...I never saw another butterfly... by Hana VolavkovaThis is a heart-breaking and yet sweet book of childrens poems, diary entries and artwork from Terezin, a Czech concentration during WWII. These children dream of home, the fleeting presence of butterflies and birds, ponder the loss of friends, and imagine a possible escape from the horror of their situation.
Almost all these artists died at Terezin or were later shipped to Auschwitz where they perished. A very few children survived: only .67% (100 out of 15,000). I love the following poem, most likely written by a child who only lived a few more years at most:
He doesnt know the world at all
Who stays in his nest and doesnt go out.
He doesnt know what birds know best
Nor what I want to sing about,
That the world is full of loveliness.
When dewdrops sparkle in the grass
And earths aflood with morning light,
A blackbird sings upon a bush
To greet the dawning after night.
Then I know how fine it is to live.
Hey, try to open up your heart
To beauty; go to the woods someday
And weave a wreath of memory there.
Then if the tears obscure your way
Youll know how wonderful it is
To be alive.
NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMPS
Yet many survivors and their descendants have used poetry to effectively distill the terror and dread of the Holocaust into words. For some writers, the emotional and personal nature of the form makes poetry the ideal medium in which to express ideas and sentiments that otherwise could not be adequately rendered through art. In short, poetry allows these writers to express the inexpressible. Early poets of the Holocaust, including survivors Paul Celan and Nelly Sachs, wrestled with a variety of interrelated subjects based on their experiences, including profound loss and the nature of victimhood. These issues manifested themselves in poems of stark power and beauty.
Holocaust denial is said to be at the heart of these kind of atrocities, according to the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust , so remembering these horrendous events is essential. The sad and horrible conclusion is that no one cared that Jews were being murdered… This is the Jewish lesson of the Holocaust and this is the lesson which Auschwitz taught us — Ariel Sharon. The Holocaust illustrates the consequences of prejudice, racism and stereotyping on a society. To me, the Holocaust stands alone as the most horrible human event in modern civilisation — Robert Shapiro. People are feeling and sensing a return of anti-Semitism — even in Europe, which, 70 years after the Holocaust, is a very scary thing. When the Holocaust happened, I was 15 years old. My parents kept it a secret from me, despite belonging to the Red Cross.
Five poems to remember
I do believe, with all my heart, In the natural Goodness of Man. I do believe, with all my heart, That God gave man the blessing and the curse. Man can select the curse of envy, hatred and prejudices, Or the blessing of love, harmony and beauty. Despite the painful curses of the past, In the blessing of the Creator, I do believe. I do believe, with all my heart, That God created a beautiful world, The sun and the trees, the flowers and the bees. And the best way to serve God, is To enjoy the fruits of His labor of love.
Jacqueline van Maarsen, who was a childhood friend of Anne Frank, received the poem in the s from her sister, Christiane, who gave her the poem because Jacqueline was closer to Anne, the NOS public broadcaster reported Thursday. The sisters are not Jewish. In November , van Maarsen auctioned off the poem, which is dated March 28, A man shows a handwritten poem by Anne Frank, written shortly before she went into hiding from the Nazis, at the auction Bubb Kuyper in Haarlem on November 22, It follows the vein of such poems which often contained a moral about love and friendship, calling on girls to work hard and be diligent.