I bought this strangely beautiful book from a second hand bookshop in Nottingham. I picked it up thinking that it was just a nice children's book, that my wife might like. Infact it's a book of children's drawings and poems from Theresienstadt Concentration Camp.
The jacket notes tell a terribly sad story of the 15,000 children under the age of 15 that passed through the camp. Theresienstadt served as a kind of way station to Auschwitz and other extermination centres, so its inhabitants were condemned in advance to die.
The drawings and poems represent what the children experienced but, perhaps surprisingly, not just the endless queues, funeral carts, executions and shouts of the SS men; they tell of meadows and hills, birds and butterflies and even, "...princesses with coronets, wizards and witches, insects with human faces, a land of happiness with cookies, candy and soda pop".
To be honest, it's a difficult, powerful read.