their quota, they ate. Not a lot of food, but it kept them alive. They insisted that we learn the "proper" way to knit -- their way -- Continental. And kept us at it until we were proficient and fast. Not as fast as they were, but a decent rate.

Over the years that we lived there, some of their experiences were told. I expect not many at all. But we heard a few. And some of those I shared today. Without sugarcoating. Starvation, Cold, Depravation, Exile and Death.

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