news-category: Campus News

Gardner-Webb Dover Library Displays Artwork, Poems by Children in Concentration Camp

Friedl Dicker Brandeis

Exhibit Includes Drawings from Holocaust Survivor who Visited the University in 2013

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—An exhibit on display through Nov. 5 in Dover Memorial Library features the art and poetry of the children of Terezin, a World War II concentration camp located in the Czech Republic. There were 15,000 children under the age of 15 who passed through the camp from June 14, 1940, to May 9, 1945. Fewer than 100 survived.

Some of the artwork on display came from Ela Weissberger, a survivor of Terezin, who gave the drawings to Gardner-Webb when she came for a program in 2013 sponsored by Life of the Scholar (LOTS). “I wanted to use these drawings in a way that would honor all the teachers who gave their talents and attention to the children who were in Terezin concentration camp,” stated Nancy Bottoms, gallery director and GWU professor emerita of English and Art. “Their intention was to instill in the children, and adults, hope and to give them the knowledge and strength that could lead to normal and productive lives in the future.”

Ella Weissberger
Ella Weissberger

The exhibit also remembers the contributions of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, a strong, talented, self-sacrificing woman, who led the efforts to teach the children in the camp. The art and poetry in the exhibit demonstrates that the children were encouraged to illustrate what they were feeling, whether longing for what could be or fearing what was. It is also significant that so much of the work survived, because the teachers saved it and hid it, and those who survived until liberation, retrieved it and took it with them back into the world.

In support of this display, the library has purchased the children’s book, “I Never Saw Another Butterfly,” a collection of the children’s poems and drawings that reflect their surroundings in Terezin. The book further shows the daily misery of these uprooted children, as well as their hopes and fears, their courage and optimism.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.

I am a Jew poem
butterfly painting

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