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THE TUCSON BUTTERFLY TRAIL

The Butterfly Project Trail Map

The Butterfly Project

The Butterfly Project draws inspiration from a poem written by Pavel Friedman, A Czechoslovakian Jew born on January 7, 1921. Pavel wrote “The Butterfly” while he was imprisoned at Terezin concentration camp in 1942. Still only a child, Pavel gave words to the unspeakable in his haunting reflection on the loss of freedom and the memory of a life full of beauty and love taken away. Pavel Friedman was murdered at the Auschwitz
concentration camp on September 29, 1944, sharing the fate of 1.5 million other children killed in the Holocaust.

Eight decades later, Pavel’s imagery has been adapted to a symbol of transformation and hope, and his words have become a call to empathy for the horrendous impacts of bigotry and oppression.

THE BUTTERFLY

The last, the very last,
So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.
Perhaps if the sun’s tears would sing
against a white stone…
Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly ‘way up high.
It went away I’m sure because it
wished to kiss the world goodbye.
For seven weeks I’ve lived in here,
Penned up inside this ghetto
But I have found my people here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut candles in the
court. Only I never saw another
butterfly.
That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don’t live in here,
In the ghetto.

- Pavel Friedman

 

 

 

 

Thu, February 2 2023 11 Shevat 5783