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Thursday, January 31, 2008

The children of Terezin...

I will finish up posting on Terezin today with our visit to the Ghetto Museum.

The Ghetto Museum in Terezin is about a 1/2 mile from the Small Fortess. While nearly all of the buildings within the walls of the old town (the Large Fortess) are from the time of the Jewish Ghetto (late 1941 to May 1945) only one building serves as the museum.

There were a couple of particularly interesting items. First, there is a room with the names of the thousands who perished in the ghetto, which are listed in alphabetical order. Surprisingly, there are two Tischler - Manfred and Ernesta Tischler. I and my cousin Rick have been trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to follow our Tischler line back into Europe. Who knows if Manfred and Ernesta are some long lost relatives.

A stairway in the Ghetto Museum has copies of dozens of drawings from the children of Terezin.
Also, there was a room with dozens of pictures made by the children of Terezin. Thousands of drawings from the children were hidden and found after the war. They were quite moving. Each drawing had the name of the child who created it and thier fate. Most of the children ended up at Auschwitz where they died. Noah went through the drawings looking for the ones that were by children who survived the war. He would call to us when he found one and was happy. I guess it was his way of dealing with magnitude of the suffering of the kids (many his age). Yes, some did survive.

One of the drawings of life in the ghetto.

Arriving at the ghetto.

Here is a book I think I have ordered from Amazon. It's Fireflies in the dark: the story of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis and the children of Terezin by Susan Goldman Rubin.
From a review of the book: Although this book has the look of a picture book for younger children, the messages contained within are for older readers. Artist Dicker-Brandeis ran secret art classes for children at the Terezin Concentration Camp. She and nearly all of her pupils perished, but 5000 of the drawings and paintings were discovered hidden in a suitcase. Many of those works are found in this book.

1 comment:

sarabeth said...

Thanks for your comments on Terezin. I'm the costumer for the play, The Terezin Promise by Celeste Raspanti, the sequel to her play I Never Saw Another Butterfly. I esp. appreciate the color drawing as all the photos I've seen in my research are black and white. Amazing and dreadful time in history. The story of the play tells of the determination of the children to save the artwork and poems when the Nazis where destroying everything.