A new exhibition has opened at Rochester Cathedral called the 70,273 Project. It commemorates the lives lost during the Second World War due to the Nazi regime.
The number which lies behind the project represents the number of men, women and children who were killed between January 1940-August 1941 because they were deemed to be ‘imperfect’ or ‘unworthy of life’.
The Aktion T4 Programme is the only death programme that bears Adolf Hitler’s signature, it originated from a letter a farmer sent to Hitler asking for permission to kill his disabled son because he was ‘useless’.
For Hitler it was an opportunity to dispense of individuals who were judged to be an economic burden, or unfit for Nazi society, it also became the precursor of The Final Solution.
The project started on International Love Day in 2016 after its founder Jeanna Hewell-Chambers had the idea that each and every one of the victims should receive their own memorial.
Kent artist Wendy Daws has been running workshops to complete the two huge banners on display at the front of the Cathedral.
She said, “There are so many people who aren’t aware about this particular part of history. The Final Solution was being tested at this point and lives were just ended at the stroke of a pen.
“70,273 is the number of individuals who were eradicated because they were seen as an economic burden. This exhibit celebrates uniqueness with each block of fabric being as different as its maker, and the person they are commemorating.”
Over 13,500 3D crosses have been made in Kent by schools and community groups, however the project will be travelling all over the world until 70,273 crosses are made to commemorate the life of each individual.