Inscription on the Pedestal Next to the Theresienstadt Tree

Theresienstadt Tree

THERESIENSTADT TREE: BRANCHES OF OUR PEOPLE

15,000 children were deported to a camp at Theresienstadt in the Czech Republic. Fewer than 200 survived. The Nazi’s allowed these ill-fated children to be educated as part of a promotional ploy to hide the camp’s genocidal purpose. The children wrote poetry and painted pictures, expressing their circumstances to a world they would not live to see.

In 1943, teacher Irma Lauscher planted a silver maple tree in the camp. It was nurtured by children until liberation, upon which the survivors placed a sign at its base, proclaiming, “As the branches of this tree, so the branches of our people!” A flood later destroyed this etz chaim (tree of life), but not before its saplings were spread widely across the globe, from Jerusalem to San Francisco, and now Philadelphia.

I’d like to go alone

I’d like to go alone

Maybe more of us,

A thousand strong,

Will reach this goal

Before too long.

Maybe more of us,

A thousand strong,

Will reach this goal

Before too long.

 

Alena Synkova

Deported to Theresienstadt in 1942; liberated in 1945