Regarding ‘Of Butterflies and Ghetto Swingers,’ (Feb. 9), I found the article lacking and, by omission of a single important fact, troubling.
Though I find much wrong in UN policies regarding Jews and Israel, I question whether Jonathan Mark took enough time at the exhibit. Had he done so, he would have noted quite visibly that the exhibit clearly posted the origin of the Butterfly Project as the Holocaust Museum of Houston, a project that their website explains was 20 years in the making, and has impacted thousands of children worldwide; it was not a “UN” project.
Moving through the exhibit last week, I noted adults and school groups of all religions, nationalities, ethnicities. There were people reading, thinking, learning. The UN’s placard about the Butterfly Project states: “European Jewry suffered persecution and murder that resulted in the deaths of approximately 6 million Jews, among them more than 1 million Jewish children.”
Jonathan Mark wrote that the exhibit said, “mostly Jewish children,” which he took exception to; at least when I visited, it did not say “mostly Jewish children.”
A number of butterflies had comments in Hebrew; one had to merely look and read. Do I think that oftentimes there is the aim to universalize the Holocaust? Yes. Ought there be more information about Terezin, perhaps books for sale at the UN book shop, even the original, the poetry collection: “I Never Saw Another Butterfly”? Of course. But the UN’s choice to use this exhibit as a place of outreach, as a vehicle for children worldwide, is a good thing.