A child’s crocheted vest
The crocheted vest that Muguette tenderly holds in her hands was made by her grandmother before the war. Muguette wore the little vest from the age of 10 on and will never part with it. She took it with her when her family fled to Champlost, Normandy (France). The vest was so meticulously preserved that her own daughter was able to wear it. This little striped vest is much more than a childhood souvenir: it is the only remaining trace of her beloved grandmother.
Listen to the vest's story
My grandmother lived in a bachelor apartment, a one-bedroom. The kitchen was just a small
stove. And Mom, sometimes she would go to the hospital and send me to my grandmother’s.
So, my grandmother only had one bed there, my grandmother slept at the head of the bed, my
aunt Dine and I at the foot of the bed and we laughed. She didn’t speak French, but I spoke
Yiddish. One day, I was at her house because, I was often at her house, and I slept there. She
crocheted this little vest for me, she thought I was going to be cold. That’s why she made this. I
wore it for a long time. I had it with me in Champlost, at home too. Later my daughter wore it.
How old were you when you wore it? I started around ten years old and I wore it maybe until I
got married, I think. Because I was so thin, Mom said I had an hourglass figure. So that’s why I
wore it here.
Is this the only thing you have from your grandmother? Yes, this is the only thing.
Was she deported? No, at that time they weren’t taking elderly people. So, they took my aunt,
my grandma stayed there, she had a heart attack. And then we took her to the hospital, we kept
her for two, three days in the hospital and then they said to Mom, “Bring her back,” and Mom
said, “I can’t, she had a heart attack.” So cynically, she was told, “You’re lucky we don’t
denounce you.” So, half pulling, half carrying her mother, she returned home, and my
grandmother died the next day.