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TAG’s workshops will explore the drawings and poetry of children imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camp at Terezin


Tag's theatre project:

TAG is just coming to end of its first week working with schools is East Renfrewshire for a Holocaust Memorial Project. 4 drama workers and 2 visual artists are working in two teams until 12 December, to provide one day workshops for all P7 and S1 pupils in the area – in a total of 31 schools (reaching an incredible 1672 pupils).

This work is in preparation for Holocaust Memorial Day which will be on 27 January 2004. East Renfrewshire is hosting the commemorations for Scotland and has employed TAG to help them examine their theme for this year: The Arts.

The Inspiration :

The World

by Franta Bass 4.9.1930-28.10.1044 Terezin

A great globe turns about

Around the sun, around the stars.

The globe has a name,

The globe is called The World.

People live on this glob,

Beasts live their wild lives there.

The globe has been turning for ages,

The globe is surly dying

Translated into English by Edith Pargeretova

TAG’s full day workshops will explore the drawings and poetry of children imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camp at Terezin (Theresienstadt) outside of Prague. TAG’s workshops will take inspiration from the book “…I never saw another butterfly…” Children’s Drawings and Poems from Terezin Concentration Camp 1942-1944 (published by Shocken Books – see link below). This collection created by the children! who were incarcerated in Terezin, is a stark, honest and inspiring depiction of life in a concentration camp. It brings to life the daily activities as well as the hopes and fears of its young authors.

Terezin was an unusual camp in that it was created to cover up the Nazi genocide of the Jews. Billed as the “Fuhrers gift to the Jews” this “model ghetto” was the site of a Red Cross inspection visit in 1944. With its high proportions of artists and intellectuals, culture flourished in the ghetto – alongside starvation, disease and constant dread of transports to death camps in the east.

TAG’s workshop leaders will facilitate creative responses to the art work produced in Terezin, the day will focus on the creativity that flourished in the camp, even under persecution and the lessons that can be learnt from it.

A total of 15,000 children under the age of fifteen passed through Terezin Concentration Camp between 1942-1944; less than 100 survived.
to ensure that racism and intolerance never again give rise to such horrendous crimes against humanity.”

About the theme:

As outlined in the Statements of Purpose and Commitment, Holocaust Memorial Day is about both past and present. It is about commemorating and continuing to learn from the events of the Holocaust, and about relating those lessons to the ever-changing world around us.

The provision of a different theme for each year's commemoration reflects and aids this process. Rather than leaving us to contemplate the Holocaust simply in its sheer enormity, the theme provides a focal point, facilitating the development of deeper understanding about different aspects of the Holocaust and the implications these have today.

For 2004, the theme of Holocaust Memorial Day is 'From the Holocaust to Rwanda: lessons learned, lessons still to learn'.

However, this and every year, 'Britain and the Holocaust', adopted as the main theme in 2002, will form the backdrop to the Day. The key tasks of HMD are to make people understand that the Holocaust is part of British history, that is relevant to Britain today and that it offers important lessons for British citizens in the Twenty First Century.

I Am a Jew

by Franta Bass 4.9.1930-28.10.1044 Terezin

I am a Jew , a Jew I shall remain,

Even if I die of hunger

I will not give up my nation,

I will fight always

for my nation,on my honour.

I will never be ashamed

Of my nation, on my honour.

I am proud of my nation,

A nation most worty of honour.

I shall always be oppressed.

I shall always  live again.

Translated into English by Edith Pargeretova

The relevance of Holocaust Memorial Day

As well as providing a national mark of respect for the victims of Nazi persecution and those who still suffer its consequences, Holocaust Memorial Day aims to raise awareness and understanding of how the events of the Holocaust are a continuing issue of fundamental importance.

In particular the Day offers an opportunity for people in 21st century Britain to reflect upon, consider and discuss how those events still have relevance for all members of today's society. Ultimately the Day aims to restate the continuing need for vigilance and to motivate people, individually and collectively, to ensure that the horrendous crimes, racism and victimisation committed during the Holocaust are neither forgotten nor repeated, whether in Europe or elsewhere in the world.

Why look at Rwanda?

One way we can remind ourselves of the relevance of the Holocaust is to look at more recent atrocities that raise similar issues - showing that genocide did not end with the Holocaust, and that in the years since, many of the human tragedies witnessed in the Holocaust have recurred, albeit in different contexts and circumstances. The Rwandan genocide is one example.

Although comparisons between the Holocaust and any other event are not necessary in order to 'learn the lessons', it does seem appropriate, however, to ask the question; 'So what have we learned?' Given that the year 2004 will mark the tenth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, it is fitting to consider this question in the theme for that year's Holocaust Memorial Day.

But how are events such as the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide relevant to 21st Century Britain? There are two broad ways in which they are very significant. Firstly, they act as warnings of where racism and other forms of prejudice and discrimination can lead (in combination with other factors) and so allow us as individuals to reflect on our own responsibility to tackle these issues personally and in our society at large. Secondly, we can consider how Britain and the British respond to atrocities in other parts of the world.

The 2004 National Event :

Each year, a different city hosts the Holocaust Memorial Day National Event. The 2004 National Event will be hosted by Belfast City Council. The National Event's move to Northern Ireland follows its transition last year from England to Scotland, when Edinburgh took this on from Manchester.

Secretary of State, Paul Murphy MP, has said that it is important to ensure that racism and intolerance never again give rise to crimes against humanity. He was welcoming the choice by the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, that Belfast will host the fourth National Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January 2004.

Mr Murphy said: “I am honoured that Northern Ireland, and in particular Belfast, has been chosen to host the 2004 National Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration.

“The Northern Ireland commemorations for Holocaust Memorial Day held in Belfast in 2002 and in Armagh in 2003 were poignant and moving reminders to us of the great suffering caused during the Holocaust and other more recent acts of genocide in other parts of the world. I am confident that many in society here will look forward to the opportunity of communicating the importance of the lessons learned and still to be learned from these events

Contact information :

TAG Theatre Company
Floor 2
18 Albion Street
G1 1LH

t +44 (0) 141 552 4949
f +44 (0) 141 552 0666
e info@tag-theatre.co.uk


The Poems and Drowings on this page are reproduced  from :I have not seen a butterfly around here

published by The Jewish Musem Prague 1993 -All rights reserved to the Museum.

Source: Tag Theatre Company

Related Links:

  • TAG Theatre Company
  • Holocaust Memorial Day
  • The Book : I never saw another butterfly...
  • Terezin
  • The Jewish Museum in Prague , Terezin collection
  • Association of Holocaust Organisations
  • Beit Theresienstadt
  • Yad Vashem Jerusalem
  • International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

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