March 5, 2019
While I was writing a book about the original paper butterfly project that was done in 1998 in Myrtle Beach, SC, and How to Teach about the Holocaust I got the idea to build a permanent monument in memory of all the children who died in the Holocaust. A local teacher and her students had collected more than a million paper butterflies in memory of the children.
Hugo Schiller, local Holocaust survivor is the last Holocaust survivor left in Myrtle Beach but there are many people here whose lives have been touched by World War II. Hugo and his family were taken by the Nazi’s when he was 9 years old to the Concentration Camp de Gurs in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains. He was rescued by Alice Synnestvedt and the Quakers but his parents and other family members were killed at Auschwitz. He was 9-years-old the last time he saw his parents.
THE PERMANENT BUTTERFLY MEMORIAL MONUMENT IS IN THE SHAPE OF HUGE WHITE BUTTERFLY because the children in the Holocaust saw the butterfly as a symbol of hope, beauty and freedom. “The walls were covered with hundreds of butterflies, scratched and etched with fingernails and pebbles.” — Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, author writing about The Childrens’ Barracks of Maidenek Concentration Camp.
Schiller said the permanent monument will be a reminder that we must never forget the 6 million Jewish people and the 5 million Christians who were killed during the Holocaust.