Rachel Cerrotti is a 4 time veteran staff with Israel Outdoors who has been working on a year long project called Follow My Footprints. Follow My Footprints is a long-term project that documents the cultural landscape of Rachel’s grandmother’s displacement as a result of the Holocaust. In 1939, at the age of 14, Hana Dubova left Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia for Denmark, whom in collaboration with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, had agreed to take in a group of 150 Czech Jewish teenagers between the ages of 14 and 16. She would be the only person in her family who would survive the war with the exception of some distant relatives.
During the many years that would follow, Hana found herself on the run, constantly adapting to new environments, anxieties, and cultural norms. Beginning in October 2014, Rachel is retracing this journey, documenting her grandmother’s travels between the years of 1939 and 1952 — from the time that she said goodbye to her loving parents and younger brother in Czechoslovakia to when she got married in New York City and started her own family.
Throughout this project, Rachel is based in Poland, a place where her great grandparents and great uncle perished in concentration camps. From there, she is traveling through the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. In the summer of 2015, Rachel will return to the United States and cross the country by train, continuing to follow her grandmothers travels after her immigration to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1950. She will be using the same modes of transportation as she did and visiting the communities which became home throughout those defining years.