This is a poem by Pavel Friedman who was a Jewish Czechoslovak poet. He wrote this poem possibly while in Theresienstadt Concentration Camp. The poem was discovered after Theresienstadt was liberated. It has inspired the Butterfly Project, a project that commemorates the children who perished during the Holocaust and reminds us to always hope.
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 good-bye.
For seven weeks I've lived in here,
Penned up inside this ghetto.
But I have found what I love here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut branches in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly.
That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don't live in here,
in the ghetto.
What is difficult here?
What calls to you?
How will you respond?