The plight of the Jews has always moved me. Even as a child I remember occasions at which I was upset by unfair treatment of a people group that seemed so gentle to me. Growing up in Switzerland, at the border to Austria and not far removed from Germany, I heard stories of people in my village smuggling Jews across the border to safety into Switzerland. That was a relief to my "fairness-barometer." I was born ten years after WWII had ended, but quietly and with wide open eyes and ears, would listen to these stories being told. Eventually, there was a documentary made about my village and its people saving countless Jewish lives.
God seemed to prepare my heart for my husband who is Jewish. I spent two summers of my early twenties working at a Kibbutz in Israel. But I met my husband later, in America, when I spent a summer as an art counselor in a summer camp.
Then I heard stories of my father-in-law who grew up in Germany. He was a young teenager when the war began. I heard of flight, loss, uprootedness, war, death and survival.
And like when I was a child, I listened to the stories quietly, with wide open eyes and ears.
Many years later, I was impressed upon by God, to honor my father-in-law by a series of paintings about his life. That is what I am working on now.
The opening of the exhibit is set for Saturday, October 16, 2010 at 3 PM at Red Bank Community Church, 135 Monmouth Street Red Bank.