Chaja Verveer - TAKING FLIGHT

Wednesday, June 8, 2016 - 7:00pm
2421 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77005

TAKING FLIGHT is the stunning culmination of Holocaust Museum Houston’s effort to commemorate the Holocaust through “The Butterfly Project,” a powerful initiative that led to the collection of 1.5 million handmade butterflies to remember the children who perished in the Holocaust. Between 1995 and 2015, the Museum collected exquisite, colorful butterflies created by people around the world using an incredible array of materials and innovation. The butterflies in this book serve as a tribute to these children and to the loss of their talents and possibilities. The butterfly took on new significance with the publication of a poem by Pavel Friedmann, a young Czech who wrote while in the Terezin Concentration Camp. He ultimately was killed in Auschwitz in 1944. In a few poignant lines, “The Butterfly” voiced the spirit of the 1.5 million promising children who perished in the Holocaust.

Our speaker, Chaja Verveer, who has been called an improbable child survivor of the Holocaust, will tell her incredible story. Born in 1941 in German occupied Holland, Chaja went into hiding at the age of one, living as the daughter of a Dutch family who were active in the Resistance. When the family was betrayed Chaja was sent to Westerbork, a transit camp in northeastern Holland. After seven months she and 50 other “Unbekannte Kinder” (Unknown Children) were put on a transport to Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp where they stayed for three months before arriving at Terezin Concentration Camp.

Chaja’s story will describe how some children experienced the Holocaust, allowing listeners to grasp the significance of the loss of 1.5 million children and the potential they were unable to fulfill.