The Holocaust is often best described in the simplicity of the art and words of the children who were the victims. Below are some poems and drawings from children of the Holocaust.
The picture above is a painting by a child interred in Terezin camp during the Holocaust. She dreamed of seeing butterflies again.
When a new child comes
Everything seems strange to him.
What, on the ground I have to lie?
Eat black potatoes? No! Not I!
I’ve got to stay? It’s dirty here!
The floor- why, look, it’s dirt, I fear!
And I’m supposed to sleep on it?
I’ll get all dirty!
Here the sound of shouting, cries,
And oh, so many flies.
Everyone knows flies carry disease.
Oooh, something bit me! Wasn’t that a bedbug?
Here in Terezín, life is hell
and when I’ll go home again, I can’t yet tell.
Ella Liebermann. 16 years old. Eating and soup distribution. Bedzin’s ghetto. Poland.
Page from a childrens memory book written in Terezin with a picture of a train headed from Terezin to Birkenau where a policeman is waiting to greet it.
On a Sunny Evening
On a purple, sun-shot evening
Under wide-flowering chestnut trees
Upon the threshold full of dust
Yesterday, today, the days are all like these.
Trees flower forth in beauty,
Lovely too their very wood all gnarled and old
That I am half afraid to peer
Into their crowns of green and gold.
The sun has made a veil of gold
So lovely that my body aches.
Above, the heavens shriek with blue
Convinced I’ve smiled by some mistake.
The world’s abloom and seems to smile.
I want to fly but where, how high?
If in barbed wire, things can bloom
Why couldn’t I? I will not die!
Michael Flack, 1944
It breaks my heart but that is a small price to pay to remember the slaughter of innocence like the two year old children below.
Sidonie de Winter was only 6 years old when she was murdered at Sobibor death camp on July 23, 1943.
Jakob Franken was only 6 years old when he was murdered at Auschwitz on October 8, 1944.
Ending this on a positive note
Just before Dachau was liberated on April 29, 1945, the women and their babies were evacuated from the Kaufering camp and put on a train bound for the main camp. On the way, the train was hit by Allied bombs, but the women and their babies survived; they arrived at Dachau shortly after the liberation.