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I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Children's Drawings and Poems from the Terezin Concentration Camp, 1942-1944 Paperback – March 15, 1994
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Czech --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
From the Inside Flap
Fifteen thousand children under the age of fifteen passed through the Terezin Concentration Camp. Fewer than 100 survived. In these poems and pictures drawn by the young inmates, we see the daily misery of these uprooted children, as well as their hopes and fears, their courage and optimism. 60 color illustrations.
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Top Customer Reviews
...I never saw another butterfly... is a moving illustration of what it was like for a child to live in a concentration camp during WWII. The drawings often depict a life full of beauty and it seemed amazing to me that the children were able to, at this time, see all the beautiful things around them even though they were in the midst of death. The poems on the other hand often portray the longing of wanting to be in a safe place elsewhere, and they also relate more of the harsh reality of what was really going on at the concentration camps. The book is tied together through the contrast of the brightly colored paintings with the dim spirit of the poems. The reader will instantly be amazed at the talents of these young children, most under the age of 14, and at the same time feel a horrible sense of pity for these children, whom most perished in Auschwitz. The book is a wonderful and diverse collection of works, although there could have been a more diverse collection of authors included, instead of multiple works by the same author.
It is amazing to notice that some of the children who drew some of the pictures survived the war and even some have gone on to be artists today. This mere fact leaves the reader with a little bit of hope that the unforgettable memories of these children will forever be painted into the public, so that everyone can remember them in honor.
I wish I spoke Dutch (?) so that I could read contributor Helga Weissova's "Das Kunstlerische Schaffen" -- I'd like to see what else she has to say. I wish that Soña Spitzovã, who drew my favorite of the drawings ("Starlight In A Dark Room," page 53) hadn't died in Auschwitz before she was even fifteen years old.
The things these children saw! They noticed the trains, the transports. Helga Weissova did a painting of a woman, JUDE star on her clothing, whose hair was searched for lice. They also saw flowers in jelly jars on tables. They remembered their own beds.
I think that art exists, in part, to speak when we are no longer able to.
This book was purchased from my amazon.com wishlist. I think I'll be getting a copy for a friend who's in school to be an art therapist; I think she'll get a lot out of it.