Hidden In Plain Sight: Madeleine Albright
We all have a personal history. For some that history is well known, while for others there is much that has been lost. For me there were gaps in my knowledge, and there are manyquestions I wish I had asked of my parents. Placing them in the context of the time in which they lived, I know why they made certain moral choices. There are many stories similar to mine ofparents who wanted to protect their children from knowing the past. After discovering andresearching my family’s history, I wrote Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War to give meaning and honor to the lives of my grandparents and other family members whoperished in the Holocaust.
In this limited edition artist book, Bunny Burson reflects on her history and the decision herparents made not to burden their daughters with the past. She never felt she had permission toask questions, but many of them were answered when she discovered a bundle of letters in the attic of her family home. They gave her insight into the lives of the grandparents she never knew.
When she had the letters translated, she learned that after her grandparents had sent their son and daughter (her mother) to the United States on the morning of Kristallnacht, November 9,1938, they fled Leipzig, Germany for Riga, Latvia. The letters they sent were then “hidden in plain sight” in her family’s attic for almost 70 years.
Those letters are the inspiration and foundation for this book. Ms. Burson has chosen to explore and embrace her history through her work as a printmaker. She has taken this trove of personal correspondence and has transformed it into art. She has followed her grandparents’ journey using their words as her imagery. In creating art from their script she has given life and elegance to their sometimes desperate, always tender words. Reflected in this book are their thoughts and fears, but most of all the intensity of the love and devotion they had for their children, as they struggled unsuccessfully to be reunited with them.
This book specifically embodies Ms. Burson’s story. But she reminds us of the importance and the beauty in our own history. We all know that to navigate the past can be painful. But we all have that desire within us to want to know who we are through the lives and decisions of those who came before us.
Former Secretary of State