|I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Alesa's Story
Author: theatregirl0297 PM
Based on Alesa in the play "I Never Saw Another Butterfly". Alesa Frankova had a good life; a best friend and a loving family. All of that changed when her family was transported to the Terezin concentration camp. This is her story. A tale of hope, survival, love, friendship, and pride.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Angst - Chapters: 3 - Words: 2,234 - Favs: 1 - Updated: 11-15-12 - Published: 11-06-12 - id: 3072010
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
My name is Alesa Frankova. I used to live in Prague. Until a terrible man named Hitler changed it all.
I had a good home. My best friend in the world was Ruzena. We did everything together. She lived less than a minute's walk from my house, and we often spent more time at each other's houses than we did our own. I loved my brother Alexandr, though he annoyed me sometimes. I miss him now….
Fast forward to April 15, 1941. I was twelve years old. Nazi officers rapped on our door at 5 a.m. My father, Krystof, answered the door and they told him our family would be taken to the train at 5:30 p.m. that evening. Father woke us up and called us into the kitchen. He explained the situation, and asked for the help of my brother and me in gathering belongings to take on the train.
"Father…where are we going?" I asked. I was scared to death. I didn't know why we would be forced to leave our home and everything we had ever known.
"I don't know, Alesa. We must trust that the Lord will show us favor in this journey," Father reassured me.
We spent the day collecting our few belongings. I took with me a book, a doll, some warm clothes, and a blanket. At 5:30, the Nazi men came to our door. Father opened it, suitcase in hand, and said "We are ready."
"Follow us." They turned in a sharp military action and motioned for us to fall in between them. There were four of them. Two in front, two behind. I whimpered and Mother put her hand over my mouth, silencing me.
"We must not show them we are afraid. We are Jews, and we must not let them take away our pride. They can take away our home, our belongings, our friends, and our family, but they can never take our pride. Remember that," she whispered.
I knew I would remember that for the rest of my life. I felt myself standing up straighter. I am a Jew, I thought to myself, and I am proud of it.
We were herded into a large corral, not unlike those used to contain cattle. We were surrounded by hundreds of frightened people. The noise was deafening. No one knew what was happening to us.
"Achtung!" yelled a German guard. "All Jews on the train! Step quickly!" The crowd began to surge forward onto the car, which also looked like something that might hold cattle. Everywhere, I could hear screaming and crying. Women and children weeping. The car was dark and smelled awful, like manure. In the center of the train stood a bucket. We were constantly poked and prodded with long rods by the Nazi officers. I kept expecting to hear mooing or see horns sprouting out of the tops of everyone's head. We were being treated so similar to cattle that I was wondering if the Nazis thought we actually WERE cattle.
"Father! Mother! Where are you?" I began to panic. I couldn't find anyone I knew. I looked for Ruzena but I did not see her, either. I felt hot tears streaming down my face. I was scared to death.
If only I had realized this was only the beginning.