Born in the Shanghai Ghetto after her family fled Germany in 1939, Judy Fleischer Kolb donated her little red dress for the 2009 opening of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center. Kolb’s story is told in detail in the Little Red Dress of Hope on Modern Daily Knitting, which invites each of us into the story of Kolb and her family, who were among 20,000+ refugees who fled Nazi persecution to Shanghai, the last safe harbor in the world.
As an homage to the endurance of this piece of clothing, the piece includes a link to a contemporary little red dress knitting pattern by designer Melissa Shinsato, available for purchase on the knitting website Ravelry.
Kolb, a former nurse and museum volunteer, uses her dress to urge children to have courage and to “realize their heroes are right in front of them.” Kolb continues, “I’m so happy my dress can bring hope to others. I only wish I could share the impact of the little red dress with my family who made my life so special.”
Starting Feb 17, a Knit-Optional KAL will be held on Facebook, accessible via the Little Red Dress KAL Facebook group, which is comprised of people who have been touched by the moving story, will have the opportunity to meet Kolb, Singer and Shinsato as they knit the dress step-by-step.
The little red dress is on display at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, IL. Museum volunteers have knit 60 copies of the dress, which are sent to classrooms around the nation to teach about the Holocaust, reaching more than 1,200 students each month.