Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"The Butterfly" (poem) by Pavel Friedman

"Only I never saw another butterfly"
(From 'The Butterfly' by Pavel Friedman)
Do Butterflies live in the ghetto?
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Pavel Friedman, Jewish Czechoslovakian poet
Born: Prague, Czechoslovakia, 7 January 1921
Died: Auschwitz concentration camp, 29 September 1944
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Pavel Friedman was one of many thousands from the pre-war Jewish community of Czechoslovakia forcibly deported from his home city of Prague firstly to the concentration camp at Terezin (Theresienstadt) and then to Auschwitz. It was at Auschwitz that Pavel Friedman was murdered by the Nazis - yet another victim of the Holocaust. 

While at Terezin concentration camp, on 4 June 1942, Pavel Friiedman wrote a poem, "The Butterfly", on a thin sheet of paper which was discovered after the war and donated to the Jewish Museum at Prague. Published in 1959, "The Butterfly" inspired the Holocaust Museum of Houston, Texas (U.S.A.) to create an exhibition of 1.5 Million paper butterflies, symbolising the number of children who died in the Nazi Holocaust. 

To read an English language translation of Pavel Friedman's poem "The Butterfly" and further information click on 'Comments' below.
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2 Comments:

Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

The Butterfly

The last, the very last,
So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.
Perhaps if the sun's tears would sing
against a white stone. . . .
Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly 'way up high.
It went away I'm sure because it wished to
kiss the world good-bye.

For seven weeks I've lived in here,
Penned up inside this ghetto.
But I have found what I love here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut branches in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly.
That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don't live in here,
in the ghetto.

Pavel Friedman (7 January 1921 - 29 September 1944)
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Wednesday, 24 May, 2017  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Click on the following link to access the English language website of the Jewish Museum in Prague:

Jewish Museum in Prague (website)

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Click on the following link to access the website of the Holocaust Museum Houston which includes further information on 'The Butterfly Project':
Holocaust Museum Houston (website)
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Thursday, 25 May, 2017  

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