In commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day (the end of the month of Nisan), we reprint here a poem written by one of the Boys of Terezin in their secret magazine, Vedem. Zdenek Ornest dedicated the following poem to Ruth N., "a girl who immediately on our arrival at Terezin was sent on to Poland."

Your pale remembrance compels me to be calm,
That once again I may recall my love,
Perhaps I'll smile again when we embrace
You are my ally, and my best of friends.

Sweet remembrance, tell me a fairy tale
Of my beloved that now is lost to me,
Tell me the story of the Golden Glitter,
And tell the swallow to come back to me.

Fly after her and whisper it in her ear.
Does she remember me, even for a moment?
Is she well, and even more I'd know —
Am I still her one and only love?

Come quickly back to me, don't lost your way,
I would recall other memories from the past.
Beautiful you were, but I fear that you're gone.
Goodbye my love. I loved you once so well.


We are Children Just the Same: The Secret Magazine by the Boys of Terezin was a kind of Boys' Life magazine written by a group of about 115 13 to 15-year-old boys in in the Terezin concentration camp between 1942-1944. The boys wrote articles, sports features, theater reviews, jokes, interviews (one with the crematorium operators!), poems, and stories each week. They printed only one copy of each since there was no way to duplicate them, and then read them to each other behind the blackout shades in their dormitory.

Their editor was Petr Ginz who was 16 and an aspiring novelist; he did not survive. By the end of the war, all but one of the boys had been deported to Auschwitz; about 15 survived. The one boy who remained (as a blacksmith) buried the issues of the magazine (called VEDEM, which means "Vanguard" in Czech); after the war, he returned and dug them up.

The survivors spent 45 years trying to get it published, but they were thwarted by the Communist government who called it a "Zionist racist tract." It was finally published in Czech, German and English. Vaclav Havel wrote the Foreword to the English edition, which was published by JPS.

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