Children’s voices from Terezin
I turned the page and saw a
Of their own hand
Like children do in art class or vacation bible school
I wanted to touch that hand
I wanted to comfort that hand
It was decades dead
And yet still living.
They were forced to live in a crowded ghetto
Created for the cameras
“See, they were living well. They have food and medicine.
Ignore the rumors of torture and murder. ”
The children lived the horror of the truth.
Hungry. Sick. Abandoned.
They lived in fear every. single. day.
Of being put on a train to Auschwitz
And seen no more.
The children left behind drawings of their hands
And of their fears and of memories of butterflies.
The children wrote poetry.
They wrote “….I never saw another butterfly…”
Aharon Appelfeld, a child survivor of the Holocaust, said
“Art constantly challenges the process by which the individual person
Is reduced to anonymity.”
From the forward of the book “I never saw another butterfly”
“Through their artistic expressions, the voices of the children,
Each one unique and individual, reach us across the abyss
Of the greatest crime in human history, allow us to touch them,
And restore our own humanity in doing so.”
God, help us.