The Holocaust Center sponsors an annual art and writing contest that encourages students to explore issues that arise through the study and remembrance of the Holocaust. Each year a different theme is selected to provide focus and direction for student entries. This year’s theme is entitled Children in the Time of the Holocaust.
A popular American song, Greatest Love of All, contains the lyrics, “I believe that children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.” Most people probably agree with this idea. That may be why most societies put so much thought and effort into caring for children and providing them with an education that will prepare them for life. It must also be true, then, that we can learn much about peoples hopes and dreams for the future by looking at how they treat their own children as well as the children of others in the present.
The Holocaust Center’s theme for the 2016 Yom HaShoah Creative Arts Contest, Children in the Time of the Holocaust, asks students to consider children’s lives during the time of the Holocaust and what they can teach us about the world in which they lived. A student who wishes to enter the contest may choose to write an essay, a short story, or a poem. Students may also create digital media projects or works of art. Writing, digital media, and art prompts have been included below, but each is broad enough to give students a wide variety of choices in deciding how to address the theme.
Please note: The use of the term “children” in the Yom HaShoah Creative Arts Contest refers to all young people who are not yet adults. This includes teenagers as well as younger children.
(Suggested resources for research will follow after the prompts.)
Consider the following quote: “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” ~ Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize winner
Choose one of the following questions:
Write an essay, short story, or poem to express the main ideas that you learned from studying one of the questions above. You may also create a digital media presentation to respond to one of the questions above. Please check the rules section for a list of digital presentation software programs you may use.
Students may choose one of the following types of essay:
You may also write a short story in which you create a character (historical fiction) whose ideas and experiences you intend to describe. You may create a diary, letters, an imagined autobiography, or any other type of literature that conveys ideas and experiences that are in keeping with the types of children’s experiences that actually happened in the years of the Holocaust.
You may also choose to write a poem that expresses your ideas and feelings about what you have learned.
Carefully read the following quotes about children that were written or spoken at the time of the Holocaust. Each quote expresses a different idea about children and what their education and experiences mean for the future.
“Children are not the people of tomorrow, but are people of today. They have a right to be taken seriously, and to be treated with tenderness and respect. They should be allowed to grow into whoever they were meant to be – the unknown person inside each of them is our hope for the future.”
~Janusz Korczak, Author, Pediatrician, Head of the Jewish Orphan’s Home in the Warsaw Ghetto
“Parents can only give good advice or put them [children] on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.”
~ Anne Frank, Teen diary writer during the Holocaust
“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the Future!”
~ Adolf Hitler, Leader of Nazi Germany, 1933-1945
“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”
~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, 1933-1945
Choose one of the following options:
Please note that this prompt is not asking you to show children being harmed. Make sure that your art is respectful to the memory of the children who lived at this time.
All entries must have a Cover Sheet
DEADLINE IS FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2016 AT 4 PM
November 26 to November 27
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