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."
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.
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.
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
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