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80% of proceeds will be a direct donation to Rockland Holocaust Museum & Center for Tolerance and Education
I Never Saw Another Butterfly (Nyack, NY)
By Celeste Raspanti
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 7:30PM
Nyack Public Library
59 South Broadway
Part of the 5th annual National Jewish Theater Foundation Holocaust Theater International Initiative - Remembrance Readings
From 1942 to 1945 over 15,000 Jewish children passed through Terezin, a former military garrison set up as a ghetto. It soon became a station, a stopping-off place, for hundreds of thousands on their way to the gas chambers of Auschwitz. When Terezin was liberated in May, 1945, only about one hundred children were alive to return to what was left of their lives, their homes, and families. The phrase “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” comes from a poem written by a young man named Pavel Friedman. Before the war ended his poem and other artwork and poetry were buried so it would not be discovered and destroyed by the Nazis. At the war’s end Willy Groag, a former Terezin prisoner, was appointed coordinator of the children and youth department at the ghetto. His responsibilities included the rapid repatriation of the ghetto’s young population.
He was given two suitcases of children’s drawings and poems which he gave to the Prague Jewish Community. Authorities initially showed little interest in the poems and drawings, but after collecting dust for 10 years they were rediscovered and exhibited. The story of those years at Terezin remains in drawings and poems collected in I Never Saw Another Butterfly adapted by Celeste Raspanti into a moving play of remembrance and hope.
The running time is approximately 60 minutes and will be followed by a talkback.