...I never saw another butterfly...
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...I never saw another butterfly...

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4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  1,135 ratings  ·  88 reviews
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.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published March 15th 1994 by Schocken (first published December 27th 1987)
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James M. Madsen, M.D.
I read this book just after visiting the site of the Dachau concentration camp, and although this book is about Theresienstadt, not Dachau, the two experiences were definitely synergistic for me. The book is really several books in one: a) introductory material and an epilogue; b) a collection of poems written by children in Theresienstadt; c) an interspersed collection of children's drawings from art classes (taught by, among others, a gifted artist who later perished in another camp); d) a sec...more
Robin
the PC thing would probably be for me to give this 5 stars.

The context is tragic and moving-- poems and pictures done by kids in a WWII "model ghetto" (where people died in their own excrement and hundreds were shipped out to concentration camps daily). With a couple of exceptions, the poems themselves weren't as moving for me as I had expected they might be...
Carol E.
Last month I was lucky to have the opportunity to visit Terezin, a former concentration camp in Czech Republic. On one side of town is the fortress where they kept adult prisoners. In the town itself, every resident was evacuated, and the town was taken over by Nazis. Children lived in a barracks/prison in the town, while the regular housing was used by Nazis.

There were no amenities for the children, of course, but adults arranged secret schooling for them. There they concentrated many lessons o...more
Sandy
Recently reading about the Houston Holocaust Museum's planned 2013 exhibition titled The Butterfly Project, I read for the first time Pavel Friedmann's poem The Butterfly" in which he remarks that he has seen no butterfly in the ghetto though some of the beauty of the natural world insists on itself even there.

The ghetto is the Terezin Concentration Camp in Czechoslovakia. Terezin was a bizarre experiment of the Third Reich, which set it up as a place to hold Jewish artists, intellectuals, and...more
Valerie
Otto Frank recalled that during his arrest, one of the Green Police found his foot locker from his days in the German Army. The Green Policeman asked him why he didn't just turn himself in, and he would have been sent to Terezin. "As if," Otto fumed "Terezin was a country club".

If the Franks HAD been sent to Terezin, the group of children in this book would have included at least Anne Frank, and possibly her sister Margot.

Other people who were sent to Terezin were the true inventor of aspirin, a...more
Sharon Huether
Poems and picture by children in a ghetto in Terezin. They missed their homes, felt dirty and didn't have enough to eat. Even thought they saw death every day,they still had hope. In 1944 they were sent to Auschwitz where most of them died. A few of the Children worked in the camps and were freed at the end of the war. The children had an art teacher at the ghetto that shared her talents and all her art supplies with them. She also died in Auschwitz.
Lauren Ritcey
Genre: Poetry
Awards:
Grade Level:5-6
Comments: I would use this book to discuss the history of the Holocaust. The poems would be used to provide discussion ideas, and the students can ask questions based on the poems. I think the poems will relate to the children and they can have a better connection/understanding of the topic. I could also use this as a writing tool, the students who have trouble with poetry can see all these kids that went through the struggle, can still write a beautiful poem....more
Maureen Houston
This book is comprised of poems and drawings done by the children that were inhumanely kept in the Terezin Concentration Camp during WWII. I have slept with this book next to me in bed for over a week, and have several times reread poems while tears ran down my face. Thinking of the fear, hunger, and heartache the 15,000 children who passed through this 'ghetto' must have faced is unimaginable. Only 100 of those children survived.

This was an invented 'model camp', where foreigners and Red Cross...more
Ryan Lockhart
My college choir director introduced us to a song series that was based on three of the poems in this book. You will be both inspired and moved to the brink of tears after reading the stories of these children. Fantastic!!!
Kat
My friend Ida gave this book to me and it just haunted me - another lie foisted upon the world by the Nazi inner circle. An unforgettable book. I have used this with students and it is so readable.
Edwina Hall Callan
So sad ... reading the poems and looking at the drawings and paintings ... to think that so much talent was never given the chance to reach their full potential.
We must never forget .........
Chelsea
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda
I first heard about this book when I was judging a speech meet and one of the students did a Serious Oral Interpretation with the poem "I Never Saw Another Butterfly" as a lead-in.

At the time the book did not seem to be available in the United States - at least I couldn't find a copy. I visited Terezin in 1999 and bought the book at that time. It has since become available in the States.

The horror being incomprehensible, the drawings and poems allow the voices of the children of Terezin to be he...more
Cheri Ragland
Poetry comes in many different forms, I had thought I had read it all. Until I read, "I never saw another butterfly".This book is composed of many beautifully illustrated children's pictures, along side a wonderfully written poem or writing. The children writing these poems were from the Terezin Concentration Camp, 1942-1944. In just those two years the author states that a "total of 15,000 children under the age of fifteen passed through the Terezin Concentration Camp, less than 100 survived"....more
Clare Wojda
1. Genre - Poetry
2. Awards -
3. Grade Level - 5-6
4. I would read excerpts of this book aloud to my students throughout a two or three week period. Reading this aloud would give more of a powerful effect than simply having the students read the poems by themselves, but I would encourage them to do this as well. Before reading any of "...I never saw another butterfly," I would read the note from the Holocaust Museum and the foreword so my students would have a background of information about Terez...more
Mikayla Ford
This is a book full of thousands of illustrations followed by poems, of those who most likely have passed. Children, adolescence and adults all writing about one thing; the day that changed there lives. But what was that holding in the grip of its palms?... A butterfly. That will soon fly away into the night sky to start a new life.But having difficulties on the way, and getting through tough roadblocks. There butterflies certainly did fly away... fly away to the people they'll always love; fami...more
Isabelle
Out of more than fifteen thousand children that passed through Terezin concentration camp, not even one hundred survived.
Those children had an opportunity to write poetry and draw thanks to a few enlightened teachers who scrounged around for materials and gave those children an opportunity to express themselves in a creative and therapeutic way.
I bought the book at the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem, probably because I was so moved by the children's memorial.
The book is also very moving becaus...more
Megan
I used this book of poems and illustrations in my 10th grade English class to examine alternate expressions of childrens experiences during the Holocaust. I paired this with the memoir, "Night" by Elie Weisel. My students responded better than expected to this book. They analyzed the poems in small groups, discussed the deeper meaning of them, and discussed why writing the poem or drawing the picture would have helped each child during this traumatic time in their lives. I would strongly recomme...more
Cornmaven
A very powerful historical record of children's poems, writings, and art from the Theresienstadt concentraton camp in Czechoslovakia. Every emotion is contained in here - good, bad, ugly. As you would expect, one is left with an immense sense of grief, and shame, over this one slice of Hitler's final solution, as very few of the kids lived.

I knew very little about Theresienstadt before I picked up this book - Auschwitz being the rock star that is most mentioned in books. So the forewords, epilog...more
Abbie
This is a collection of artwork and poetry created by children who lived in Terezin concentration camp in Poland during WWII. An introduction by Chaim Potok enumerates the history of Terezin from its creation in 1780 as a fortress to its days as a concentration camp. The Nazi’s used Terezin as a “model” camp to show the Red Cross how human their operations were. Of course, it was all a lie. Of the 15,000 children who passed through Terezin, only 100 survived. Terezin was not a death camp; many p...more
Julia Jenkins
I grew up with the first edition of this book. My parents had (and still have) a hard bound copy, and my sister and I would peruse the pictures and read the poems about once a year. I was born in the 1960's, and World War II was still relatively fresh in the hearts and minds, though Vietnam was soon to be in the forefront. The poems and pictures were sometimes difficult to read and browse, but they always reminded us of what had happened to thousands upon thousands of children our age. The book...more
L13F_Jana Wilkening
I chose this as the "award winning" book to review. This book contains poems and drawings done by children in the Terrezin Concentration camp. Reading their firsthand poetic accounts of camp life, homesickness, and their families provided emotional testimonials more powerful than any historical fiction pieces I had read from this time period. The illustrations were reprinted beautifully and showed the sense of hope, creativity, and life that all of the children possessed. The book is put togethe...more
Lori
Jun 01, 2010 Lori rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
I read this book to prepare lessons for my 6th grade classroom. We were learning about the Terezin Ghetto that was open during WWII in preparation for attending the play I Never Saw Another Butterfly. The book is a collection of poems and visual artwork that were done by Jewish prisoners who were held in this ghetto, mostly by children. The history of the ghetto is amazing and something I was never aware of until I read this book. My students were silent as they read and responded to the poems....more
Andy Shuping
Everyone knows of the atrocities that the Nazi's perpetrated during the Holocaust, but how many people stop and think about the children that were in the concentration camps? Or what they had to bear? Shocking as it is the children at Terezin were allowed to have some time together, with a former art teacher, to sketch and create, and to basically have a form of art therapy for all of the horrors they were seeing (not that the Nazi's realized that therapy was occurring.) This book captures some...more
Blank
I Never Saw Another Butterfly is a bunch of poems and drawings that have been put together to create one story that tells you of a concentration camp, Terezin, from 1942-1944. These stories and poems were written by children and young teenagers, whom many perished at the camp, about what they missed and how life was in Terezin. THe children's voices truely shine through their writing and really proves how awful and tramatic life was during the Holocaust. The drawings and paintings, also done by...more
Shelley
~I’d like to go away alone
Where there are other nicer people,
Somewhere into the far unknown
There, where no one kills another

Maybe more of us,
A thousand strong,
Will reach this goal
Before too long~

This poem by Alena Synkove and her artwork is just one of dozens of poems and paintings created by the children of Terezin Concentration Camp in Czechoslovakia from 1942 to 1944 featured in this riveting collection. They poignantly tell and show what these children saw, felt, and experienced, “leaving a...more
Nicole
A really stunning collection of works of both art and poetry.
Moira Landry
I think I have an older version of this w/out introductions
Kasey
This is the most depressing shit on the planet.
Meredith
Heartbreaking.
The saddest part wasn't the longing for home or depictions of cruelty they children witnessed and suffered. It was the endnotes. Each contained a bare handful of facts about the child artists and poets: name, date and place of birth, date of deportation to Terezin, date of transport to Auschwitz, and the date of death. Almost none of the children whose art fills this book survived. A bottle filled with the light of extinguished stars might give one the same sense of hopelessness o...more
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