York Holocaust Memorial Day Civic Event Online

Activity information

Activity type: Public activity

Organisation name: University of York

Website: https://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/public-lectures/spring-2022/hmd-2022/

University Of York
United Kingdom

York is proud to be welcoming author, Lucy Adlington as our keynote speaker. Lucy will reflect on her recent and remarkably moving book The Dressmakers of Auschwitz. The True Story of the Women Who Sewed to Survive.

At the height of the Holocaust twenty-five young inmates of the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp - mainly Jewish women and girls - were selected to design, cut, and sew beautiful fashions for elite Nazi women in a dedicated salon. It was work that they hoped would spare them from the gas chambers.

This fashion workshop - called the Upper Tailoring Studio - was established by Hedwig Höss, the camp commandant's wife, and patronized by the wives of SS guards and officers. Here, the dressmakers produced high-quality garments for SS social functions in Auschwitz, and for ladies from Nazi Berlin's upper crust.

Drawing on diverse sources - including interviews with the last surviving seamstress - The Dressmakers of Auschwitz follows the fates of these brave women. Their bonds of family and friendship not only helped them endure persecution, but also to play their part in camp resistance. Weaving the dressmakers' remarkable experiences within the context of Nazi policies for plunder and exploitation, historian Lucy Adlington exposes the greed, cruelty, and hypocrisy of the Third Reich and offers a fresh look at a little-known chapter of World War II and the Holocaust.

Lucy Adlington is an author, presenter, and keen collector of vintage & antique costume. She writes both history-inspired fiction and fascinating social history books. Lucy's book is available, with signed bookplates, from our friends at Fox Lane Books.

Hosted by the Lord Mayor of York and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of York, the York Holocaust Memorial Day Civic Event Online will also feature short talks by City of Sanctuary York co-ordinator and trustee, Paul Wordsworth and Adam Caplan, President of the Jewish Society at the University of York, as well as two short films.

Organiser Name

Portia Hewitt

Other organisation(s) involved

City of York Council