• Holocaust survivors writing inscription on title page of The Holocaust Chronicle
  • Holocaust survivor looks at artwork student created based on her video testimony
    Eva Brettler with student artist Taylor Ota
  • Natan and Fela Gipsman pose with middle school filmmaker Kimberley Sanchez
    Natan and Fela Gipsman with student filmmaker Kimberely Sanchez
  • Engelina Billauer signs Nicholas Franklyn's book
    Engelina Billauer with student filmmaker Nicholas Franklyn
Holocaust Art and Writing Contest

» Annual Holocaust Art and Writing Contest

+ - Top-Placing Entries (2017/2018)

Top-Placing Entries in Middle School Division

MIDDLE SCHOOL

FIRST PLACE

SECOND PLACE

ART
Believe
by Amy Arenas

ART
A Streetlight of Hope
by Nicole Nguyen

FILM
Identity
by Yoosung Jung

FILM
Messenger of Hope
by Kimberley Sanchez

POETRY
Goodbye
by Caliana Kanaan

POETRY
Remember
by Freya Howcroft

PROSE
Justice in the Hands of Humanity
by Alexandra Hamm

PROSE
Betrayal
by Melodie Yates


Top-Placing Entries in High School Division

HIGH SCHOOL

FIRST PLACE

SECOND PLACE

ART
Humanity
by Kristen Landsman

ART
The Little Tin Cup
by Sage Taber

FILM
Not Forgotten
by Nicholas Franklyn 

FILM
All it Takes
by Gwendoyln Trautman and Lauren Helner 

POETRY
Your Memory
by Emily Kuwaye

POETRY
I Have Lost My Rose-Tinted Glasses
by Jamie Serin Doo

PROSE
Strips of Paper
by Eumee Lee
PROSE
Finding a Voice
by Katherine McPhie

+ - 20th Annual Holocaust Art and Writing Contest

Purposeful Telling: Through Memory to Action

Survivor and author Elie Wiesel wrote that “to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”

Increasingly, as the decades passed and the survivors built new lives, they came to believe that testifying about their experiences was their obligation not only to the past but to the future. They realized that telling sustains memory while silence permits denial.

Listening to memory offers us the possibility to learn, find purpose and act. Telling has purpose, for the survivors and for us. It cannot change the past—but it holds the promise of changing the future.

+ - Prompt

Select and view one full-length survivor or rescuer testimony from any of the following:

  • The 1939 Society website at the1939society.org
  • Chapman University’s Holocaust Art and Writing Contest website featuring video testimonies from the collection of the USC Shoah Foundation — The Institute for Visual History and Education at chapman.edu/contest-testimonies
  • USC Shoah Foundation - The Institute for Visual History and Education’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/uscshoahfoundation (“Full-Length Testimonies” playlists only)

After you listen to the testimony of a survivor or rescuer, think about that individual's motivation in telling their story. What would you say their purpose is and what specific memory in that testimony brought you to this understanding? 

Through your creativity, in art, prose, poetry or film, express this memory as the inspiration for your own purposeful action. 

**Lists of testimonies that are one to two hours in length are listed on the last page of the Educator's Guide.

+ - Inspiration

After liberation, survivors of the Holocaust first focused their energies on physical recovery and on searching for their loved ones. In many instances, those searches ended in bitter disappointment. While coping with loss and grief, survivors simultaneously faced daunting obstacles and challenges, as well as new possibilities. Some survivors had to wait years in displaced persons camps before receiving permission to emigrate. Many had to learn new languages and skills while supporting themselves in a county whose customs were very different from those they had known. Leon Leyson, one of the youngest members of Schindler's List, worked days manufacturing grocery carts to support himself and at night attended school to learn English. For Leyson and many other survivors, looking forward, dreaming of making a home and starting a family, gave them a sense of purpose. 

Yet, most survivors could never stop thinking about those absent from their lives. Nor did they ever want to do so. In his memoir, The Boy on the Wooden Box, Leyson writes that he would often catch himself searching a crowd for his beloved older brother, Tsalig, even though he knew he had been murdered in the death camp Belzec. 

Survivor and author Elie Wiesel wrote that "to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time." Increasingly, as the decades passed and the survivors built new lives, they came to believe that testifying about their experiences was their obligation not only to the past but to the future. They realized that telling sustains memory while silence permits denial. Listening to memory offers us the possibility to learn, find purpose and act. Telling has a purpose, for the survivors and for us. It cannot change the past—but it holds the promise of changing the future.  

+ - Art Criteria

  • Entries must be submitted with a cover sheet (printable or fillable form). Please do not staple, tape or otherwise attach the cover sheet to the artwork.

  • Entries must reflect genuine engagement with the survivor’s  or rescuer's testimony in its historical context and constitute a thoughtful and creative response.

  • Entries must be based on a survivor’s or rescuer’s testimony available from one of the following sources:

  • Entries must be submitted with the artist’s statement that includes:May be only two-dimensional image on medium no thicker than ¾” and submission must not exceed 12” x 18.”

    • Title of the work
    • Name of survivor to whose testimony this work is a response
    • Statement of how the work addresses the prompt
    • Statement must not include student or school name and must not exceed 100 words.
    • Acknowledgement of sources – to protect copyright holders, proper citation of all sources is required. Permission for sources that are not public domain must be obtained in writing from copyright holder and submitted with entry.
  • Artwork must not be matted or framed.

  • Fixative spray must be applied to charcoal, pencil, pastel, and chalk art.

  • May include photography, computer-generated images, or may be in charcoal, pencil, pastel, chalk, watercolors, acrylics, or oils. Please note that all images, whether computer, artist, or photo-generated are considered property of the original artist.

  • Renderings of another’s work will be disqualified.

  • Entries that do not follow the criteria will be disqualified.

+ - Film Criteria

  • Entries must be submitted with a cover sheet (printable or fillable form).

  • Entries must reflect genuine engagement with the survivor’s  or rescuer's testimony in its historical context and constitute a thoughtful and creative response.

  • Entries must be based on a survivor’s or rescuer’s testimony available from one of the following sources:

  • Entries must be submitted with the filmmaker’s statement including:Content viewing time may be no longer than three (3) minutes.

      • Title of the work
      • Name of survivor to whose testimony this work is a response
      • Statement of how the work addresses the prompt
      • Statement must not include student or school name and must not exceed 100 words.
      • Acknowledgement of sources – to protect copyright holders, proper citation of all sources is required. Permission for sources that are not public domain must be obtained in writing from copyright holder and submitted with entry.
  • Final file size must not exceed 600 MB.

  • Submit film without credits for blind judging. A completed film with credits should be prepared in the event the film is selected for screening.

  • Final films may be submitted using WeTransfer.com, a free file transfer website.

  • To ensure compatibility with MAC and PC, please use either QuickTime or MPEG format.

  • Entries that do not follow the criteria will be disqualified.

 We are grateful to the Orange County Klezmers for making available to registered participants musical selections from their album Echoes of Vilna. To preview or to request tracks for use in a film entry, please email Jessica MyLymuk, cioffi@chapman.edu.

 Students wishing to use music, photos, video, or other artwork in their films should be aware that these may be protected by U.S. copyright law and therefore require permission from the artists to use them.  Purchasing or downloading materials from a website is generally intended for personal and home use only and does not grant the purchaser the right to reproduce, perform, or display copyrighted works publicly.  For any copyrighted works appearing in the film, permission must be obtained from the copyright holders and submitted with the entry.

+ - Poetry Criteria

  • Entries must be submitted with a cover sheet (printable or fillable form). Please do not staple, tape or otherwise attach the cover sheet to the entry.

  • Entries must reflect genuine engagement with the survivor’s  or rescuer's testimony in its historical context and constitute a thoughtful and creative response.

  • Entries must be based on a survivor’s or rescuer’s testimony available from one of the following sources:Entries that do not follow the criteria will be disqualified.

  • Entries must be titled.

  • Entries must be word-processed.

  • Entries must not include graphics, drawings or other images. It must be clear that the entry is a poem and not an artwork.

  • Entries must not include reference to student or school name.

  • Students should include the name of the survivor or rescuer about whom the entry is written.

  • Entries may not exceed one page: Times New Roman 12, 1” margins, single spaced

  • Entries that do not follow the criteria will be disqualified.

+ - Prose Criteria

  • Entries must be submitted with a cover sheet (printable or fillable form). Please do not staple, tape or otherwise attach the cover sheet to the entry.

  • Entries must reflect genuine engagement with the survivor’s  or rescuer's testimony in its historical context and constitute a thoughtful and creative response.

  • Entries must be based on a survivor’s or rescuer’s testimony available from one of the following sources:Entries that do not follow the criteria will be disqualified.

  • Entries must be titled.

  • Entries must be word-processed.

  • Entries must not include reference to student or school name.

  • Students should include the name of the survivor or rescuer about whom the entry is written.

  • Entries may not exceed one page: Times New Roman 12, 1” margins, single spaced

  • Entries that do not follow the criteria will be disqualified.

Cover Sheet

Art - Cover Sheet
Film - Cover Sheet
Prose/Poetry - Cover Sheet

Reminder: 
Each entry must have a cover sheet

Important Dates

Entry Postmark Date:
February 1, 2019

Digital Submission due date:
February 4, 2019

Awards Ceremony
March 8, 2019

Music for Films!

We are grateful to the Orange County Klezmers for making available at no cost to registered participants musical selections from their album Echoes of Vilna. These tracks may only be used for projects created for the Holocaust Art and Writing Contest. 

Request link to preview or download songs

Educator's Guide

NOW AVAILABLE!

Download the 2018-19 Educator's Guide with judging rubrics, common core connections and frequently asked questions about the contest.