Garment exhibit showcases Holocaust survivor’s creations


WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — Educating more people about the history and talent of the Jewish community is what Anya Sokolovskaya​ hopes a clothing exhibit she has curated in West Hartford, Connecticut, will accomplish.

Sokolovskaya​ is the curator of “Sidonia’s Thread: Crafting a Life from Holocaust to High Fashion.” The exhibit is inspired by the life of Sidonia Perlstein, a Holocaust survivor who immigrated to the United States in 1949 and started a clothing business in Springfield.

“This collection is what Sidonia made in her free time,” Sokolovskaya said. “It makes me think the way she was doing it, it was kind of a therapy for her. It was a way for her to kind of block the past.”

Perlstein’s past included time in two concentration camps, before becoming a well-known dressmaker and designer.

In the exhibit, Sokolovskaya, a professor at Eastern Connecticut State University, paired the fashion garments with displays about the lives of Jewish survivors.

She said with an increase in cases of antisemitism, it is important to teach history related to the Holocaust so nothing like it happens again.

The exhibit is open to the public at the Mandall Jewish Community Center seven days a week until Feb. 10.



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