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  • I've been involved with a "swap" site for quite a number of years, one in which the goal is to swap various kinds of items with other like-minded individuals. Items such as handmade crafts, postcards, magnets, ornaments; the list is endless, really.

    The most recent swap I've been involved in is one in which the participants don't actually receive the item the swap is for, a museum does. When I first read about it I became quite emotional and so very moved by the idea, that I knew I had to participate.

    Each participant in the swap was required to make a butterfly that would be sent to the Holocaust Museum in Texas for its Butterfly Project. The goal of the project is to memorialize the 1,500,000 children that perished as a result of the holocaust.

    I created the butterfly in the photo above, and after I packaged it up to be sent to the woman who is so graciously collecting them all on our behalf to forward to the museum, I closed my eyes and said a prayer for the children. Then I read this poem and cried for those children and all of the others who died so mercilessly.

    ~~May you all rest in peace.~~

    THE BUTTERFLY by Pavel Friedman

    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.

    Written by Pavel Friedman, June 4, 1942
    Born in Prague on Jan. 7, 1921.
    Deported to the Terezin Concentration Camp on April 26, 1942.
    Died in Aushchwitz on Sept. 29, 1944.
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