In Memory of Jacob Friedman


Film Winners | Art Winners 6th-8th Grade | Art Winners 9th-12th Grade | Writing Winners 6th-8th Grade | Writing Winners 9th-12th Grade |  Judges


WAC2017 Quote


This year we received more than 900 entries from 73 different schools! Thank you to everyone who participated and who helped to make this our biggest contest yet!

See the (long!) list of participating schools, teachers, and students!

Students were asked to respond to the quote above.  Winners were selected by a panel of judges - artists, teachers, and community members. 

The contest is open to 6th-12th grade students in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. See complete list of Contest Guidelines. 2018 Writing, Art and Film Contest theme will be announced in the winter.

PRIZES: $200 - 1st Place. $100 - 2nd Place. $50 - 3rd Place. Prizes awarded by category.




1st Place -  "Do Not Go Gentle" by Andy Shaw, Reece Newhouse, Robert Krieger, Daniel Quach, Grade 10. Mountlake Terrace High School. Teacher: Erin Grambush.



2nd Place - "United We Stand" by Andy Nguyen, Selam Ayele, Sharanjit Natt, Justin Guaren, Karly Rismoen, and Christian Todorakev, Grade 10. Mountlake Terrace High School. Teacher: Erin Grambush. 



3rd Place - "Choose Kindness" by Jamie Duthie, Grade 10. Enumclaw High School. Teacher: Alysha Holmquist.



Honorable Mention - "Antisemitism" by Ellie Gottesman and Isabel Funk, Grade 9. Mercer Island High School. Teacher: Chris Twombley.






A2 1st Mercedes Sarah WEB1st Place - Mercedes Sarah, Grade 8. Jewish Day School, Bellevue. Teacher: Nance Adler.

“Protest Peels Away What Silences Us” - This represents how many people feel silenced by society. It can be because of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexuality. But protest is one of the ways to be heard, to peel away what silences us. Protest reminds us that we can speak and make a difference. And each and every one of us can resist the way society silences us. When we stand together and speak the truth we become leaders, shining light in the darkness.




A2 2nd Ella Gonchar WEB2nd Place - Ella Gonchar, Grade 8. Jewish Day School, Bellevue. Teacher: Nance Adler.

This is a painting of a protest but the signs are blank and the people have no faces. The painting includes all of the different skin colors to represent all of the races in the world because everyone should know that they have the power to protest in the face of injustice. The painting symbolizes protest itself without specifying a cause or a people. The signs are blank because the people in the painting try to protest against the wrong in the world but there is often so much wrong in the world that we are powerless to prevent all injustice.




A2 2nd Anna Brown web3rd Place - Anna Brown, Grade 6. Cedar Park Christian School, Bothell. Teacher: Hahnna Christenson.

I drew this eye to be an eye of a bystander. The eye watches but does not help because of fear. The black around the eye is the sin it has seen. The eye cannot get rid of black for it is like a scar. I drew this to show the perspective of a bystander.





A2 3rd Amador Enguerra WEBHonorable Mention - Amador Enguerra, Grade 8. Showalter Middle School, Tukwila. Teacher: Emily Tran.

My piece shows Jews behind a barbed wire fence and a person in front of the fence holding a Black Lives Matter sign. This represents the relationship between the Holocaust and what is happening today. My piece demonstrates the similarities of the struggle of people who have been oppressed. I was inspired by the quote by Elie Wiesel and a famous photograph of a Black Lives Matter protest to show that even though we may have “overcome” the Holocaust, the hatred then still exists now and we need to continue to fight until everyone has equal rights.



Art - 9th-12th Grade


A3 1st Elizabeth Brummer WEB1st Place - Elizabeth Brummer, Grade 10. Eastside Catholic School, Sammamish. Teacher: Ailis Thornhill.

My piece is entitled “Breakthrough” because one of the most devastating effects of the Holocaust was the loss of identity amongst thousands of innocent human beings. In my piece, the person is rebelling, or breaking through this smothering of identity (portrayed by the covered up face); she is speaking out and standing up for what she believes in. Additionally, the star at the bottom is labeled “human” because it is an injustice to label people by their race, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation. We are all simply human beings, and should all treat each other with equal dignity and respect.






A3 2nd Joey Simanek WEB2nd Place - Joey Simanek, Grade 11. Kent Mountain View Academy, Des Moines. Teacher: Nora Douglass and Kristy Banks.

The piece that you see is a representation of activism and standing up for your beliefs. Each symbol was hand cut out of a large sheet of copper, and each represents a different stance. I chose copper because it is a reddish metal. Red represents power. I also didn’t clean the metal to show the grittiness of activism. The necklace is set upon a background of black, to represent the oppression of activism. I thinly painted it to show that activism removes oppression. The quote in the center represents the things people go through to be an activist.




A3 3rd Hattie KenKnight WEB3rd Place - Hattie KenKnight, Grade 10. Seattle Preparatory School, Seattle. Teacher: Matt Barmore.
This painting compares the past as well as the present. The right side represents the Holocaust, including a picture of the wire fences bordering the concentration camps transferred onto the painting. The background color is a diluted and dull blue, matching the color of the Star of David on the armbands the Jews were forced to wear. The left side depicts the border wall between the United States and Mexico. In both scenarios, the groups have been subject to injustice. The red in the center, which bleeds outwards, symbolizes those who speak up about these atrocities to the world.




A3 HM Naomi Knipp WEBHonorable Mention - Naomi Knipp, Grade 11. Kent Mountain View Academy, Des Moines. Teacher: Nora Douglass and Kristy Banks.

We will not be silenced. We will not be ignored. Misogyny is a global gender equality tragedy and it is imperative that it stops. This piece speaks to victims of rape and mistreatment. The transparent red hand can be interpreted two ways. If one chooses to see a hand covering a mouth, one may see a predator muffling a woman’s screams while sexually assaulting her. However, if one chooses to look beyond the hand, the voice of change is visible. This woman is fighting. She is shouting. Sexism is a toxic injustice and it is vital that it ends.





Writing - 6th-8th Grade (Excerpts)

1st Place - Jordyn Famimiko, Grade 8. Showalter Middle School, Tukwila. Teacher: Emily Tran.

I utter to you, who is reading this, through my pint-sized mouth.
View yourself through a cleaner lens.
See the power of your voice.
Feed your mind with exceeding amounts of knowledge,
And use this in your combats with injustice.
For, injustice cowers at the profoundness of your echo

Click here to read the full piece.


2nd Place - Rosie Marasow, Grade 8. Menachem Mendel Seattle Cheder, Seattle. Teacher: Devorah Kornfeld.

And if he once again dragged by his collar, yet this time to something worse.
He will keep singing his song.
Loud and clear while he gets pulled to his death.
The words he will scream so not one person will say they didn't hear.
The words 'Ani Ma'amin' will ring in their ears.
Ani Ma'amin, I believe.

Click here to read the full piece.


3rd Place - Gabi Adams, Grade 8. Assumption St. Bridget School, Seattle. Teacher: Gerrie O’Leary. 

In school books, paragraphs upon paragraphs analyze past historical figures, events, and artifacts. Each book and time period are riddled with horrifying stories of death and destruction, giving the minds of young, impressionable students a perspective of what the future history books will contain. We have little effect over the events, but immeasurable influence over the reaction. So, the controls still remain in our hands; we each have the power to change those impending paragraphs with ripple effects that may eventually turn to massive waves or even tsunamis. If, in fact, we sit back and do nothing while injustice is executed, the response will be nothing compelling enough to gather anyone to protest.

Click here to read the full piece.


Honorable Mention - Hannah Willison, Grade 8. St Luke School, Shoreline. Teacher: Rosemary Conroy.

Faye Shulman, a fearless woman, was not powerless to prevent injustice. After witnessing the brutal slaughter of her family, she chose to protest, by joining the resistance and fighting a guerilla war in harsh conditions so that the Jewish people would survive and eventually take their rightful place in Israel.

Click here to read the full piece.


Honorable Mention - Samantha Alfonso, Grade 8. Meridian Middle School, Kent. Teacher: Debora Robinson.

If only I had stood up for her. How could I call myself her friend? I could only imagine where she is now and what or how she’s doing. In a world like ours, she could be killed for who she is. For something she couldn’t change and it is unfair. There some cruel people in the world who aren’t too fond of people who aren’t like them. And it wasn’t just sexuality. So many lives have been lost because of race, religion, gender. All because no one would stand up for them. She was one life I could have helped.
I’m sorry Elise. For everything.

Click here to read the full piece.


Writing - 9th-12th Grade (Excerpts)

1st Place - Semira Beraki, Grade 10. Mountlake Terrace High School, Mountlake Terrace. Teacher: Chris Ellinger.

My country
This world
Can’t continue on like this
We need to unite our people
Gather our forces
Muster up the ounce of courage still buried deep within our souls
And remember this, remind ourselves

As long as we’re still breathing
We can’t stop the fight
From the great words of MLK
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”

We have to push on, no matter how powerless we are
Endure a little more
And from what I’ve learned from Elie
Who will be missed dearly
To never fail to protest

Click here to read the full piece.


2nd Place - Sophia Vandewark, Grade 10. Eastside Catholic School, Sammamish. Teacher: Ailis Thornhill. 

My role was defender, the others: attackers.
They asked: why?
I would not have had an answer had it not been that another in my role had said thank you
Although I could not stop the hurt from coming, I made it so they were not alone--
I spoke with my actions, telling them that I heard and saw. And that it was not alright with me.

Click here to read the full piece.


3rd Place - Jacqueline Johanneson, Grade 10. Eastside Catholic School, Sammamish. Teacher: Ailis Thornhill.

If these walls could talk, would they use their words to perpetuate the heartache they have accumulated?
Would they use their voice to cry?
or cry out?
Would they weep tears for all of those who could not?
Exemplifying the very humanity which millions were deprived of.
Or would they, too, be left without words?

Click here to read the full piece.


Honorable Mention -Timothy Jenkins, Grade 10. Kent Mountain View Academy, Des Moines. Teachers: Kristy Banks and Nora Douglass.

When the radio announced that Germany Invaded Poland in 1939,
Our lives soon turned to peril
The lives we live right now, our worlds will soon turn around
My parents tried their best to hide me and my brother Alek,
My mother would always comfort me saying
"Angelika, no matter what happens to us... look for the light."

Click here to read the full piece.


Thank you to our panel of judges!

Kate Boris-Brown
Mario Campos, Jones & Jones Architects
Eva Casey, Student and past winner
Liz Ebersole, Library/Digital Media Specialist
Bob Evans, Educator
Sophie Feldman, Student and past winner 
Stephanie Felix, Stephanie Felix Photography
Jennifer Fliss
Michael Hirsch
Chris June, Museum and Art Studies
Rachael Kitagawa-Hoshide, Jones & Jones Architects
Russell Lidman, Professor Emeritus, Seattle University
Roedah Mansour, College Access Now
Kelly Miller, Educator
Daphne Minkoff, Artist
Amy Pleasant, Huffington Post
Penny Rhines, Past winner
Yuna Shin, Student and past winner
Aava Sikchi, Student and past winner
Carli Snyder, Graduate of the PLU Holocaust Studies Program
Christine Texeira, Hugo House
Kevin Troung, College Access Now


See 2016 Winners


In Memory of Jacob Friedman 

A2 1st Amy Duong crop 800x300

Film Winners | Art Winners 5th-8th GradeWriting Winners 5th-8th Grade |  Art Winners 9th-12th Grade | Writing Winners 9th-12th Grade |  Judges

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." - Elie Wiesel 

This year we received 1032 entries from 75 different schools!  Thank you to everyone who participated and who helped to make this our biggest contest yet!

See the list of participating schools!

Students were asked to respond to the quote above.  Winners were selected by a panel of judges - artists, teachers, and community members. The contest is open to 5th-12th grade students in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. See complete list of Contest Guidelines.
2019 Writing, Art and Film Contest theme will be announced in the winter.

PRIZES: $200 - 1st Place. $100 - 2nd Place. $50 - 3rd Place. Prizes awarded by category.



1st Place -   "Violence in Media" by Andru Miller, Grade 11. Gonzaga Prep, Spokane. Teacher: Maclean Andrews.

2nd Place - "Strengthen the Plan" by Aurora Anderson, Grade 10.  Eastside Catholic High School, Sammamish. Teacher: Aimee O'Donnell.

3rd Place - "Swear Not To Be Silent" by Masha Stuart, Grade 9.  Freeman High School, Rockford. Teacher: Pia Longinotti.



A1 Halina Alex 1920w1st Place - Halina Alex, Grade 8. St. George School, Seattle. Teacher: Anne Piotrowski.

This piece describes how most of society picks on anyone who is different. The wolves represent the hateful parts of society, which try to attack the rabbit who looks different because of its chipped ear. There’s only one rabbit protecting the injured one, representing how very few people stand up for the frequently hated parts of society. The rabbits represent the bystanders of our community and how they just watch without saying a thing. The piece teaches how more people need to stand up for these hated communities, like the LGBT+ community, different religions, etc.


A1 Annie Dong 1920w2nd Place - Annie Dong, Grade 7. St. Thomas School, Medina. Teacher: Jenna Gareis.

Inspired by Henri Matisse’s vibrant, contrasting colors, my piece is a mixture of contemporary art and realism, two of my favorite artistic styles. It was meant to portray the power of language as well as the courage of speaking up. The contrast between vibrant, saturated colors as well as black and red symbolize the fight between good and evil. The multiple lips in this painting symbolize speech, the act of speaking up. The lips all form one giant fist, inspired by the Black Power fist originated from the Black Panther party of 1960, meaning that with our words, we are able to do anything and that words have far more power than anyone could imagine. The hills filled with words on the bottom of the canvas lists some issues we face today, all having to do with oppression, suffering, and humiliation. For instance, human trafficking is an example of oppression against human rights. Going back to the painting, the fist is crushing the hill, and the confetti-like specks surrounding the action symbolizes a celebration of peaceful rebellions using our words. Around the hills, you may notice bizarre objects such as the umbrella. These are all symbols of great protests around the world. The umbrella is a symbol of the pro-democracy protest led by students in Hong Kong; the LGBT flag represents members and representatives of the community who has stood up for equal rights; the pots stand for anti-government marches in Argentina, where protesters often banged their pots together; the pussy hat is a symbol for the feminist movements today all around the globe; the three finger salute is commonly used in Thailand to stand for justice, equality, and brotherhood; and the knotted gun is a well-known sculpture by Carl Fredrik, one of the universal symbols of peace. I wanted to demonstrate that our words have power and as long as we use those powers in the right way, anyone can make a difference.


A1 HM Olivia Kjelstrup 1920w3rd Place - Olivia Kjelstrup, Grade 5. Wellington Elementary, Woodinville. Teacher: David Shelton.

Even if you’re alone, when you do nothing it will only get worse. But if you do something, it can only get better. Don’t be a passive bystander, be a strong one.



A1 HM Tilly Baldwin 1920wHonorable Mention - Tilly Baldwin, Grade 8. Cheney Middle School, Cheney. Teacher: Rebecca Graham.

“Alone” represents the way that bystanders are hurting other people by not acting out or speaking. As a sea of people flow past a clearly depressed person, not a single one of the thousands walking past stop to see if they are alright or need help. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum states how even if an observer says or does nothing, they are still encouraging the behavior. This is also meant to represent how humanity will follow the same path as their peers and not do what makes them an individual. People need to break away from normality.



A1 Cindy Thai 1920w

Honorable Mention - Cindy Thai, Grade 8. Showalter Middle School, Tukwila. Teacher: Megan Corbin.

Jewish families that were pushed into the ghetto lived poorly and their voices and identities were silenced. In this watercolor drawing, it depicts a little girl who lives in the ghetto, ripping off the power with the Nazi symbol to show that she was against this hatred she was experiencing. She is choosing not to remain silent, but revealing the beauty that has always been there. Butterflies were special to the kids in the camps, representing hope. To rip off this poster, it illustrates butterflies flying around in an abyss. Kids were treated with no respect, killed and stripped of innocence. She was demanding that respect back in her own way.



Writing - 5th-8th Grade (Excerpts)

1st Place - Katherine Kang, Grade 7. University Prep Academy, Seattle. Teacher: Eric Huff

In April of 2018, I was just sitting in the back of the car, drawing and listening to music in traffic. A driver had road rage and hit our car. I rolled down my window to see what happened and a driver from a different car yells at us, “You need to learn English and learn the rules. Go back to your country!”…Through my personal experience, I’ve set a personal goal. I swear “never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation” through words and civic engagement…. The words of the driver fuels me to use my words to speak up and to help the oppressor so no child is questioned about what language she speaks or what nationality she is… I vow never to be silent or be a bystander of bullying. We are supposed to learn from our mistakes and history. Even after the Holocaust and the Japanese incarceration, there is still work to be done and I must speak up. I need to be at the table to represent the voice of the voiceless. Read full entry.

2nd Place - Alexandria Nagy, Grade 8. Caitlin Gabel School, Portland, OR. Teacher: Holly Walsh.

“The Holocaust”
Read top-bottom for Jewish perspective. Read bottom-top for Nazi perspective
I refuse to listen when you tell me
the vile future that awaits
because I possess the strength to overcome
no matter how much blame is placed upon me
I will fight for myself
for my family
for my people
the Holocaust
a wickedly sinister thing to contemplate
... Read full entry.

3rd Place - DeShawn Sims, Grade 6. Scenic Hill Elementary, Kent. Teacher: Paul Regelbrugge.

“He is not hurt thanks to a girl that stood up for him even though she didn’t know him,” the mom responded.
“Wow, wish that would happen more often,” the dad said with a sigh.
Billy thought about the girl that helped him and wished that people everywhere would stand up to “bullies” around the world so such instances of hate would never grow into anything more.
Read full entry.

Honorable Mention - Julie Jirik, Grade 8. West Junior High School, Boise, ID. Teacher: Yvonne Georgeson.

“We Were There”

We were there
And are here today
So remember
We might have been weak
But we used our voices
Where a single word
Carried power
Words are formidable
To the oppressor
So we must not
Be named as bystanders
Fade into the background
Letting others suffer
For if the brave people of history
Kept quiet
Failed to rise up
Hope would die
Justice would be killed
The evil would win
We carry the ability of change
The world will not change
Because we want it to
We have to act
We were there
Where are you?
Read full entry.


Art - 9th-12th Grade


A2 1st Amy Duong 1920w1st Place - Amy Duong, Grade 10. Seattle Preparatory School, Seattle. Teacher: Matt Barmore.

“Hushed Words” is a representation of what happens when instigators are able to use the silence of others to their advantage. The Gestapo is enlarged in comparison to the boy, representing the difference in power each character holds. The boy, who is desperately trying to speak up against the oppression, has little power in contrast to the Gestapo, who attains more power the longer the people keep silent. Some spotlight shines onto the boy, but the light is mainly overpowered by the shadows behind him, symbolic of his words and actions that are ultimately hushed by the crowd’s willful ignorance.


A2 2nd Serena Martin 1920w2nd Place - Serena Martin, Grade 10. Eastside Catholic High School, Sammamish. Teacher: Aimee O’Donnell.

Taking sides is most important to make a difference. My piece shows two sides of before and what caused the Holocaust to end. A fragmented society, hence the rips in the flag, covers a person even though they want to reach out. This fragmented society is then ripped apart by a person who represents the whole body of the people affected. This “rip” in the flag is done by words. One’s words are what say the most about them and what they can do to change a society.


A2 3rd Olivia Ledesma 1920w3rd Place - Olivia Ledesma, Grade 10. Seattle Preparatory School, Seattle. Teachers: Cait Slack and Susan Leaverton.

“The Oppressor.” I gained inspiration from the prompt when it stated, “I swore never to be silent.” The oppressed in this piece is not authorities and officers but a Jewish boy living during World War II. He is wearing blue and white striped clothing to symbolize the clothes of Auschwitz prisoners and the Star of David to symbolize the star the Jewish people were forced to wear during that time. He is conveying the message that people struggled to say back then, and that is that one body and one voice can impact men and women everywhere.


A2 HM Regan Toepel 1920wHonorable Mention - Regan Toepel, Grade 10. Seattle Preparatory School, Seattle. Teachers: Matt Barmore and Andrew Hendricks.

I created a drawing of a hand holding a human heart in its palm with the quote wrapping around it. The piece demonstrates all the silence we hold in our hearts. The suffering and humiliation takes part within the central part of my drawing which is the heart. It represents the Jewish people that were horrifically oppressed. The quote wraps around the piece as it shows all the times the bystanders of the Holocaust witnessed the horrible treatment of the Jewish community. The hand represents power. As you can rip the silence out of your heart or you can sit there and witness the suffering. The hand is to show that people have a decision, whether that is to give the tormentor power or to rise and stop the tormenting.


A2 HM Taylor Mallalieu 1920wHonorable Mention - Taylor Mallalieu, Grade 10. Eastside Catholic School, Sammamish. Teacher: Aimee O’Donnell.

This photograph demonstrates the theme because we often feel silenced by those around us. However, it only takes one individual to stand up and inspire a change. In the photograph, this idea is shown through three victims staying silent and one standing up to make a difference. This change is represented through color and perspective. The gray scale color scheme shows how during the Holocaust, people felt as though their lives were blank and colorless, while the regression of size shows how the victims felt powerless and small compared to their tormentors, as though they had no way to stop them.


Writing - 9th-12th Grade (Excerpts)

1st Place - Hadley Cupp, Grade 9. St. Helens High School, St. Helens, OR. Teacher: Carrie McCallum.

Just because they’re bigger,
doesn’t mean they’re right.
Just because they say they’re right,
doesn’t make it so.
When everyone is following
I don’t have to go.
It’s hard to feel alone.
It’s hard to think I’m the only one who cares.
But if I don’t show I do,
who will?
If I stay silent,
who am I hurting?
If I go along and know it’s wrong,
more are hurt than just me.
Read full entry.


2nd Place - Jessica Turner,  Kent-Mountain View Academy, Des Moines. Teacher: Nora Douglass.

“The Secret Heroes of the Holocaust”

The reason so many lived to tell their stories
The reasons so many continued to grow
These secret heroes saved peoples’ lives
Their faith
And their hope.
They knew it was wrong
They did what they needed to
Despite their fears
Despite what others said
To put others before themselves
The secret heroes of the Holocaust.
Read full entry.


3rd Place - Isabella Bessire, Grade 9. Freeman High School, Rockford. Teacher: Pia Longinotti.

“Enslaved by Silence”

Silence hangs the innocent,
Silence kills and silence maims
Silence is a harder burden to bear
Than speaking out.…
We must stand together, never hesitate
To speak aloud, to protect the hurting.
Defend the helpless, don’t allow those who hate
To steal away anyone’s freedom.…
Freedom is just
One word away.
If we all join together
We can push back the choking silence.
Let us all speak for love
For though we are so small separated,
We can be more through each other.
Let us all never be silent,
For silence is death.
Let us never again
Be enslaved by silence.
Read full entry


Thank you to our panel of judges!

Stacey Brody
Mario Campos
Laurie Warshal Cohen
Rebecca Cohen
Sydney Dratel
Geri Dube
Thea Fefer
Stefanie Felix
Geoff Froh
Nikki Gardner
Jordan Goldwarg
Ron Gompertz
Gina Gonchar
Michael Hirsch
Ilene Jaffe
Pamela Lavitt
Emma Kilkelly
Lynda Matthias
Simran Sidhu
Aava Sikchi
Shana Sourish
David Thompson
Karen Treiger
Gwen Whiting

See 2017 Winners 

See 2016 Winners


WAC 2019 article banner

In Memory of Jacob Friedman

Thank you to the hundreds of students and teachers who participated in the 2019 contest! 

Participating schools:

Assumption Catholic School | Cascade High School | Catlin Gabel School | Central Catholic High School | Central Valley High School | Chimacum Middle School | Columbia Junior High | Coupeville Middle School | Crestwood Elementary | East Valley High School | Eastlake High School | Eastside Catholic School | Einstein Middle School | Everett High School | Frankel Religious School at Herzl-Ner Tamid | Franklin High School | Freeman High School | Garfield High School | Harriet Thompson Elementry | Holy Family School | Homeschooled | International School | Islander Middle School | Jewish Day School | Key Peninsula Middle School | Klahowya Secondary School | Lewis and Clark High School | Liberty Bell Junior Senior High School | Marshfield Senior High School | Mead High School | Meadowdale Middle School | Meeker Middle School | Meridian Middle School | MMSC Day School | Naselle-Grays River Valley Schools | Northwest Christian Schools | Oak Harbor High School | Options High School | Our Lady of Fatima | Redmond High School | Renton Prep Christian School | Sacred Heart School | Seattle Interagency (KC Juvenile Detention Center) | Seattle Preparatory School | Showalter Academy | Skyline High School | Spiritridge Elementary School | Spokane International Academy | Spokane Valley Learning Academy | St. Benedict School | St. Helens High School | St. Luke School | St. Stephens Academy | St. Thomas School | Sumner Middle School | TDHS Bridge Family Religion School | Tesla STEM High School | Torah Day School of Seattle | West Junior High School | White River High School

Open to students in grades 5-12 from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska | 2020 Contest information will be available in January 2020!

THEME for 2019

Over the last 70+ years, the Pacific Northwest has provided a new home for survivors of the Holocaust. Look through the new Survivor Encyclopedia: Washington State and explore the video clips, photos, and artifacts. Choose one local survivor to focus on for your entry. Through your creativity in writing, art, or short film, show how a local survivor's story (or part of their story) impacts, affects, or inspires you. (Flyer



Scroll down or jump to section: Film - 5th-8th Grade | Film - 9th-12th Grade | Art - 5th/6th Grade | Art - 7th/8th Grade | Art - 9th-12th Grade | Writing - 5th/6th Grade | Writing - 7th/8th Grade | Writing 9th-12th Grade | Panel of Judges 

Film - 5th-8th Grade

1st Place - Grace Nesbit and Mia Stitt, 8th grade. Key Peninsula Middle School, Lakebay. Teacher: Vicky Schauer | More about survivor Carla Peperzak

2nd Place - Mike Bauman and Stephen Yurkin, 8th grade. Northwest Christian School, Colbert. Teacher: Christina Hilderbrand | More about survivor Peter Metzelaar

3rd Place - Abby Wahlgren, 8th grade. Columbia Jr. High, Fife. Teacher: Ed Scheidt | More about survivor Ed Kaye


Film - 9th-12th Grade

1st Place - Kobe Thompson, 9th grade. Freeman High School, Rockford. Teacher: Pia Longinotti | More about survivor Peter Metzelaar

2nd Place - Amrutha Srikanth, 11th grade. Tesla STEM High School, Redmond. Teacher: Jenai Sheffels | More about survivor Eva Tannenbaum Cummins

3rd Place - Annie Denton, 11th grade. Tesla STEM High School, Redmond. Teacher: Jenai Sheffels | More about survivor Vera Federman

Honorable Mention - Max Reisman, 11th grade. Tesla STEM High School, Redmond. Teacher: Jenai Sheffels | More about survivor Fred Kahn

Art - 5th/6th Grade

A1 1 Bassli S A11st Place - Shelli Bassli, 6th grade. Jewish Day School, Bellevue. Teacher: Nance Adler
George Elbaum's life changed after World War II like many others. It was as if he lived in three different worlds. His first world was when he was young and living with his mother. His second world was during the war, a dark and frightening world. His life seemed to never stop changing. After the war, the world seemed different. It was as if it had gotten better, he had become more appreciative of his surroundings. The picture shows his life during and after the war. Showing the terror and pain during the war, and the beauty of life after. | More about survivor George Elbaum

A1 2 Kaplan M A12nd Place - Miri Kaplan, 6th grade. Torah Day School, Seattle. Teacher: Judy Temes
My art piece was inspired by a survivor of the Holocaust, Noemi Ban. When she was taken to Auschwitz, she was treated horribly, beaten, worked to the bone with other children even younger than her, and starved. The worst thing was that she was on her own, her father, mother, grandmother, and little brother were all killed shortly after arriving. The day Noemi had a chance to even try to flee, the Nazis forced the camp on a Death March that was one of many horrible things they made them do. While no officers were looking, Noemi and eleven other people snuck out into the forest and bolted, hoping to find freedom. Noemi’s struggle and her will to never give up really can spotlight the many times in our life when we feel pain but must push on. The picture shows Noemi running away from the hate and evil of Hitler and running to a new light, to hope. | More about survivor Noemi Ban

A1 3 Bresler A A13rd Place - Ashira Bresler, 6th grade. Torah Day School, Seattle. Teacher: Judy Temes
My sketch was inspired by Heinz Schwarz’s story. He and his family escaped to Shanghai, China and lived there for nine years. My picture shows a ship pulling out of the harbor, leaving a world behind and entering a new life where hope was possible. My other picture depicts what the Jewish ghetto of Shanghai might have looked like. | More about survivor Heinz Schwarz



A1 HM Friedman J A1Honorable Mention - Jacob Friedman, 6th grade. Torah Day School, Seattle. Teacher: Judy Temes
I chose the story of Henry Friedman because we share a last name. My picture shows one man in a line of men, but the others are fading into dust and blowing away in the wind. How this relates to Henry is because he felt the will live while the others were losing their lives, and he felt alone and scared because of this. My picture shows that he survived while the others didn’t. Their stories disappeared into dust, but his story was passed down. No one likes to feel alone, and that’s why I chose Henry Friedman. | More about Henry Friedman



A1 HM Poyurs B A1Honorable Mention - Batya Poyurs, 5th grade. Torah Day School, Seattle. Teacher Judy Temes
Through struggle comes courage: that’s what I chose for the title of my artist’s statement, and for the words on my illustration. And it seems fitting, considering Thomas Blatt’s story is all about struggle, and courage. He and the prisoners took part in an uprising, ending with the destruction of the camp and deaths of almost a dozen Nazis. My picture represents Thomas Blatt's narrative. The fist represents the uprising, the tefillin is the Jews and Thomas Blatt’s Jewish identity, the barbed wire represents the death camp, and the Polish flag is where the camp was. | More about survivor Thomas Blatt



Art - 7th/8th Grade

A2 1 Weldevesus Rumela1st Place (tie) - Rumela Weldeyesus, 8th grade. Meeker Middle School, Kent. Teacher: Paul Regelbrugge
Vera Federaman’s story inspired me so much. She was originally sent to the left line- which was to death, but because she spoke German very well and told them how strong she was. Out of complete luck that too few others were ever given, they let her go to the right line, to work; to have a chance to live. My art shows how the right of the train tracks rows of people coming off a cattle car and there is a person standing holding a baton like a conductor. He is selecting people to go to the left to die or to the right to work, and people are looking hopeless and lost. On the left side of the train, however, it shows, instead of this horrible, hateful environment, love: What a world would or should look like. People are coming out and being embraced; people are hugging each other and seeing a different, better world in which people feel joyful. If we choose love, not hate, there should never be lines – train tracks that come between us and divide us. The thin line between love and hate should be erased for love. | More about survivor Vera Federman


A2 1 McKinney A

1st Place (tie) - Abe McKinney, 8th grade. Northwest Christian School, Colbert. Teacher: Christina Hilderbrand
Peter Metzelaar’s father was taken by Nazis when he was seven. He and his mother were taken in by Klaas and Roefina Post. The Post family made a hiding place in the floor where Peter and his mother would hide when the Nazis searched the Post farm for hidden Jews. Imagine hiding under the floor, being hunted, and knowing that if you make one sound you, your mother and the people who took you in would be killed. We must not let this injustice happen again. Be respectful to all people no matter what the cost. Speak out against injustice. | More about survivor Peter Metzelaar


A2 2 Scaffe J A22nd Place - Jillian Scaffe, 8th grade. Columbia Jr. High, Fife. Teacher: Ed Scheidt
This piece, inspired by the story and struggle of Noemi Ban, represents the emphasis that positive character traits and emotions can make on your outlook and enjoyment of life. In my painting, a person is trudging through a fierce storm in search of one thing: the sun. As this character faces the tough weather, they are protected from the harsh conditions by just one thing – an umbrella. This represents Noemi facing obstacles in her life like suffering, heartbreak, lost faith, and more with only few things to help her get by; these anchors were endurance, faith, love, strength, and happiness. | More about survivor Noemi Ban




A2 3 Nguyen Leyna3rd Place - Leyna Nguyen, 8th grade. Meeker Middle School, Kent. Teacher: Paul Regelbrugge
My drawing shows a blank and lifeless figure seeing their reflection, which is who they really are. In a video of Noemi Ban, she says she saw a familiar girl but when she went closer, she realized it was her reflection and she says that that was the first time she had seen herself in years. This shows how identity loss was a defining characteristic during the Holocaust. When people were sent to concentration camps to do forced labor, they were tattooed with codes on their arms and shaven bald, which is like having their identity taken away because they are now just numbers, not humans. | More about survivor Noemi Ban


A2 HM LoskaDeven.2Honorable Mention - Deven Loska, 8th grade. Key Peninsula Middle School, Lakebay. Teacher: Vicky Schauer
The stories of our local survivors inspired me greatly but I couldn’t pick just one. All their stories matter and all of them gave incredible courage. They had the resilience to survive one of the most inexplicable evil events in human history. When I first heard of this contest, I knew I wanted my piece to speak for all the victims of genocide. This piece, “Never again” shows our past genocides and ongoing ones. After every genocide, the world is horrified and says, “Never again.” But what is the world doing to stop it? It happens again and again.




A2 HM AliAminaHonorable Mention - Amina Ali, 8th grade. Meeker Middle School, Kent. Teacher: Paul Regelbrugge
My piece of art represents how hope was the only thing that kept most Jews going. It represents how fear and hate are constantly weighing down on them and eventually makes them break. Hope is their beacon of light, their reassurance that after a sunset there will be another sunrise. That they will survive and grow up just like the tree that they see outside of their window. Stella Deleon said something that made me think this, she said, “For all the time I was in the camps, in Auschwitz and everything, I always had the feeling, ‘I’m going to survive. I’m going to get out of here.’ But by the middle of April [1945], I figured, no way I can survive and get out, especially after my little sister died…I said out loud, There’s no God. God won’t let us suffer like this.” She relied on hope and thoughts about surviving.... | More about survivor Stella DeLeon


Art - 9th-12th Grade

A3 1 Tantasirikorn T A31st Place - Tichada Tantasirikorn, 11th grade. Tesla STEM High School, Redmond. Teacher: Jenai Sheffels
The photograph of Paula Stern as a young girl with white flowers was the catalyst that moved me to paint her journey: her innocent childhood, the surrender of her identity at the dawn of WWII, her quiet rebellion in Auschwitz’s Union Commando, the miraculous letter that reunited her with her husband Klaus, and her work in preserving the memory of the Holocaust today. Stern’s inspirational perseverance and fortitude draws from her sabotaging of Nazi productions and from her strength in sharing her painful stories with future generations. Her courage is awe-inspiring, and to me, Paula Stern is a hero. | More about survivor Paula Stern




A3 2 Chau L A32nd Place - Lina Chau, 11th grade. Tesla STEM High School, Redmond. Teacher: Jenai Sheffels
Carla Peperzak showed astonishing bravery in saving others during this period of strife. She endangered herself to rescue persecuted Jews even when she could've simply walked away. This digital painting depicts Carla protecting those innocent people, including her nephew whom she also saved, by standing in front of them and shielding them from danger. | More about survivor Carla Peperzak



A3 3 Berger Elisabeth.23rd Place (tie) - Elisabeth Berger, 11th grade. Tesla STEM High School, Redmond. Teacher: Jenai Sheffels
This painting depicts young Klaus Stern standing in front of railroad tracks like those that transported the death trains, carrying a backpack and Schultute, a traditional German cone filled with goodies for a child’s first day of school. The schultute has the Hebrew symbol for life, the backpack has Stern’s Auschwitz number, the German word for “unwanted,” and the middle name “Israel” that Jews were forced to adopt. Both items that Stern carries with him represent his experiences during the Holocaust, and despite the trauma he experienced, that he and his faith survived is what moved me most. | More about survivor Klaus Stern




A3 3 Carter M A33rd Place (tie) - Mason Carter, Camryn Holden, and Elizabeth Bloom, 10th grade. Mead High School, Spokane. Teacher: Ann Lochhead
Our piece shows how the Holocaust affected all Jews even if they weren’t directly involved in it. It made people lose themselves. When Eva was 11, Hitler came into power. Her dad was fired from his job and Eva was expelled from school. A few years later her dad died and her family was forced to escape to Seattle because they knew they could never make it in Berlin. Eva’s life was completely changed and the Holocaust affected her in many ways. The Holocaust affected so many lives. It left them feeling changed and empty. | More about survivor Eva Tannenbaum Cummins

A3 HM Seher SheilaTaj3Honorable Mention – Sheila Taj Seher, 11th grade. Skyline High School, Sammamish. Teacher: Charlotte Mann 
The painting is titled, “Fanny W.” It depicts a young and beautiful Fanny Wald with a lot of determination and resolve on her face….the will to survive despite all odds. The four blood stains on her face and neck symbolize the loss of her father, stepmother, sister, and brother. The image calls out, “I will survive. I will not be defeated. My family did not die in vain.” It is a depiction of life…a young determined hopeful Fanny with the sadness and facial scars caused by the Holocaust. 




A3 HM Wang EstherHonorable Mention - Esther Wang, 11th grade. Tesla STEM High School, Redmond. Teacher: Jenai Sheffels
With a past wrought with unspeakable horrors, Magda Schaloum, a Holocaust survivor, had a drive to spread her story that was nothing short of courageous. This piece shows her standing strong despite Auschwitz, Plaskow, Muldorf, and a multitude of other obstacles she faced. I kept her hardships pictured, for her legacy is the fight against the stories of the Holocaust going untold. The dark concentration camps and factories are contrasted with a glow around her in this piece to depict her inner strength in the face of unfathomable darkness. | More about survivor Magda Schaloum

A3 HM Olivera VictoriaHonorable Mention - Victoria Olivera, 10th grade, Seattle Preparatory School, Seattle. Teacher: Matt Barmore
I was inspired by survivor Susie Sherman’s account of her uncle’s time in Theresienstadt, who saved sketches, writings, and other firsthand accounts of life in the Terezin ghetto. Settled in the only pool of light from a single barred window are three young people. They work on the ground, with supplies that are not theirs, expressing themselves even amid oppressive darkness. They are the “Artists of Terezin,” their tools catching the light, art scattered at their knees. Each of them is recording what is happening around them as it really is, despite the lies they were told to portray instead. | More about survivor Susie Sherman


Writing - 5th/6th Grade

1st Place - Tyler Rubenstein, 6th grade. Temple De Hirsch Sinai Religion School, Seattle. Teacher: Megan Corbin 
Klaus Stern was a Jew, so of course he was treated differently than the other “pure” kids, but he knew where he stood. He hated the times when he witnessed anti-Semitism, but what could he do? He was just a kid, he thought. Klaus tried not to let his religion be the only factor in his life. Like a jigsaw puzzle, all Klaus had to do was make the mad and happy parts of his life intertwine. The happy pieces of his life included his family, and games. But the brightest piece in his life was his best friend Walter. | Read Essay | More on survivor Klaus Stern

2nd Place - Maddox Aquino, 5th grade. Assumption Catholic School, Bellingham. Teacher: Lisa Blas 
Noemi Ban came to my school and my classmates and I got to listen to her tell us her life story growing up as a Jew in the Holocaust. Noemi was about twelve and lived in Hungary with her baby brother, her little sister, her mom and dad and her grandma when the Nazis took over. First, they went to a ghetto, then into a cattle car to a concentration camp called Auschwitz. When Noemi arrived at Auschwitz there was a very long line and at the end of the line there was an SS soldier. | Read Essay | More on survivor Noemi Ban

3rd Place - Isabella Bolin, 5th grade. Crestwood Elementary, Covington. Teacher: Jane Scott 
Stella DeLeon inspired me. Stella DeLeon encouraged me to never give up on hope it will eventually come around. Read on to learn more about this astonishing woman! | Read Essay | More on survivor Stella DeLeon

Honorable Mention - Frankie Medina, 5th grade. Harriet Thompson Elementary, Grandview. Teacher Kathryn Newman 
Steven Adler’s story inspires me because he went through a rough time losing his dad for nine years and leaving schools, leaving home, and even not seeing his family for a year and staying with a new family also. But Steve stayed strong mentally and found a way be free now than being treated like he was nothing. So that really inspires me for when there is tough times, I need to battle through it and always believe it will end up great. | Read Essay | Read more about survivor Steven Adler

Honorable Mention - Tova Shecter, 5th grade. Frankel Religious School, Herzl Ner Tamid, Mercer Island. Teacher: Andi Neuwirth 
Frieda Soury's story led me to think about all the little boys and girls who didn’t
deserve such trauma. All the little boys and girls, and even all the adults and elders, that
were put through this misery just because of power hungry Nazis. People were living a
content life, and then Nazi soldiers barged into their hometowns. I can’t even begin to
imagine what that must have felt like. To the Nazis, the Jews were faceless masses. But
when I look at the Jews, I see individuals that still had a lifetime to live. | Read Essay | More on survivor Frieda Soury


Writing - 7th/8th Grade

1st Place - Alyona Vysotskiy, 8th grade. Columbia Jr. High, Fife. Teacher: Ed Scheidt
Do you remember that day,
The day you saved me,
Saved my heart,
Saved my soul?
The day you fed me with a homemade tasty soup that was filled up to the top of the bowl?
I do.
Read Full Poem | Poem was inspired by survivor Peter Metzelaar

2nd Place - Charlotte Miney, 8th grade. Catlin Gabel School, Portland. Teacher: Holly Walsh
She gazed at the papers on the table.
They stared right back at her.
She saw the place where the Jewish mark was missing,
it seemed to accuse her.
How could one mark mean so much?
Read Full Poem | Poem was inspired by survivor Carla Peperzak

3rd Place - Emma Jollie, 8th grade. Columbia Jr. High, Fife. Teacher: Ed Scheidt
Vera Federman’s experience/story opened my eyes immensely. She gave me an entirely different view of my generation and the world around me. I hope to have half as much courage when I’m an adult as she did when she was 20 years old. Vera’s story showed me how dazed my generation truly is. We live our lives glazed over, we don’t try to see the meaning behind anything. We crave attention on an app more than real love. | Read full essay | More about survivor Vera Federman

Honorable Mention - Abjullah Majeed, 8th grade. Meeker Middle School, Kent. Teacher: Paul Regelbrugge
Henry Friedman was born in 1928 to a Jewish family in Brody, Poland. By the age of ten, he already began to experience hateful comments. “Wait ‘til Hitler comes for you all. He’ll take care of you!” At 14 years old, he went into hiding with his mother, brother and a teacher, while his dad lived in a different hiding place. They were forced to hide for their lives for 18 months, because the Nazis wanted to wipe all Jewish people from the face of Europe. | Read full essay | More about survivor Henry Friedman

Honorable Mention - Kiya Mullins, 8th grade. Einstein Middle School, Shoreline. Teacher: Kim Pesik 
My face is red from crying
The lights have gone out
The candles finally melted
And stowed away my heart
My truthfulness forgotten and replaced with flaws
What the point of being perfect? What’s the story for the cause?
Read full poem


Writing - 9th-12th Grade

1st Place - Aditi Joshi, 11th Grade. Tesla STEM High School, Redmond. Teacher: Jenai Sheffels
The words “Never Again” echo in our hearts but not in our world-
Bosnia, Cambodia and Rwanda
Yet again to lie witness to the same terrors.
How can a meaningless speck of a person like me prevent that?
But then I remember
She was just about my age
I go to school and sports practice after,
So does she.
Read full poem | Read more about survivor Carla Peperzak

2nd Place - Soren Dahl, 12th Grade. Garfield High School, Seattle. Teacher: Heather Robison
When I was first reading the survivor encyclopedias, I wanted to find people with a real connection to the Pacific Northwest. I came across Klaus and Paula Stern, who were the first Holocaust survivor couple to move to the region. I was interested in their story and started to research. As I read Paula’s experience, however, I became inspired more by her actions and the relationship forged between her and her husband, which gave them both strength throughout and after the Holocaust. Her story is an amazing tale of survival and resistance, and a story about the power of hope through difficult times.
Read full essay | Read more about survivor Paula Stern

3rd Place - Amanda Ho, 12th Grade. Garfield High School, Seattle. Teacher: Heather Robison
Through this piece of writing, I will show how a local survivor’s story can affect and inspire me. The local survivor is named George Elbaum from Poland. In his biography, he states that when Hitler invaded Poland, his mom was aware of the danger they were in so she immediately took action and dyed her hair blonde and purchased identification documents of a dead Catholic woman in order to try and survive. He also mentioned that his mom smuggled him out of the ghetto and paid Polish Catholic families to raise and hide him. Both of these inspire me because although the families wanted to stay together, they had to be separated especially through this hard time. | Read full essay | More about survivor George Elbaum

Honorable Mention - Mikaela Peizer, 10th grade. Eastlake High School, Sammamish. Teacher: Katrina Millet
For this creative writing piece, I chose to honor Mrs. Ann Birulin who I am so grateful to have known personally. Mrs. Birulin was a beautiful and strong woman who always told me to be brave no matter the circumstances. The last time I sat down with her, I remember her telling me about her last encounter with her mother in Poland. I vividly remember the pain and agony in her voice, as she told me that I must never forget the horrific events that the Jews faced during the Holocaust. | Read full essay 

The Writing, Art, and Film contest is generously sponsored by Steve and Betty Block. The Survivor Encyclopedia: Washington State is supported, in part, by 4Culture/King County Lodging Tax and The State of Washington.

Thank you to our panel of judges:

Fay Barnett | Evelyn Blatt | Marcy Bloom | Emily Bowden | Mario Campos | Deborah Clothier | Laurie Warshal Cohen | Brian Crawford | Stefan DeVilliers | Geri Dube | Liz Ebersole | Mark Falconer | Stefanie Felix | Geoff Froh | Lauren Geschel | Talya Gillman | Ron Gompertz | Rachel Greene | Andy Helman | Hydee Hernandez | Michael Hirsch| Adrian Hunt | Pamela Lavitt | Arabelle Leipold | Holly Levin | Margo MacVicar-Whelan | Melanie Masson | Jennifer Muscatel | Elise Philips | Eileen Putter | Jody Quitadomo | Matthew Schulman | Beverley Silver | Debbie Simon | Gail Steinitz | Alayne Sulkin | Gwen Whiting



See the 2018 Winners

See the 2017 Winners


The Holocaust Writing, Art, and Digital Media Contest is offered in memory of Jacob Friedman. Special thanks to Jamie and Jeff Merriman-Cohen for supporting this contest.

Featured - "Red Shoes" by Marina LaBossier, Grade 10, Eastside Catholic High School, Sammamish.


This year we received approximately 700 entries representing 64 classrooms.  Thank you to all of the students and teachers who participated in this contest!

List of participating schools and teachers

More information about the 2014 Writing, Art, Digital Media Contest

Winners are listed by category:

Art - 5th/6th Grade
Art - 7th/8th Grade
Art - 9th - 12th Grade
Writing - 5th/6th Grade
Writing - 7th/8th Grade
Writing - 9th - 12th Grade
Digital Media - All Grades


Art - 5th/6th Grade


A1-1st 20141st Place: Rylee Grant, Grade 6, Cedar Park Christian School, Bothell.  Teacher: Hahnna Christenson.  Artist Statement: My theme is liberation. I was inspired by the people who were strong throughout the holocaust. My art piece is showing all of the struggles, but finally breaking free of the trials and hardships. The title of my piece is “Unmarked”. The skin that was marked represents torture and tribulation, but it is finally coming off, to start a new life and break free of misery.




2nd Place: Korrina Greben, Grade 6, Cedar Park Christian School, Bothell. Teacher: Hahnna ChristensonA1-2nd 2014

Artist's Statement: Irena Sendler always thought she wasn’t doing enough to help those around her. First she started just caring for the sick. Then a Jewish mother begged Irena to take her child and hide him. It was then when Irena started to hide Jewish children with Polish and Ukrainian families. Irena Sendler kept a jar and with every child she hid she kept an account of them on a strip of paper. Their real name, the place where she hid them, and their fake name. This art project is what I think Irena’s desk looked like. Irena Sendler really inspires me to help homeless and orphaned children.


A1-3rd.1 20143rd Place (TIE): Phoebe Kucera, Grade 6, Moran Prairie, Spokane. Teacher: Paul Regelbrugge.  Artist's Statement: I was inspired to create my art about children. I did this because I have a connection with them. Their lives were broken. I was looking through the names of these children, and some of the children were 2 years old. Take Maria Batman, for example, this little child died at 8. None of these kids had a chance to grow up, to live their lives. So in honor of these children, I wrote a lot of their names down in the shape of a heart.


A1-3rd.2 20143rd Place (TIE): Maya Nathani, Grade 6, Lake Washington Girls Middle School, Seattle. Teacher: Chelsea McCollum. Artist's Statement: The Anonymous Girl Diarist from the Lodz Ghetto was a young girl who lived in the Ludz Ghetto. She wrote in her diary every day for months. Her words were inspiring and really showed life in the holocaust in a beautiful, poetic way. For the contest, I wrote a poem in the shape of this girl. The poem tells of the girl’s words and their impact on me and my perception of the Holocaust. Surrounding her, there is barbed wire is made up of her quotes. I chose her because her words really changed my perception of the Holocaust.


A1-HM.1 2014Honorable Mention: Danny DeNike, Grade 6, Moran Prairie, Spokane. Teacher: Paul Regelbrugge.  Artist's Statement: My inspiration for this project is three books and a movie about the Holocaust. The inspirations were called, Sharing is Healing, Maus, The Book Thief and the Island On Bird Street (movie). What really inspired me to make these clay pieces, is my Holocaust teacher who gave me my knowledge about the Holocaust, and the book Maus because the author (Art Spiegelman) showed me that I could tell a Holocaust story artistically, as he did by his wonderful drawings. My favorite part is my burning book pile piece. This is my tribute to Holocaust survivors everywhere.


A1-HM.3 2014Honorable Mention: Rachel Eder, Grade 6, Lake Washington Girls Middle School, Seattle. Teacher: Lindsey Mutschler. Artist's Statement:  My art piece is of a bird cage with the names of the groups of people who were targeted in the Holocaust leaving the cage. The bird cage is black to represent the darkness of their world during the Holocaust, and also to represent being locked up and not able to escape. I chose to have the words colorful because it shows the diversity of the people and how they can’t just be a Jew or a Gypsy because that was how the Nazis saw them. I chose to do this art piece because it shows the victims growing and keeping hope even after the war.


A1-HM.2 2014Honorable Mention: Stella Matthews, Grade 6, Lake Washington Girls Middle School, Seattle. Teacher: Lindsey Mutschler. Artist's Statement: My art piece is a mix between markers and collage. My art piece represents Kindertransport. The scene in my art piece is of some kids from Kindertransport on a boat going back home. I did silhouettes instead of detailed drawings because a lot of the kids when they came back their attitudes and expressions had changed because during the war they had to grow up fast and be able to take care of themselves and many others. The Star of David is there to represent that they’re Jewish. I wanted to do a symbol for Kindertransport because I am a kid and I wanted to learn more while I was making this art piece.


Art - 7th/8th Grade


A2-1st 20141st Place: Ethan Hunter, Grade 7, St. George's School, Spokane. Teacher: Rachel Peters. Artist's Statement: This is a drawing that I drew from a picture of child survivors of Auschwitz. The picture was taken during the soviet liberation of Auschwitz in January 1945.




A2-2nd 20142nd Place: Larissa Schwendiman, Grade 8, Cheney Middle School, Cheney. Teacher: Stacy Spakousky.








A2-3rd 20143rd Place: Jordan Craft, Grade 8, Columbia Jr. High School, Fife. Teacher: Ed Scheidt. Artist's Statement: Oskar Schindler, 1908-1974, a man credited with saving the lives of 1,200 Jews by employing them in his factories during the Holocaust. The youngest of these Jews as a boy, 13 years old, named Leon Leyson. To take this photograph, I simply let go of it into the wind. I waited for the name, typed exactly how Schindler had written it, to drop before I took an excessive amount of pictures. I did this to represent how Leon, and all the other Holocaust survivors, were eventually set free, and were able to live life freely, willingly, and wherever they wished.


A2-HM.1 2014Honorable Mention: Jacki Patnoi, Grade 7, Saint George's School, Spokane. Teacher: Rachel Peters. Artist's Statement: “The Girl from the Annex”- My photo was inspired by Anne Frank’s diary, and although she did not write when she was in the concentration camps, many kids wrote while in ghettos, camps and other occupied areas. The girl in the photo is my sister who has Downs Syndrome. Hitler killed over 200,000 people that were disabled mentally and physically, and those people were the first to be put during this time in gas chambers and continued in secret throughout the war. The children’s diaries reflected human suffering and the struggle of hope against misery.


A2-HM.2 2014Honorable Mention: Annika Johnson, Grade 8, Columbia Junior High School, Fife. Teacher: Ed Scheidt. Artist's Statement: While reading I have lived a thousand years by Livia Bitton Jackson and Eli Weisel’s Night I have notice that no matter how much pain or suffering they endured, it seemed that ther was hope for a better day. The art work I created represented that hope. The white daisy is often a symbol of hope and innocence, so that is why I choose it over other flowers. The daisy grows in a place where surviving is at a minimum.


Art - 9th-12th Grade


A3-1st 20141st Place: Jessica Kim, Grade 10, Bellevue High School, Bellevue. Teacher: Faye Scannell.  Artist's Statement: Born in 1920 Poland, Miles Lerman was a child who had great dreams and a bright future. However, soon crushed by the German Nazis, he became separated from his valuable family and was sent to a slave labor camp in 1941 when a German massacre occurred in Poland. Unlike many of the laborers in these camps, Lerman successfully escaped from the horrendous environment. He soon joined the Jewish Partisan unit where he fought against the unjust rules of the Nazis. This piece connects to the liberation of the trapped victims who continued the struggles to break free from the Nazis.




A3-2nd 20142nd Place: Kate Marie Christiansen, Grade 10, Eastside Catholic School, Sammamish. Teacher: Aimee O'Donnell.  Artist's Statement: This doll is a depiction of the them children. The barbwire and nails show the agony inflicted on everyone, especially the children during the Holocaust. This girl is inspired by the story of Miriam Wattenberg. Her diary describes the horrors of the Holocaust and her life in the Vittel internment camp in France in 1944. Mirriam Wattenberg describes the accounts of the Warsaw ghetto under the pen name “Mary Berg”. Her diary describes the terrible pain inflicted on the victims inside the camp. The barbwire and nails on the doll show the sadness and hurt that will not be forgotten.



A3-3rd.2 20143rd Place (TIE): Juan Sebastian Bernal, Grade 10. Seattle Preparatory School, Seattle. Teachers: Matt Barmore and Sheryl Healy.

Artist's Statement: “Not far from us, flames…were rising…Something was being burned there…Babies…Children thrown into flames.” (Elie Wiesel, Night Pg. 32) I was haunted by the image of burning children from Elie Wiesel’s Night. When we were prompted to create a work inspired by the Holocaust, one of the possible themes was children, and my mind jumped there instantly. The image is a dark possibility of Nazi concentration camp life for children, one that rushed towards a slow, scorching end. My art melds flames and babies together, almost like Life (symbolized by the babies) is burning.


A3-3rd.1 20143rd Place (TIE): Claire Manley, Grade 11, Holy Names Academy, Seattle. Teacher: Amy Anderson. Artist's Statement: My piece is to remind us of the children that had to experience the Holocaust. This piece was inspired by the movie, Life is Beautiful. That little boy in that movie is sheltered from the trust of the Holocaust. His father lies to him in order to preserve the innocence of the child. There are so many other children in the Holocaust that were not sheltered. I drew this to represent the innocence lost in these children by the horrors they had to experience.


A3-HM.1 2014Honorable Mention: Evan Sarantinos, Grade 10, Seattle Preparatory School, Seattle. Teacher: Jennifer Freeman.  Artist's Statement: Resistance during the Holocaust was carried out in a variety of different forms. Commonly, resistance is perhaps viewed at violent outbreaks within the ghettos Jews live in. However, a boy by the name of Juliek Yitzchak conducted his last act of resistance by playing his violin. During the holocaust, it was unlawful for Jews to perform music by German composers. During his last living moments, Juliek performed a fragment of a piece by Beethoven, a German composer. The quote used in the artwork, from Elie Wiesle’s Night, recounts the last moments of Juliek’s life. By capturing billowing smoke onto the wooden canvas, the artwork displays symbols of the crematoriums, the locations where Juliek’s family was killed during the Holocaust.


A3-HM.2 2014Honorable Mention: Megan Freer, Grade 10, Freeman High School, Spokane. Teacher: Pia Longinotti. Artist's Statement: Always silenced and hidden when he was young, Holocaust survivor Pete Metzelaar shared his story with my school in early November. Pete’s mother inspired me with her determination to protect their lives and to stay together. She thought quickly and worked hard to never get caught. Cold, dark, and tired, Pete Metzelaar’s mother lead him down the snowy paths of the city they had been hiding in. Wearing a handmade Red Cross uniform, with sheer brilliance and a silver tongue, she managed to get a ride out of this city where they were about to be turned in.


Writing - 5th/6th Grade


1st Place: Mena Bova, Grade 6, Lake Washington Girls Middle School, Seattle. Teacher: Lindsey Mutschler.  "Hope. There was a reason that this word was scarce during the Holocaust. There just wasn't enough. People in the Holocaust suffered unmentionable horrors, horrors that left many scarred and hopeless, with good reason." READ MORE


2nd Place: Adrien Regelbrugge, Grade 6, Moran Prairie, Spokane. Teacher: Paul Regelbrugge.  "And now, this is the twenty-first century. And it is nearly impossible for me to imagine a world in which where was not a Holocaust. And that realization crushes me, because somehow, even though I wasn not a part of that awful time, I feel more than scarred by it." READ MORE


3rd Place: Mara Wald, Grade 6, Lake Washington Girls Middle School, Seattle. Teacher: Chelsea McCollum.  "When someone says the name, 'Hannah Senesh,' what words come up when I think of her? For a start, she was brave, courageous, loyal, and confident. She was a Hungarian Jew that parachuted into enemy country during the Holocaut to help Jewish communities." READ MORE


Honorable Mention: Jocelyn Cruz, Grade 5, Selah Intermediate, Selah.  Teacher: Lorri Clifton.  "'Nice people, the Germans! To think that I was once one of them too! No, Hitler took away our nationality long ago. In fact, Germans and Jews are the greatest enemies in the world.' These are the words of Anne Frank, who, though she died at fifteen, still does and will remain known throughout the world as the author of a very detailed and elaborate diary, which shows us that even young teenagers can have strong opinions and feelings as well as adults." READ MORE


Writing 7th/8th Grade


1st Place: Attiya Khan, Grade 8, Meridian Middle School, Kent.  Teacher: Debbie Robinson.  “Your skin is like paper-mâché.”  “I know.”  “We’re going to die.” “I know.”  Wendelin wasn’t a smart twenty-four year old. In fact, he was rather lackluster and shattered in places that didn’t make sense. He couldn’t tell the difference between breads anymore because they were all a dry shade of sepia and they all felt unceasingly compact. He couldn’t tell the difference between soups because they all tasted insipid and contained makeshift potatoes. But he knew.  READ MORE


2nd Place: Journey Orchanian, Grade 7, Chimacum Middle School, Chimacum.  Teacher: Gretchen Berg.  "His name is Joseph Zivelewski Zola. He was not only my cousin, but a Holocaust survivor. I met Joseph, once, when I was a little girl. I have heard his story countless times and I was intrigued by his passion to survive." READ MORE


3rd Place: Mattye Gunner, Grade 7, Selah Intermediate School, Selah.  Teacher: Lorri Clifton.  “The story I’m going to tell you is my personal experience,” Metzelaar said. “It’s not a made-up story or something I read about. “ Have you ever wondered how hard the lives were of a child refugee? For Peter and his mother Elli Metzellar, they had extremely difficult life experiences such as staying hidden for more than four years and being dangled by the collar from the fist of a Nazi soldier. The Metzelaar’s were always in danger. READ MORE


Honorable Mention: Kyle Greenspan, Grade 8, Catlin Gabel School, Portland, OR.  Teacher: David Ellensberg. Throughout human history, there have been innumerable leaders brave enough to break the silence. This silence, is the silence of the oppressed. Elie Wiesel, a famous Holocaust survivor and author, once said, “silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” If people succumb to oppression, if they remain silent, then change will never arise. READ MORE


Honorable Mention: Makayla North, Grade 8, Centennial Middle School, Snohomish.  Teacher: Karen Taylor.  Elegy for Ebi Gruenblatt - You were a star, a star of rarest beauty | Hanging suspended in the clearest skies of night | Over your sprawling home and countryside, you watched and you played, | Surrounded by the love of your brothers. READ MORE


Writing 9th-12th Grade


1st Place: Tulasa Ghimirey, Grade 12, Foster High School, Tukwila. Teacher: Chris Kraght.  She remembers the crowd mumbling and moving about here and there. At fourteen the girl was standing by the window and capturing the beauty of nature, thinking, “why do the days come and go as night arrives? Why does the sun have to go and the moon have to replace it each night? Why can’t they both come at the same time?” The thinking of a person who is caught between two worlds can sometimes seem like the thoughts of one who is dazed and confused. READ MORE


2nd Place: Jonathan Tan, Grade 10, Jackson High School, Mill Creek. Teacher: Deb Kalina.  Over the course of time,  the mentally disabled were always characterized as useless and inferior by those who call themselves superior than us. In the Holocaust, many mentally disabled people were thrown into gas chambers after being physically examined because of the Nazis dream of a race without any imperfections. READ MORE


3rd Place: Emily Zebala, Grade 10, Eastside Catholic High School, Sammamish. Teacher: Aimee O'Donnell. Zebala Family Heritage: Impact of the Katyn Forest Massacre and Russian Invasion of Poland - World War II began on September 3, 1939, with the surprise attack on Poland’s western border by Nazi Germany (1). Only 16 days later, on September 19, 1939, the Russian Red Army invaded Poland’s eastern border (2). The invasion ended on October 6, 1939 with the division and annexing of the whole of the Second Polish Republic by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, In September 1939, my Great Grandfather, Stefan Zebala was among 15,000 Polish officers taken prisoner by the invading Red Army and put in camps at Ostashkov, Starabelsk and Kozelsk, USSR. READ MORE


Honorable Mention: Jennifer Hanna, Grade 10, Jackson High School, Mill Creek.  Teacher: Deb Kalina.  Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, those as just a few people that became known as heroes of society. Each one had a slightly different goal, however in the end they all wanted the same thing; justice. Attaining justice can be difficult in this world that is often filled with misunderstanding, prejudice, ignorance and hate. READ MORE


Digital Media - All Grades


1st Place: Marina LaBossier, Grade 10, Eastside Catholic High School, Sammamish.  Teacher: Aimee O'Donnell.   "Red Shoes"



2nd Place: Julia Mundell, Grade 6, Lake Washington Girls Middle School, Seattle. Teacher: Chelsea McCollum.  "Brundibar"



3rd Place: Davin McKinley, Grade 9, Charles Wright Academy, Tacoma. Teacher: Nick Coddington. Website - "Denmark During the War" 


DigtialMedia3rd DenmarkWebsite


Honorable Mention: Quinn Drathman, Grade 8, St. Nicholas Catholic School, Gig Harbor. Teacher: Kathleen Buxell.  Footage from school trip to Auschwitz with survivor narratives.



Honorable Mention: Carl Schildkraut, Grade 7, Congragation Kol Ami, Woodinville. Teacher Stephanie Shernicoff.  "Nefarious" This would fall under the theme of Resistance.  It was created using Finale composition software, and the audio played is a Finale file rather than a performance.  LISTEN NOW

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2013 Holocaust Writing, Art & Digital Media Contest!

List of participating schools & teachers (pdf)



2013 Winning Entries


Art - 5th/6th Grade

1st Place - Danielle Kim, 6th Grade, Kent Mountain View Academy, Des Moines. Teacher: Thanh Thu Do
Kindertransport was a movement of care and compassion that saved Steve Adler and children from the atrocity of the Holocaust that stripped many of their lives. The children were expected to leave their Jewish heritage behind. My art piece is a portrait of a young Jewish boy with his eyes smudged, drawn with charcoal. The use of charcoal is to show perseverance; without coal, they wouldn’t have been able to go on and escape from the hands of Hitler. The smudging represents his true identity and his Jewish inheritance slowly fading, to live the life he was blessed to preserve.




2nd Place - Aria Saisslin, 6th Grade, Kent Mountain View Academy, Des Moines. Teacher: Thanh Thu Do
You see a hand with words in it and broken barbed wire while I see a Jew never giving up for what they believe in. When I see my drawing I see myself as this person never giving up hope, and doing what is right. I want other people to see my drawing as an encouragement and for them to never lose hope. Hope, trusting, courage, believing, and bravery are words never to forget.




3rd Place - Brook Franklin, 6th Grade, Lake Washington Girls Middle School, Seattle. Teacher: Lindsay Mutschler
My art piece shows Anne Frank in the Star of David. Surrounding her are loose pages from her diary with some of her quotes. I was inspired to do this because it shows how one can do many amazing things during a terrible time. Anne Frank was able to write these incredible quotes as she was living a nightmare. The materials I used during this project were pencil and watercolor. This shows that we have to stop bullying before it turns into something bigger.



Honorable Mention - Jake Ewanchuk, 6th Grade, Cedar Park Christian, Bothell. Teacher: Hahnna Christenson
The iconic words, “Arbeit Macht Frei” (work makes one free) is shown on the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Auschwitz is the site of the largest mass murder in the history of the world – more than one million men, women and children were systematically killed there. I chose to draw the gates at Auschwitz because it is a stark reminder of a horrible and tragic part of history, yet we need to remember and learn from it so we do not repeat it.


Honorable Mention - Taylor Bradshaw, 6th Grade, Cedar Park Christian, Bothell. Teacher: Hahnna Christenson
The Children -  For this project I really couldn’t chose a specific event that made my heart pound. I decided that I would focus on all the children and their families in general because it breaks my heart to see lives and futures being destroyed. Description - This collage is on canvas and it has pictures of children and their families, in the middle is the star with Jude on it.


Honorable Mention - Evi Fitzgerald, 5th Grade, Congregation Kol Ami Religious School, Woodinville. Teacher: Michal Comisioneru
Imagine being torn apart then being put back together piece by piece.


Art - 7th/8th Grade

1st Place - Blake Jeffcoat, 7th Grade, McMurray Middle School, Vashon Island. Teacher: Heidi VanHarper
“The Resistance in the Death Camps” - The image I drew represent the resistance of the Jewish people within the death and work camps. Which to me was an even more powerful story than the struggles outside the camps. The barbed wire represents the prisoners bound in fear which brought about a great solidarity with the prisoners. Their hands clenched tightly represents the determination of strangers to come together united in pain and fear. With this unity and incredible courage overcame great odds in defeating the German soldiers that held them captive in deplorable conditions. My inspiration was from the fight for freedom at Treblinka Death Camp.


2nd Place - Callie Wong, 7th Grade, McMurray Middle School, Vashon Island. Teacher: Patty Gregorich
“A Life in a Jar” - I did not copy this photo. I took it with the help of a friend. This jar represents just one of many. They contained the lives of over 2,500 Jewish children saved by Irena Sendler. Irena was just one of many who saved children from the ghettos. She would snake kids out of the ghettos and put the kids with Christian families to protect them. After the war, she tried to reunite them with family members. She put a slip of paper with the name, date and location in the jar. A slip of paper can save a life…


3rd Place - Riley Lynch, 7th Grade, McMurray Middle School, Vashon Island. Teacher: Heidi VanHarper
Oskar Schindler was a brave and caring man who voluntarily rescued thousands of Jews during the Holocaust. My art reflects how Schindler took it upon himself to rescue those being harmed (dog) from the Nazis (car). Like many of us today Oskar Schindler was mostly a bystander who helped out of the kindness of his heart. Without his actions there would have been many more killed and many more families devastated. We are all capable of the same actions as Schindler, and we are capable of rescuing those around us who are being bullied.


Honorable Mention - Emilia Mediavilk, 7th Grade, McMurray Middle School, Vashon Island. Teacher: Heidi VanHarper.
The inspiration for this poster is from several different diaries and my class’ reaction to the stories. Some people took the subject of the Holocaust very seriously while others laughed and treated it like a joke. Even if it is a select few who act like it never existed. It could always happen against and it could be them or you for that matter. So it is still a very important matter to learn and remember. As you can see in my poster there is a girl and she has a huge crowd of people behind her. This is supposed to represent that more people died than survived in the death camps. Many were women and children, and the Nazi symbol represent who afflicted this upon them. I hope to make people realize the Holocaust is not a light subject and that it is more than possible that something like the Holocaust could happen again and you could be the afflicter or the victim. So until people take this subject more seriously it should be taught throughout children’s education and through college. The subject of the Holocaust really didn’t change me though it is a serious subject.


Honorable Mention - Alina Tsymbalyuk, 8th Grade, Chief Moses Middle School, Moses Lake. Teacher: Rita Fryberger
This picture shows hands raising to the world asking for help. Jewish people hoped that someone would help them but they didn’t receive help for a long time. I drew this picture because in a lot of stories that I’ve heard people were hoping that someone will step in but no one did. Let’s help others and don’t let their hopes disappear and dreams vanish again.


Honorable Mention - Maggie Wright, St. Nicholas Catholic School, Gig Harbor. Teacher: Kathleen Buxell
My art piece tells the story of Riva Minsky and some of the quotes that she lived by during the many years in concentration camps. From the time she was talking to her daughter about how she survived all those years to when she was preparing for Passover with her family, to when she was working in the tailor shop; The time when she had the secret library in her house, to when the Nazis took her glasses. When she had to work in the nurse’s office in the camp and in the end when the Russian officer came to save them.


Art - 9th-12th Grade

1st Place - Alexander King, 11th Grade, Stadium High School, Tacoma. Teacher: Laurie Brown
I was inspired by the following: Rene Guttman, born December 21, 1937. Identification number: 16961. At the age of 5 he was used as a medical experiment by Nazi Scientist. Renate Guttman, born December 21, 1937. Identification number: 70917. At the age of 5 she was used as a medical experiment by Nazi Scientist because of Hitler’s fascination with twins. Eliezer Wiesel, born September 30, 1926. Identification number: A-7713. At the age of 16 Eliezer was beat by other inmates for his food. (Image is one of three identical images, with the exception of the numbers on the arm - numbers are different in each image.)


2nd Place - Olivia Caflisch, 10th Grade, Seattle Prep, Seattle. Teacher: Jennifer Freeman
Can you point out any difference between the child in the center of the star and the children surrounding him? The boy in the center of the star is Emmanuel Alper. The others surrounding him are children who are alive now. The only way to tell Emmanuel is different is the red boarder surrounding his eyes. However, during his life the only way to tell he was different was his religion, and because of it he was killed. I learned from Emmanuel’s story, to never collaborate in any sort of mistreatment, and be open to what makes a human unique.


3rd Place - Alejandra Gutierrez, 10th Grade, Seattle Prep, Seattle. Teacher: Brian Elsner
“Listen to the tears of the children… Look and Listen as they walk towards dark flames so gigantic that the planet itself seemed in danger” – Elie Weisel Children represent innocence, naivety and careless joy; the tragedy of the Holocaust is a dreadful reality that destroyed an estimated 1.5 million children. In Auschwitz, there still remain articles of children’s clothing that were left behind in suitcases. Shoes, dresses, hats, and infants’ clothes are among the only surviving evidence of the lives that were stolen. Any crime against a human being in itself is unjust and evil, but crimes against children are unspeakable.


Honorable Mention - Dayton Pascua, 10th Grade, Tacoma Baptist High School, Tacoma. Teacher: Lisa McGowan
The first piece of fabric symbolizes the peace and freedom Jewish children had before their lives were forever changed by the occupation of Hitler’s Nazi regime. The second piece of fabric represents the children torn both emotionally and physically; separated from their families. The third piece of fabric shows the end result for many – death. The lasting effect of Hitler’s twisted, evil actions was, for the survivors, a lifetime of distrust and questioning the existence of God. The barbed wire is a symbol of the prison used to keep the children confined; their crime, nothing more than their birth.


Honorable Mention - Sophia Scheer, 10th Grade, Seattle Prep, Seattle. Teachers: Matt Barmore and Cheryl Healy
This artwork is a combination of acrylic paint and a photograph. The two children in the front are Jewish girls horrified by the devastation of Kristallnacht. For this piece, I chose to do the painting in black and white with the exception of blue highlights around the exterior, which act as a border around the image and reflect the sadness wrought by Kristallnacht. The theme I chose was “children,” reflected by the two small Jewish girls. Along with this is, of course, the event of Kristallnacht, which shatter the lives of thousands of Jewish families in just one night.


Honorable Mention - Julia Piacentin, 10th Grade, Seattle Prep, Seattle. Teacher: Brian Elsner
My artwork is photograph of my sister in black and white with barbed wire drawn across it. I wanted to represent the suffering that many children as young as ten, eleven and twelve years old suffered each and every day for many years. Many children were burnt immediately as they arrived but those who were selected to go on had to suffer through things that scarred even those older people who thought they had seen everything in their life. My idea started with Anne Frank but I thought that was too specific so I broadened it to the whole array of children in concentration camps.


Honorable Mention - Ashley Nagel, 12th Grade, Stadium High School, Tacoma. Teacher: Laurie Brown
“Arbeit Macht Frei” is a German saying meaning work or labor makes you free. This saying was posted at the entrance of Nazi Concentration Camps. Concentration camps were intended to handle the masses of people arrested suspected of rebelling. Most camps were equipped with gas chambers for the purpose of mass extermination of prisoners. In 1933, there were approximately 9 million Jews in Europe. By 1945, the Nazis had reduced that number to about 3 million. Later that year, Soviet, US, and British forces liberated many of the camps and the full Nazi horrors were exposed to the world.


Honorable Mention - Kyra Stern, 10th Grade, Seattle Prep, Seattle. Teachers: Jennifer Freeman and Andy Hendricks
I made a collage representing a scene from Elie Wiesel’s Night. It compares the reality of a violinist in the Holocaust – who dies playing – to what he could have accomplished in an alternate reality. This piece connects to the theme of children because it recaptures the violinist’s lost identity, showing the viewers that he could have been able to teach children how to play the violin, instead he died playing in a barrack. The barbed wire represents the lack of freedom in the Holocaust, and the other images on each side of the collage are my abstract reenactments from Night.


Writing - 5th/6th Grade

1st Place - Alexia Campos, 6th Grade, Finch Elementary School, Spokane. Teacher: Paul Regelbrugge
"What I can do to help spread the word of doing good is to share some of the stories that my parents have told me about racism, for when I heard this story it made me feel heartbroken for my dad to experience that. Also, The White Rose inspires me…to help and stand up for each other…" Read full entry


2nd Place - Noah Yeager, 6th Grade, Finch Elementary School, Spokane. Teacher: Paul Regelbrugge
“The theme I have picked is resistance because of a passage I read in school about when a young man used his violin to trick the Germans into letting him into their small base ear the woods. The young man was a helper of Tuvia Bielski, who tried to help the Jewish people. One day he filled his violin case full of explosives to try to give Bielski the distraction he needed to help so many Jews escape to freedom. But soon after the explosion, Nazis attacked the camp. This is what I’m writing about, from the point of view of the young man.” Read full entry


3rd Place - Seher Sheila Taj, 5th Grade, Cascade Ridge Elementary School, Sammamish. Teacher: Erin Perea
"Humans are amazing. They can do good deeds that benefit others and bring joy to their fellow human beings. They can be as kind and caring as Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale. On the other hand, they can also do horrible things that can cause pain and misery for others, examples would be people like Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin. In addition to these opposites, humans possess the ability to bounce back from something horrible. This is called resilience. Let me share some stories which involve this important quality…" Read full entry


Honorable Mention - Allison DeCracker, 6th Grade, Cedar Park Christian School, Bothell. Teacher: Hahnna Christienson
"Irena Sendler the angel for the Jews, showing love, kindness, and compassion/ She went to the Warsaw Ghetto to help by any necessary action / They took screaming kids from crying mothers / Just like she had for all the others /  She kept records of the Jewish kids in jars under an apple tree / And she promised the parents that after the war she would return the children home safely..." Read full entry


Writing - 7th/8th Grade

1st Place - Jazmin Ruiz, 8th Grade, McLoughlin Middle School, Pasco. Teacher: LuAnn Leverson
"By sticking up for those in pain / Their happiness can remain / We can never let this happen again / We must join together as a friend / I will remember those who died as brave / If only I could of saved / The thousands of innocent children / Whose lives had been stolen..." Read full entry


2nd Place - Shlomit Menashe, 8th Grade, Seattle Hebrew Academy, Seattle. Teacher: Liz Ebersole
"When most people think about resistance of the Holocaust they tend to think of Zegota and resistance groups, people who stood up against the Nazis and fought back. Yes they were amazing and we are thankful for the bravery and courage they showed during the war, but there is another element of resistance that doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves: spiritual resistance. Jews went to great measures just to try to keep the commandments from G-d as best they could, even though the consequences were severe." Read full entry


3rd Place - Emma Greenlee, 7th Grade, McMurray Middle School, Vashon Island. Teacher: Heidi VanHarper
"What I find / So amazing / About this particular story / Is that people are doing this now / Trying to write / Their own history / But they’re getting arrested / Taken to jail / For sitting down, / Having to pay / Their own bail / People sitting / Standing / Singing / Shouting / All for the sake of peace"  Read full entry


Honorable Mention - Kendall Blackburn, 8th Grade, Billings Middle School, Seattle. Teacher: Linda Cooper
"Bertie’s story was inspiring, because she made me realize that during hard times, sometimes you have to tell yourself things will be okay. But Bertie’s situation was much harder than any bad situation I’ve had in my life, and she was a young girl. ..It has inspired me personally because it make me realize that sometimes you have make the best of the worst." Read full entry


Honorable Mention - Maggie Ballew, 7th Grade, Selah Intermediate School, Selah. Teacher: Lorri Clifton
"Maria Von Maltzan was mentally and spiritually destroyed by the horrors of the Holocaust and WWII. I chose Maria because her story was not only a tale of heroics but a tale of the effects of the holocaust. I learned that that anyone can help to stop a terrible thing a make a difference but even the most heroic people will be left unchanged." Read full entry


Honorable Mention - Heather Yackel, 8th Grade, Meridian Middle School, Kent. Teacher: Debbie Robinson

Sofia (rescuer)


Leokadya (Jewish woman)

The risk nearly took my life

I can only imagine what it was like

I was lucky I survived

But in 1941 I was starving

How the struggles affected their lives

I couldn’t be seen, I was now invisible

There was no food so I had to find some

How living in fear was the new normal

I was labeled for something I didn’t do

Read full entry


Writing - 9th-12th Grade

1st Place - Lunden Laree Nugen, 10th Grade, Mead Sr. High School, Mead. Teacher: Julie Ringold
[A Play: "The Interview"] AVNER [after collecting his thoughts again] To console my weathered mind, mostly. I like to imagine that it was perhaps the blissful ignorance of their barely begun lives that comforted them while they were cloaked in the dark shroud of their last moments. [pauses for a moment] Then again… perhaps they would have been better off without their innocence. Then they would not have had to go through the trauma of having something so precious ripped from them so abruptly, stolen with malicious, power hungry hands, [grabs the air in front of him] to have it carved out [makes a slashing movement] roughly from their souls.  Read full entry


2nd Place - Leah Shin, 10th Grade, Jackson High School, Mill Creek. Teacher: Debora Kalina
"Waking up every morning I feel like I am unable to dream. It’s not because I am incapable of dreaming but I’m afraid to. Growing up as a Korean-American I was surrounded by the stereotypical “Asian” standard of dreamers…Parents who dreamed that I would attend an Ivy League University, friends who dreamed to become successful doctors…Their dreams are what I felt pressured into dreaming…But I didn’t have that flame in my eyes like those reamers; I was missing something. With years of feeling empty I came to understand the Holocaust through the novel Night by Elie Wiesel…." Read full entry


3rd Place - Olivia Carter, 10th Grade, Jackson High School, Mill Creek. Teacher: Debora Kalina
"Help. It’s a cry. It’s the voice of the voiceless, the desperate, and the hurt. Yet, throughout history, those same cries have been muffled, just like the Jews’ throughout the Holocaust were. We have been taught that the Americans are the ones who heard the Jews’ cries and took action. They were the rescues and the liberators. That’s not true. The real rescuers were those already in Europe who knew that anti-Semitism was wrong. The ones who hid Jews in their homes; the ones who fed and clothed them; the ones who put their lives at risk for them. " Read full entry


Honorable Mention - Ehmer Anwar Taj, 9th Grade, Skyline High School, Sammamish. Teacher: William Paananen
“Save one life, and it is as if you’ve saved all of humanity.” This is Islamic Hadith and Jewish proverb. This means that if one just saves one life it makes all the difference. We all have hopes, dreams and ideals. The Holocaust was a horrific event where over 6 million Jews had their dreams robbed from them.  Read full entry


Honorable Mention - Lauren Meadowcroft, 9th grade, Charles Wright Academy, Tacoma. Teacher: Nick Coddington
I will never forget the first day of studying the Holocaust…/ I walked into class joyful and naïve, not knowing what was ahead. / The teacher passed out butterflies / “what is this?” I asked, / “you will see,” he responded. / I colored my butterfly with every color possible. / Representing: / race / religion / ethnicity / gender / mental state / sexuality / ALL of which I accepted. / ALL of which I accepted to live together as one. / But didn’t everyone think this too?  Read full entry


Digital Media

1st Place - Josephine Lauvstad and Gwen Meyers, 8th Grade, Billings Middle School, Seattle. Teacher: Linda Cooper
Click Here

2nd Place- Abbie Pintar, 10th Grade, Freeman High School, Rockford. Teacher: Pia Longinotti
Click Here

3rd Place - Alyssa Vasquez, 5th Grade, Parkside Elementary, Des Moines. Teacher: Debbi Needham
Click Here

Honorable Mention - Courtney Cemulini with Hannah Adams, 7th Grade, McMurray Middle School, Vashon Island. Teacher: Patty Gregorich
Click Here

Honorable Mention - Brennan Peterson, 7th Grade,  McMurray Middle School, Vashon Island. Teacher: Patty Gregorich
Click Here

Honorable Mention - Kolbie Lagill, 10th Grade, Mead Sr. High School, Spokane. Teacher: Julie Ringold
Click Here


Winning Entries!

The Holocaust Writing, Art, and Film Contest, offered in memory of Jacob Friedman, supports common core standards, encourages students to use primary sources, and challenges students to connect history to current local and global events.

Over 700 students from more than 60 schools participated in this year's contest, responding to the theme, How can the lessons of the Holocaust inspire you to help make the world a better place?

Thank you to everyone who participated!


1st Place: Andres O’Beirne, Grade 10. Eastside Catholic High School, Sammamish. Teacher: Kathleen Gambee.

2nd Place: Jason Weigel, Grade 11. The Northwest School, Seattle. Teacher: Suzanne Bottelli.

3rd Place: Jason Woolley, Grade 8, with mixed class. Kent Mountain View Academy, Des Moines. Teacher: Amanda Greear.


Special Recognition:
Marina LaBossier, Grade 11. Eastside Catholic High School, Sammamish. Teacher: Aimee O’Donnell.


Steven Matias, Grade 12. Arts and Technology High School, Marysville. Teacher: Tarek Al-Rashid.

1st Place - Rosie ZhouART – 5TH/6TH GRADE
1st Place: Rosie Zhou, Grade 6. Moran Prairie Elementary, Spokane. Teacher: Paul Regelbrugge.





A1 2nd-TakeAStand sm2nd Place: Kolin Almeida, Grade 6, Moran Prairie Elementary, Spokane. Teacher: Paul Regelbrugge.


A1 3rd- Rainbow Star with Words sm3rd Place: Sydney Samuels, Grade 6, Temple De Hirsch Sinai, Seattle. Teacher: Henry Honig.



Special Recognition:
A1 HM- Never forget watercolor with quotes smMitchel Freeman, Grade 6. Moran Prairie Elementary, Spokane. Teacher: Paul Regelbrugge.



A1 HM-CampGates.edit smTommy Kimmel, Grade 6. Moran Prairie Elementary, Spokane. Teacher: Paul Regelbrugge.


1st Place Al Benoliel1st Place: Al Benoliel, Grade 8. Seattle Hebrew Academy, Seattle. Teacher: Elizabeth Ebersole.




A-2 2nd- Arms with Tattoos Drawing sm2nd Place: Katrina Fernandez, Grade 8. Meridian Middle School, Kent. Teacher: Debora Robinson.





A2 3rd sm3rd Place: Joey Hanan, Grade 8. Seattle Hebrew Academy, Seattle. Teacher: Elizabeth Ebersole.



Special Recognition:


A-2 HM - Embracing GirlsEli Glick, Grade 8. Seattle Hebrew Academy, Seattle. Teacher: Elizabeth Ebersole.






A-2 HM - Free yet Still in Pain smBahar Bashizada, Grade 8. Meridian Middle School, Kent. Teacher: Debora Robinson.





A2 HM-Print-smHaley Hughes, Grade 8. Hood River Middle School, Hood River, OR. Teacher: Carol Birdsell.



A-2 HM - Books drawing with Pencil editsmDevin Schafer, Grade 8. Lind-Ritzville Middle School, Ritzville. Teacher: Rita Fryberger.





1st Place - Penny Rhines1st Place: Penny Rhines, Grade 11. Homeschool. University Place.






A3 2nd-Harpy.crop2 sm2nd Place: Amira Abdel-Fattah, Grade 10. Garfield High School, Seattle. Teacher: Alan Kahn.




A3 3rd-Collage.cropsm3rd Place: Nathan Schliesman, Grade 10. Seattle Prep, Seattle. Teacher: Jen Freeman.




Special Recognition:
A3 Glass.2.edit

Sally Carroll, Grade 12. Eastside Catholic, Sammamish. Teacher: Matt Knott




A3 HM Collage with Newspaper smNatalie Pederson, Grade 10. Seattle Prep, Seattle. Teacher: Jen Freeman.


1st Place: Place: Emma Owen, Grade 6. Moran Prairie Elementary, Spokane. Teacher: Paul Regelbrugge.
2nd Place: Rosie Zhou, Grade 6. Moran Prairie Elementary, Spokane. Teacher: Paul Regelbrugge.
3rd Place: Lucia Rae Santos, Grade 6. Lake Washington Girls Middle School, Seattle. Teacher: Theresa Falk.
Special Recognition:
Blake Layton, Grade 6. Moran Prairie Elementary, Spokane. Teacher: Paul Regelbrugge.

1st Place: Hannah Castrogiovanni, Grade 8. Jewish Day School, Bellevue. Teacher: Nance Adler.
2nd Place: Haidyn Hall, Grade 7. Selah Intermediate School, Selah. Teacher: Lorri Clifton.
3rd Place (tie): Merdian Wappett, Grade 8. Moscow Middle School, Moscow, ID. Teacher: Ryan Goodson.
3rd Place (tie): Halle Aaby, Grade 7. Seattle Christian School, SeaTac. Teacher: Susan Sieg.

1st Place: Sarah Bosworth, Grade 10. Eastside Catholic High School, Sammamish. Teacher: Aimee O’Donnell.
2nd Place: Benjamin Crosby, Grade 9. Homeschool, Burlington. Teacher: Tena Crosby.
3rd Place: Brittney Figaro, Grade 9. Kent Mountain View Academy, Des Moines. Teacher: Nora Douglass.
Special Recognition:
Kathleen Davis, Grade 10. St. Helens High School, St. Helens, OR. Teacher: Carrie McCallum.
Paulina Pena, Grade 10. Jackson High School, Mill Creek. Teacher: Eric Bush.


2014 winning entries

2013 winning entries