How could it happen?
It is a question that often accompanies any discussion of the Holocaust. It and other questions will be considered in Hardin County classrooms over the next few weeks as the Central Kentucky Community Foundation brings Never Again: The Murals of the Holocaust to the area.
Courtesy of the foundation’s Marvin and Joyce Benjamin Fund, the murals will be on display beginning Feb. 25 at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College’s Morrison Gallery in the James S. Owen Building. The exhibit is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The murals are on exhibit until April 5.
Created by middle and high school students in Western Kentucky University’s Center for Gifted Students VAMPY summer program, the murals are a culminating project allowing the students to process the intensity of the Holocaust. The course they take, which focuses on the rise and fall of Nazi Germany and the danger of remaining a spectator during similar events, has been taught for more than 20 years at the camp.
The presentation of the Holocaust mural exhibit and the educational components also are made possible by the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts and the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence.
Thanks to the Benjamin Fund, Hardin County students will have the unique opportunity to experience the murals at no cost to them or their schools. Because the Benjamin Fund focuses on fostering kindness, understanding and inclusiveness and has an emphasis on anti-Semitism, local students will be transported to the college and, hopefully, transported to a higher understanding of the human experience.
And those lessons aren’t just relegated to classroom studies. The exhibit is open for all. The foundation also will host a Night of Remembrance and Understanding, a public program featuring the account of a Holocaust survivor. The event is Monday, March 25, in Room 112 of ECTC’s JSO Building.
The murals are more than an exhibit. They serve to raise awareness of the Holocaust by providing a memorable method of introducing young people and adults to the lessons of this difficult period in history. The murals are a study on what it means to be human. It’s a study in understanding those with different views than our own. It’s a study in compassion.
It’s a lesson we could all use right now.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.