Testimonials

Just like Sophie’s identity was shaped by the unspeakable acts of the Holocaust, my identity has been changed by listening by hearing her story. Now I understand the danger of misguided beliefs and recognize how quickly life can change when we cannot tolerate the different identities in the world. I am aware of how intolerance jeopardizes the safety to form one’s identity. Awareness. Tolerance. Safety. We all expect these in our lives, but how can they` exist until we truly value each and every identity?
Annie Pankowski
8th Grade, St. Anne School
At the beginning of this assignment, I wanted to win in order to meet my survivor. But hearing Mila’s voice transformed an assignment into a journey no words could describe. Elated and excited lost their meanings—what I felt was stronger. I have won. This experience is the prize I will carry the rest of my life. A prize that will be a constant reminder of what Mila’s late husband Leopold said…”It is so much easier to love than to hate.”
Shelli Bautista
12th Grade, Downey High School
Before studying my survivor, I was scared to learn about the Holocaust and the humiliation and torment that so many people experienced. Now I know that our generation needs to be educated about it because we are the ones who have the power to prevent genocide from ever happening again Why should someone be discriminated against because of their skin color, race, religion or appearance? If I see someone being picked on, I should intervene and not keep walking like I didn’t see it.
Danielle Spriggs
8th Grade, St. Anne School
From Selene Bruk I learned that when you have lost everything that there is to lose, you must always remember that your faith can be all that you have left to live for. Her hope and determination inspires me to believe that your identity can never be shattered when you know who you are.
Gloria Galardo
9th Grade, Orange High School

Past Winners

We’re always amazed by the outstanding projects of local students, and we’re proud to showcase their work. Here’s a look through the winning entries of The Holocaust Art & Writing Contest from the last 3 years:

The Fourteenth Annual Holocaust Art and Writing Contest, 2013

ELIZABETH ELDER
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ELIZABETH ELDER

"SURVIVOR’S SYMPHONY"

First Place, High School Art

Trabuco Hills High School, Mission Viejo
Teacher: Barbara Gard
Survivor Testimony: Anita Lasker-Wallfisch

Palak Goel
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PALAK GOEL

"Who Am I"

First Place, High School Poetry

Mission San Jose High School, Fremont
Teacher: Katherine Geers
Survivor Testimony: David Abram

Hoyeon Lee
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HOYEON LEE

"HORSE MEAT"

First Place, High School PROSE

Woodbridge High School, Irvine
Teacher: Karen Briner
Survivor Testimony: Barry Bruk

KELLY-ZHOU
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KELLY ZHOU

"BREAD OF CREATION"

First Place, MIDDLE School Art

Orange County School of the Arts, Santa Ana
Teacher: Lyndsey Lefebvre
Survivor Testimony: Leopold Page

ELIZABETH-MARKUS
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ELIZABETH MARKUS

"AND THE SNOW STILL FALLS"

First Place, MIDDLE School Poetry

Talbert Middle School, Huntington Beach
Teacher: Amanda Hatcher
Survivor Testimony: Cesia Kingston

KAITLYN-PHAM
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KAITLYN PHAM

"SING A SONG, A SONG OF LIFE"

First Place, MIDDLE School PROSE

St. Columban School, Garden Grove
Teacher: Thelma Anselmi
Survivor Testimony: Ursula Levy

The Thirteenth Annual Holocaust Art & Writing Contest, 2012

ELIZABETH MARLOWE
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ELIZABETH MARLOWE

"BROKEN"

First Place, High School Art

Esperanza High School, Anaheim
Teacher: Carrie Platz
Survivor Testimony: Ilse Diament

ANTHONY-MADRIGAL
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ANTHONY MADRIGAL

"I REMEMBER YOU, ZELDA"

First Place, High School Poetry

J Serra Catholic High School, San Juan Capistrano
Teacher: Barbara Sickler
Survivor Testimony: Zelda Gordon

HYUNGKYUNG CHUN
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HYUNGKYUNG CHUN

"VOICE THAT TRANSCENDS TIME"

First Place, High School PROSE

Sunny Hills High School, Fullerton
Teacher: Scott Rosencranz
Survivor Testimony: Paula Lebovics

RAEANNE-GUIDRY-SMITH
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RAEANNE GUIDRY-SMITH

"IN DISGUISE"

First Place, MIDDLE School Art

South Lake Middle School, Irvine
Teacher: Brooke Bonilla
Survivor Testimony: Rose Toren

GABBI HECKLER
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GABBI HECKLER

"STONES"

First Place, MIDDLE School Poetry

St. Anne School, Laguna Niguel
Teacher: Chryssa Atkinson
Survivor Testimony: Leon Leyson

BRANAN-LANDAU
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BRANAN LANDAU

"BLIND TRUST"

First Place, MIDDLE School PROSE

St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, San Juan
Capistrano
Teacher: Lori Donchak
Survivor Testimony: Barry Bruk

The Twelfth Annual Holocaust Art & Writing Contest, 2011

KATY-BRANNIGAN
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KATY BRANNIGAN

"NO COMPARISON"

First Place, High School Art

Trabuco Hills High School, Mission Viejo
Teacher: Barbara Gard
Survivor Testimony: Elly Kamm

SONALI TOPPUR
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SONALI TOPPUR

"PROTECTION"

First Place, High School Poetry

Mission San Jose High School, Fremont
Teacher: Katherine Geers
Survivor Testimony: Eva Safferman

VICTORIA MOYZIS
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VICTORIA MOYZIS

"SHARED SPACES"

First Place, High School PROSE

J Serra Catholic High School, San Juan Capistrano
Teacher: Eileen McKeagney
Survivor Testimony: Sally Roisman

LISA-CHO
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LISA CHO

"CONNECTING THE PIECES -PAST AND PRESENT"

First Place, MIDDLE School Art

Acaciawood College Preparatory Academy, Anaheim
Teacher: Noemi Quiñones-Rosado
Survivor Testimony: Barry Bruk

NATALIE-LARSON
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NATALIE LARSON

"WOULD I HAVE DONE WHAT YOU DID?"

First Place, MIDDLE School Poetry

Tuffree Middle School, Placentia
Teacher: Rosanna Brichta
Survivor Testimony: Zelda Gordon

JENNIFER-PARRA
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JENNIFER PARRA

"TARGETED"

First Place, MIDDLE School PROSE

Perry Lindsey International Studies Magnet,
Long Beach
Teacher: Jessica Kane
Survivor Testimony: Milton Belfer

Overview

Creativity opens minds.

The annual Holocaust Art & Writing Contest furthers Holocaust education by promoting creativity. The 1939 Society and Chapman University ask middle school and high school students to submit their art, poetry and prose projects—all inspired by the extraordinary stories of Holocaust survivors.

While each project is unique, students share a common resource: the collection of survivors’ interviews found on The 1939 Society and USC Shoah Foundation websites. Using these stories, students learn about the Holocaust while helping to preserve the legacies of those who lived through it.

Each spring, Chapman University hosts an awards ceremony, where students share their projects with the community and compete for great prizes. All attendees receive a copy of The Holocaust Chronicle: A History in Words and Pictures, while runners-up receive a $250 cash prize. For the grand prize 6 winners receive $500 cash plus an all-expenses paid trip (with a parent and teacher) to Washington, D.C., where they’ll visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Each year, thousands experience the impact of participating. Students interpret survivors’ stories through their own individual artistic lens; they apply these stories to their own lives. Young people become connected to the Holocaust and the people who lived through it.

Check out the work of past winners—your work could be up here next year!

For more info please see our 2009 publication, The Holocaust Art & Writing Contest: A Retrospective