Motýli tady nezijí (1958) - full transcript


BETWEEN 1941 AND 1945.


TEREZĺN, 1941-1945



Editor / Producer



Director and screenplay


Everything was devised
according to a plan.

The weird script still
sticks to these walls.

Block QL, Querstraße, Lange Straße,
numbers on houses, on doors,

even people received numbers.

There were also children here.

They played and they scribbled,
just like all children do.

These children were brought here
on a train,

and they were looking forward
to that same train

taking them home again.

But neither this or that one did.

It wasn't able to,
or perhaps allowed to.

But with a box of crayons,
with pots of watercolours,

their former homes came
back to them.

From back home came girls
with flowers and boys with kites.

Paths opened for them,
offering to take them home.

Home is warm, there's a lamp,
a chair and a table,

a window with a curtain.

But that bed into which you need
to climb a ladder,

who has misplaced it in here?
That's not the bed at home.

All roads and paths lead home.

Home is where
the red scooter is.

But there were ramparts.

The ramparts were guarding a town,
surveying its streets and houses.

And the children drew it all.

Even themselves, with stars
sown onto their hearts.

Triple ramparts encircled the town,
surveying its streets.

The children could watch them
through the barracks windows.

That was permitted.

In the distance beyond the ramparts
they saw animals and birds

and the bluish hills
of the Czech mid-lands.

That's where they imagined
was their home.

There were backyards here
and the central barracks yard

in which they played.

What joy for children
who had been expelled from schools

and suffered the horrors
of the transport.

There was a horse here
that they couldn't get enough of.

In the ghetto, the children could
only see people harnessed into carts.

They saw hearses delivering bread,

they saw funerals consisting
only in the gathering of coffins.

With their crayons they even managed
to capture executions on paper.

The worst of all is the cook.

He left the children queue in line.

He cooked rotten potatoes for them.

He left grandpa to chew on a hard crust!
He, the cook!

I'd like to go alone some place
where people are different, nicer.

Somewhere unknown.

Where no one gets killed.

I'd like to have a little house

surrounded by a firm fence,
or atop a high rock.

If the house were atop
a high tree, like a nest,

a house behind a moat,

a house like a castle
behind a drawbridge,

or beyond a deep river...

I'd like my house to float
down a river - can you hear?

That's the sound of the foghorn.

We have to sail for unknown ports.

Can you hear? It's time.

The wind is singing the song
of faraway lands.

To watch the heavens as we float along,
thinking of the violets.

The last, the very last one,

the one so deeply, bitterly,
dazzlingly yellow,

as if the sun rang with a tear
against a white stone.

It's so, it's so yellow,
it soared lightly on high.

It went, surely, to give a kiss
to its final world.

My folks have found me here.

Dandelions call to me
and the chestnut's white bough.

I haven't seen a butterfly here.
That one back then was the last one.

There are no butterflies living
here in the ghetto.


It's getting better.

They've permitted the opening
of the fort playground.

Mummy began to sew for folks.
She cannot earn much.

For an entire dress,
she can get a loaf of bread.

They're opening the shops now.

You can get mustard, cumin,
and celery salt there.

Odd printed money is used there.
'Ghettogeld'. Who for? What for?

In the land of wealth, everything
can be bought at a price of 1 CZK.

Even a piggy pierced through
by a fork.


But the children saw things
even adults couldn't see.

They saw jesters

and princesses under the spell
of horrid dragons.

They drew and acted
in fairytale plays,

not knowing that Terezin
was just the first stop.

Everything was devised
according to a plan.

Not even the adults knew
Terezin was just the first stop

on the long road to death.

...we got used to lining up at 7 am...
...and at noon and again at 7 pm... that they could pour us
some warm water into it...

...we got used to lining up
with a dish in our hand...

...salty or coffee-tinged water...
...or maybe some potato... slaps in the face for no reason... greeting every uniform...

...forbidden to walk on pavements...
...then to walk on pavements only...

...we got used to random slaps,
beatings and executions...

...we got used to seeing people die
in their own excrement... seeing crates
overflowing with corpses,

to seeing the sick in the muck,
to watching helpless doctors...

We got used to a thousand unfortunate
ones arriving every now and then,

and to a thousand even more
unfortunate ones leaving from here.

Auschwitz, Ravensbruck,
Buchenwald, Majdanek...

All the names haven't been written
down here yet.

Of the 15,000 children who played
and drew here for a while,

only a hundred returned.

Drawings and poems are all
that's left of them.

And your memory.

Can you hear? It's time.

The wind is singing the song
of faraway lands.

To watch the heavens as we float along,
thinking of the violets.