In commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps, Kayleigh Septer, an Iowa Wesleyan College senior from Mt Pleasant, is sponsoring a Night to Remember on Wednesday, April 7, at 7:00 p.m. at the Iowa Wesleyan Chadwick Library International Room.
Septer, who completed an internship this past summer with the Mesa Historical Museum of Mesa, Arizona, has created a project to support an exhibit at Holocaust Museum Houston in Texas. The exhibit is slated to open in the spring of 2013.
The exhibit entitled “I Never Saw Another Butterfly”, is based on a poem written by Pavel Friedman, June 4, 1942. Friedman was deported to the Terezin Concentration Camp on April 26, 1942, and died in Auschwitz two years later. Friedman’s poem inspired a book by the same name, which features poems and pictures drawn by the children inmates of Terezin. More than 12,000 children under the age of 15 passed through the Terezin Concentration Camp between 1942-1944. More than 90 percent perished during the Holocaust. The Holocaust Museum Houston is mounting an effort to collect 1.5 million handmade butterflies, representing the 1.5 million children who died during the Holocaust. The butterflies will eventually comprise a breath-taking exhibition when they take “flight” to remind the world of the tragedy of the Holocaust. Currently the museum has collected 400,000 butterflies.
On Wednesday, April 7, Septer will provide art materials for volunteers to make butterflies, which will be shipped to the Houston museum. Students, community members, church groups and community groups are invited to stop by the International Room, Iowa Wesleyan Chadwick Library from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. to help make butterflies. Septer’s goal for the evening is to create 250 butterflies, each bearing the name of a child who died during the Holocaust. Names are being provided from the Holocaust Museum Houston. Persons wishing to donate art supplies including crayons, colored pencils, markers, craft paper, stickers or other craft supplies may drop the materials off at Chadwick Library, Circulation Desk or bring them the night the event.
The evening will also include a display of books and materials related to the Holocaust. Music will be played that was composed at the Terezin Concentration Camp by composers and musicians such as Julius Stwertka, violinist and a former leading member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and co-leader of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, who perished in the camp on December 17, 1942. In keeping with spirit of the project, no graphic pictures of the war or the concentration camps will be on display for this event.
The United States Congress established the Days of Remembrance as the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust and created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a permanent living memorial to the victims. This year, Holocaust Remembrance Day is Sunday, April 11, 2010.
Days of Remembrance activities held throughout the nation are in remembrance of not only the Jews who were exterminated but among the 6 million murdered were the Polish people, Gypsies, the handicapped, political dissidents, Soviet prisoners of war, homosexuals and the only other religion-specific group, Jehovah’s Witnesses. Days of Remembrance activities are meant not only to include remembering the victims of the Holocaust but also to encourage persons to remain “vigilant against hatred, persecution, and tyranny, and rededicate ourselves to the principles of individual freedom in a just society.”
Questions concerning the event may be directed to Kayleigh Septer at 319.385.4221 or to Joy Lynn Conwell, Chadwick Library, at 319.385.6318.