Bucks remembers the children

NATALIE WEINTRAUB

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Bucks’ Gateway Center
reached its maximum capacity
of about 275 on Saturday,April
10 at 7:30 p.m., when it held
the production, “Remember
the Children.”
The doors opened at 7 p.m.
One woman was collecting
tickets, while another was
handing out programs for the
show.
At 7:33 p.m., the opening
music started to play, and a
gentleman was heard over the
loudspeaker giving background
information about
Terezin, or Theresienstadt.
Terezin was a transition station
before Auschwitz. On
October 16, 1941, the first
transports to Terezin began.
Only about 100 kids were alive
after the camp was liberated in
1945.
The production was dedicated
to the children who lost
their lives in the Holocaust.
The story of the youth who
perished was told through
dance and live music.
The performance was based
on, “I Never Saw Another
Butterfly,” a book comprised
of a number of works of art and
poetry created by the children
of Terezin.
Twice during the show, a
man interrupted to announce
over the loudspeaker the
names and ages of children
who passed away, most
having died at
Auschwitz.
The set included four
authentic-looking fences
that were designed to
replicate those around
the children’s barracks,
as well as a wooden door,
intended to look like that
of a compound.
The accompanying
music and sound effects,
in addition to the lighting
and the slow movements
of the performers, had a
powerful influence on
the audience.
Two women were
noticeably crying. Before
the show started, one of
them said, “I heard about
this through a friend, and
Saturday fit into my
schedule, so I was happy
to know I’d be able to see
it.”Using flashbacks, the
ballet told the story of a
girl named Raja
Englanderova, a child
survivor of the
Holocaust.
The introduction began
with an actress narrating
a scene about her character,
Raja, becoming
friends with Irena
Synkova, a teacher at a
school in Terezin, and
leader for one of the girls’
compounds.
Another scene
was that of the marriage
of Raja’s older
brother, Pavel, and a
girl named Irca.
One of the last
scenes showed Raja
meeting a young
boy, Honza; the two
fell in love with
each other. They
then began meeting
up between the barracks
to exchange
poems and drawings
by the children
of Terezin. These
were the works that
made up, “I Never
Saw Another
Butterfly.”
The final scene
depicted the liberation
of Terezin. The
cast went from
wearing brown,
ragged cloths to
l ight e r- f lowing,
white material. The
slow music then
changed to faster,
opera-like tunes.
The memorial
ended around 9
p.m., where many
people were seen in
the lobby of the
Gateway Center
congratulating the
performers with
flowers and hugs.

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