Holding clipboards with questions that needed to be answered, North Hardin High School students walked around Wednesday studying the 21 murals that are part of the Never Again: Murals of the Holocaust project.
The murals depict historical scenes from the Holocaust.
The students that day were just a handful of the hundreds of students who have visited or will visit the murals later in the month in the Morrison Gallery of the James S. Owen Building on Elizabethtown Community and Technical College’s campus.
Juniors Jeff Cusimano and David Carmen were two of the students who visited Wednesday.
“The detail that they put into it is amazing,” Cusimano said of the murals.
The 9-feet-wide by 7-feet-tall murals were designed by students in the Nazi Germany and the Holocaust class of Western Kentucky University’s Summer Program for Verbally and Mathematically Precocious Youth over the course of more than 20 years.
The murals also taught the two information about the Holocaust that they didn’t know before.
“I didn’t know about they (the Nazis) hated homosexuals,” Carmen said.
In Nazi Germany, 100,000 men were arrested as homosexuals and 5,000 to 15,000 homosexuals were incarcerated in concentration camps, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Sophomore Isaphniel Delgado also learned information from the murals. He discovered prisoners in concentration camps occasionally would take care of each other.
Junior Ethan Barkes, who said he has done prior extensive research on the Holocaust, said the murals were lacking depictions of certain events.
“Towards the end, there’s not really depictions of what was happening when the Americans came or maybe the Russians and what was happening. It was all more about the Germans and Jews and not other people,” he said, adding he read books about war when he was younger.
Barkes also noticed the figure Josef Mengele in at least three different murals. Mengele was a German officer who conducted deadly experiments on prisoners in the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Never Again: The Murals of the Holocaust will be on exhibit from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays until April 5. There is also a Saturday showing from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Holocaust survivor Fred Gross also will share his family story at the State Theater at 206 W. Dixie Ave. in Elizabethtown at 6 p.m. Monday.
The murals were brought to Elizabethtown through the Central Kentucky Community Foundation’s Marvin and Joyce Benjamin Fund. The exhibit also was made possible by The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts and the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence.