2011_BUTTERFLYGARDENThe Children’s Holocaust Memorial Sculpture honors the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust. The sculpture, designed by Paul Rousso is adorned with over 2800 ceramic butterflies created by Charlotte faith, school and community groups. The sculpture is gracefully situated in the Margaret & Lou Schwartz Butterfly Garden Holocaust Memorial located adjacent to the entrance to the Blumenthal Education Building next to the Levine-Sklut Judaic Library & Resource Center.

The Butterfly Project originated at the San Diego Jewish Day School. It was inspired by the film documentary Paper Clips and a poem, The Butterfly, written by Pavel Friedman, a young man who died in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

The project is meant to memorialize the 1.5 million youth who perished during the Holocaust and to help combat anti-Semitism, indifference, and Holocaust denial through educational workshops that personalize the history for each participant. The goal of the project is to create 1.5 million ceramic butterflies, worldwide.

In addition to the creation of the butterflies, volunteers have led educational workshops about the Holocaust and tolerance for 60 different schools (private and public), civic and religious groups in Mecklenburg County and beyond. The project will continue and more butterflies will be added to the sculpture. To make it real for participants, those who paint the sculpture’s butterflies are given a certificate with the name of a child who died in the Holocaust.