MJBW is delighted to bring you this special event in partnership with The Melbourne Holocaust Museum and The Shrine of Remembrance.

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. Drawing on diverse sources including interviews with the last surviving seamstress, The Dressmakers of Auschwitz follows the fates of these brave women.

In this captivating event, author and historian Lucy Adlington will join us virtually from the United Kingdom to uncover these stories. In conversation with the Melbourne Holocaust Museum’s Dr Breann Fallon, Lucy will reveal the bonds of family and friendship that helped these women endure persecution. 

Guests will have an opportunity to explore the Shrine’s exhibition Trenches to Runway: Military Influences on Modern Fashion before the talk commencesWhile the exhibition does not explore the themes in The Dressmakers of Auschwitz, it draws important parallels between the impact of military clothing design and wartime conditions on popular fashion, tracing these influences from the 1870s to the present day.

Important things to know before you book:

  • Light refreshments will be provided after the talk.
  • Guests will have an opportunity to submit questions for Lucy in their event booking.
  • Those wishing to explore Trenches to Runway will have the opportunity to do so from 5pm to 5.50pm. We cannot facilitate viewings after the talk.
  • Entry to this event is via the Shrine’s Education Foyer.


Lucy Adlington

Lucy Adlington is a writer and social historian, specialising in women’s history in the 1940s. Her recent history, The Dressmakers of Auschwitz – The True Story of the Women Who Sewed to Survive was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into 22 languages. Her new Holocaust history Four Red Sweaters will be published in March 2025….

Dr Breann Fallon

Dr Breann Fallon has been working in the cultural sector, educating on the Holocaust and other human rights issues since 2013. The granddaughter of non-Jewish survivors of Nazi persecution, Breann is focussed on ensuring we communicate the past to ensure a better present and future for all. As Head of Programming and Exhibitions, Breann leads…