I Never Saw Another Butterfly, a poem written by the child, Pavel Freidman (short bio included), before he was murdered at Theresienstadt Concentration Camp

Regular Sunday Announcements are in process and will post later today, but yesterday was International Holocaust Rememberence Day. I share the poem of a child imprisoned and murdered at Theresienstadt Concentration Camp. We remember it with the hope that there will never be another genocide and that children of every race, country and creed will be allowed to fulfill their promise, to grow up, to grow old and to die in God’s time. Even as we do, there are genocides currently happening around the world, ten of which are full-blown. Ironically, “prominent scholars of the international law crime of genocide and human rights authorities take the position that Israel’s policies toward the Palestinian people could constitute a form of genocide.” Details HEREMay all sentient beings find peace.

I Never Saw Another Butterfly

by Pavel Freidman

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.

Butterfly-cover-largePavel Friedman was born in Prague on January 7, 1921. He was deported to Theresienstadt Concentration Camp on April 26, 1942 and later to Auschwitz, where he died on September 29, 1944.  The poem was found when Theresienstadt was liberated in February 1945.

Pevel’s poem is included in and lends its name to the title of a collection of poems and artwork by the children and youth of Theresiesnstadt* and published by Hana Volavková and Jiří Weil in 1959.

I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Children’s Drawings and Poems from the Terezin Concentration Camp, 1942-1944

* Theresienstadt was the German name for Terezín, a Czech fortress. “After the Munich Agreement in September 1938 and following the occupation of the Czech lands in March 1939, with the existing prisons gradually filled up as a result of the Nazi terror, the Prague Gestapo Police prison was set up in the Small Fortress  in 1940. The first inmates arrived on June 14, 1940. By the end of the war 32,000 prisoners of whom 5,000 were women passed through the Small Fortress. These were primarily Czechs, later other nationals, for instance citizens of the former Soviet Union, Poles, Germans and Yugoslavs. Most of the prisoners were arrested for various acts of resistance to the Nazi regime, they were later sent to the extermination camps like Mauthausen in many cases; it was also destiny of family members and supporters of the Reinhard Heydrich assassins. The Jewish Ghetto was created in 1941.” Wikipedia

A response worth sharing from bogpan (a.k.a. Bozhidar Pangelov – (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия) “Great pain for my heart. The Bulgarian people have saved 50,000 of their Jewish citizens. But not all. Never more genocide!”

Amen to that.


Written by: Bozhidar Pangelov © 2018, All rights reserved

It flows, the river flows
and spills…
I won’t, I won’t
with hair of sea.
I won’t
with a face of moons.
Today the green people
enter there
and raise
their hands
My heart is
carved into

Bury it.