This is a wooden rolling pin that was made by hand by my greatgrandfather in Lithuania and given to his daughter, my grandmother, Chana Choderofsky, when she and her two sisters came to live in England at the turn of the 20th Century. They were Jewish and were subject to deadly progroms, so they fled West as thousands of Jews did during that time. My greatgrandfather and his three sons remained in Lithuania as they thought it was too dangerous to go to Europe.
Ironically my greatgrandfather and his family were probably killed in the Holocaust. We have no contact with any relatives there and I know that my grandmother had limited contact with them after she left.
I use this rolling pin often as I love baking; it is what I would rescue in a fire after my children. It links me directly with my greatgrandfather who held it in his hands. I would have loved for him to know what good lives his family have had, and how my grandmother's sacrifice in leaving her family was worth it. She and her sisters never saw their father and brothers again, something I find hard to imagine. It reflects the sacrifice of many millions across time leaving their homes in hope of a better life.