The Butterfly Project in Germany


Art & Education to Inspire Action

 

On October 28, 1938, Nazi secret police arrested 10-year-old Alfred Schindler at school because he was Jewish. That day he and his family were pushed out of Germany. Alfred never returned home to see his friends again. Of the entire Schindler family, only he and his brother Max survived the Holocaust.

For the first time ever, German schoolchildren at Bewegte Grundschule, a primary school not far from Berlin have embarked on an art and education program to learn about the hate that embroiled their small town and much of Europe during WWII. They read the story of Alfred Schindler, a child much like them and the last Jewish boy to ever attend their school. What these students learned wasn’t easy, but they said they wanted to know what happened and they want to remember.

 

A Mission of Love and Reconciliation

 

We are German and US citizens compelled to protect life and liberty acting to reinvigorate real and lasting connections between children and the lessons of the Holocaust. We hope to reduce what separates us and inspire connections with young upstanders whose countries were once enemies. Our goal is to create understanding, tolerance and pathways of continued reconciliation.

 

 

Bewegte Grundschule Schoolchildren

Participate In TBP Programming

 

 

Programming

 
The Schindler Family and The Butterfly Project are partnering together to unite two schools that share a special connection.

Vision

To cultivate empathy and social responsibility. To connect US and German schoolchildren by educating them about our shared history. To inspire today’s youth to be Upstanders and empower them to stand against injustice.

Participating Sister Schools

Bewegte Grundschule (Cottbus, Brandenburg, Germany)
La Jolla Country Day School (LJCDS, San Diego, California)

 

Method

The Butterfly Project teaches about the dangers of hatred and bigotry, informed by the Holocaust. By painting and displaying ceramic butterflies, schoolchildren memorialize the 1.5 million children killed in the Holocaust, one child at a time.

Additional programming: Berlin – in development

Anna-Lindh School
The FEZ-Berlin
Janusz Korczak Akademie

 

 

Government and Media Attendance

 

The following Government Officials are expected to attend the school programming: Martina Münch, Brandenburg Minister of Culture and Science (and formerMinister of Education); Germany’s Anti-Semitism Czar, Felix Klein; US Embassy Deputy Cultural Affairs Officer Scott Anderson and Youth Outreach Coordinator Heike Osterburg; Bundestag (Parliament) representative(s) TBD; Cottbus Lord Mayor Holger Kelchplus other City and State officials.

The following Germany media outlets are in touch regarding this initiative: print (Lausitzer Rundschau, Frankfurter Allgemeine, Die Zeit, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Spiegel), TV (ARD, ZDF) and radio (Deutschlandfunk); and the following media in the US: KPBS (public radio San Diego), San Diego Union Tribune, News8 San Diego, Fox News San Diego, and national media TBD. Radio Berlin-Bradenburg (rbb) covered the story on TV this week.

 

A Special USA-Germany School Connection

 

LJCDS shares a special relationship with Bewegte Grundschule through the Schindler family. Max would go on to marry Auschwitz survivor Rose Schindler, a frequent Holocaust education speaker at Country Day who received a high school diplomawith the Class of 2018 in June. Butterflies painted by LJCDS students will join with those of their Bewegte Grundschule friends’ in a memorial to be installed on January 25, 2019 to coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Rose’s son Steven is passionate about reconciliation and is leading this initiative.

 

Videos and Media Coverage

 

La Jolla Country Day School Head of School’s message to the German children of Bewegte Grundschule school

Germany national news coverage of butterfly painting at Bewegte Grundschule on December 11, 2018

Germany national news coverage of butterfly painting at Bewegte Grundschule on December 11, 2018

Butterfly painting at La Jolla Country Day School on November 9, 2018 – 80th Anniversary of Kristallnacht

Our future lies in the hearts and minds of children like these and we’re determined to inspire them to be open to others and to stand up against hate and xenophobia. The Butterfly Project, a grassroots nonprofit whose goal is to reach 1.5 million children (one for each child killed in the Holocaust), uses art-focused instruction a historical view that cultivates empathy and sparks action to ensure we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. Today, American and German students are working together to make the world a better place.

Expenses include educational materials; NOT The Last Butterfly (documentary) translation/German subtitles; Travel to/from the US for Cheryl Rattner Price, Dr. Amy Parish and Steven Schindler. Cottbus expenses are being supported by Bewegte Grundschule, the City and local foundations.

Total funds required: $8,500

Contributions of any size are greatly appreciated and are tax deductible. For gifts of $1,800 or more, we would be delighted to provide a personal presentation of Connecting USA& Germany. For gifts of $250 or more we will provide a photo keepsake of the events and ceremony.

Organizing this initiative are (l-r) Steven Schindler, son of Max and Rose Schindler and Nicole Nocon, a Cottbus journalist who is leading planning in Germany. Spearheading TBP at LJCDS are Dr. Amy Parish, high-school English teacher and Jonathan Schulman, history teacher and Center for Excellence in Citizenship Director. Cheryl Rattner Price is The Butterfly Project Co-Founder and Executive Director.

Contact Info:

Steven Schindler, Connectivity LLC, steven@connectivityllc.com, +1 619-318-1753

Cheryl Rattner-Price, The Butterfly Project, cheryl@thebutterflyprojectnow.org, +1 619-708-6883

Nicole Nocon, independent journalist, frauf.69@gmx.de, +49 355-3818313

Background and References:

CNN: Status of Hate in America

Washington Post: Declining understanding of the history of the Holocaust with millennials

Daily Mail:Holocaust Fatigue Amongst Germans Today

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