Prime Minister opens schoolchildren exhibition in commemoration of Jewish victims
of the genocide

Date

2012 09 21

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Today, the Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius has opened the exhibition "Butterflies" dedicated to the memory of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Made by Lithuanian schoolchildren, the exhibits symbolize the souls of the Jewish children and their unfulfilled dreams and wishes.

"It\`s hard to put into simple words the truth, which is so painful and yet so familiar; the truth which is symbolised by this exhibition. The butterfly of miraculous beauty and its delicate wings symbolizes childhood cut short abruptly for so many children by the Holocaust tragedy, whose life was as short as that of a butterfly. The fact that thanks to children we have been brought together for this exhibition, is very a moving and hopeful moment", – said A. Kubilius at the opening ceremony.

The exhibition “Butterfly” was created in 2011-2012 in the framework of the national project marking the International Holocaust Remembrance Day (27 January) and commemorating innocent children that fell victims to the Holocaust. The project idea came from the poem "Butterfly" by Pavel Friedman, who wrote it in 1942 while in Terezin concentration camp, and who was killed on 29 September 1944 in Auschwitz.

The exhibition contains more than 6000 butterflies, created by students from over 70 schools. A part of the finished butterflies went to the Schneider Children\`s Medical Centre in Israel for children in serious health condition. The other part was sent to the Holocaust museum in Houston (USA), which intends to hold an exhibition of butterflies from around the world in 2014. The exhibition is expected to house 1.5 million butterflies – the number of Jewish children killed in Europe during the Holocaust.

The project “Butterfly” was launched and coordinated by the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania in cooperation with Tolerance Education Center of the Vaižgantas Pro-gymnasium in Radviliškis.