“I Never Saw Another Butterfly”

“My name is Raja, Iwas born in Prague, I am a Jew, and I survived Terezin”…I admit this is a little late in being posted, but I never wrote about the fall play that our school preformed.  Obviously from the title, you can guess that our play was called “I Never Saw Another Butterfly”.  The main plot surrounded a young girl named Raja who was about my age.  The story went back and forth between the “old” Raja and the “young” Raja.  The elderly Raja narrated the story and there were flashbacks showing her time in a Jewish Ghetto during World War II.  Mrs. Geswein, our director, cast me as Raja both old and young. Throughout the many days of practicing I started to become my character, feeling the pain and suffering that she experienced when each one of her friends and family members perished.  I cannot say that the play itself was very uplifting, but I discovered and experienced (in a small way) a lot of the feelings that Jews and other prisoners felt in the camps.  One of the reasons that I really enjoyed the play  was that about half of the performance was shot in the “ghetto school room” (located in the childrens barracks)  as each one of us sat in the small area we recited poems that were written by real children survivors.  The title of the play was taken from a poem that I recited,”I never saw another butterfly,so richly, brightly, dazzling yellow.Perhaps if the sun’s tears sing against a white stone.Such, such a yellow is carried lightly way up high,it went away I’m sure because it wishedto kiss the world goodbye.For seven weeks I’ve lived in herepenned up inside this ghetto.But I have found my people here.The dandelions call to meand the white chestnut candles in the court.Only, I never saw another butterfly.That butterfly was the last one,butterflies don’t live here in the ghetto.”I thought it very amazing what these younger children endured throughout the war and reading and the poems that they left behind impacted me in many ways.  As the months passed Raja’s family members, friends, and sweet teacher Irena leave on trains bound for Auschwitz.  But Raja stays and in the end she is the only survivor…”Mother, father, Pavel, Irca, I hear you Honza I hear and remember. Irena Snkova I taught the children, my name is Raja, I was born in Prague, I am a Jew, and I survived Terezin. Not alone and not afraid.”These were the last words that I spoke before the curtains swished closed.  I will never forget Raja’s story and the pain and suffering that all Jews undertook with such courage and strength.


Some of us girls practicing our lines with the yellow Jewish star sewed onto our sleeves.



Raja comforting her mother when the family talks about what they used to have


Irena Snkova (our teacher) looking at the numbers on our arms


children coloring and writing in the classroom


Irena Snkova (the Jewish children's teacher)


Raja crying about her lost friend who was sent to a death camp by train


Raja's brother Pavel and his lover leaving for Auschwitz



End of dress rehearsal!