WILLIMANTIC, Conn. (WWLP) – Sidonia Perlstein, survivor of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, survived the Nazis and went on to live to 2006 to the age of 93 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Her sewing skills, which she learned growing up sewing for her family, gave her an income when she came to America.
Originally from Hungary, Perlstein survived both concentration camps, a displaced persons camp, and in 1949 made her way to the United States where she used her sewing skills to support herself and her 2-year-old daughter. She went on to open a successful business called Sidonia’s Dressmaking and Alterations located in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Now an exhibit called “Sidonia’s Thread – Crafting a Life from Holocaust to High Fashion” which will be shown at the Mandell Jewish Community Center in Willimantic, Connecticut, celebrates her work and also describes the link between Holocaust survivors and the textile industry in the United States. 35 garments will be shown at the exhibit, depicting Perlstein’s life from her village in Hungary to her time at the concentration camps, displaced persons camp, and eventually her career in the United States as a sought after designer.
The opening reception for the exhibit will be on January 8 and the exhibit will run from January 2 through February 10, 2023.