Local Students Memorialize the Holocaust with Art - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/27/04

Local Students Memorialize the Holocaust with Art

Hanging above Ms. King's 8th grade reading class are dozens of butterflies. Each one carefully hand crafted by the hands of her students.

"When they started to talk about their butterflies and I told them they had to present the things they told me about that they know their child wanted out and they wanted their freedom and they missed nature and things teenagers missed," says King.

In Ms. King's class are 150 butterflies who represent the lives of children during the Holocaust. Next week the students will start taking them down as they learn about the death of each one. "On Monday I will tell them if their child died and if they did we have to cut down their butterfly," says King.

Beautiful, different, symbolic. Each created to depict a poem written by children held captive in a concentration camp. Many of them write about missing their families, nature and being torn between hate and hope. "They didn't know if they were gonna live or die. They had some hope but not very much," says Frenship 8th grader, Kinsey Speed.

Poems are compiled in a book called "I Never Saw Another Butterfly". The students take these words and drawings from children who lived in turmoil and turn them into powerful works of art. "They could've written that an hour before they died," says Kinsey.

"Her last words in the poem were maybe more of us a thousand strong will reach this goal before too long and I just admire her undying optimism and hope that maybe we can fulfill her dream in the future," says 8th grader, Whitney Reynolds.

Ms. King says this project is more than learning about another subject. "Hopefully that will make an impact on students to let them know how many children were affected in the Holocaust."

How many butterflies will still be floating in two weeks? Ms. King is keeping that a secret, hoping that as they disappear, her students will never forget. The butterflies will be sent to the Holocaust museum in Houston in a couple of weeks. So far the museum has collected 50,000 butterflies from schools across the country. The museum is hoping to collect 1.5 million butterflies to represent the number of children who died in the Holocaust.

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