“We’re not heroes. It burns me up how people use the word ‘hero’ today. The heroes are the kids who gave 100 percent; they gave their lives. The heroes are the mothers who gave up a son, who carried him for nine months, and raised him to do right, and he does right, and at eighteen, he goes to fight for his country, and he dies doing right. That’s a hero…Bill and I get furious when we hear it used in the wrong context. We know we’re not heroes. The kids who went to war and never walked back through his mother’s front door, he’s the hero.”—Edward ‘Babe’ Heffron (16 May 1923-1 December 2013)
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, June 4, 1942
Born in Prague on Jan. 7, 1921.
Deported to the Terezin Concentration Camp on April 26, 1942.
Died in Aushchwitz on Sept. 29, 1944.
“I Never Saw Another Butterfly”
Children’s Drawings and Poems from Terezin Concentration Camp 1942–1944. By Hana Volavkova (Editor)
More than 12,000 children under the age of 15 passed through the Terezin Concentration Camp between the years 1942-1944. More than 90 percent perished during the Holocaust. In these poems and pictures drawn by the young inmates of Terezin, we see the daily misery of these uprooted children, as well as their courage and optimism, their hopes and fears.