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In Memory of Jacob Friedman

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

Participating schools:



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 Nazis forced the camp on a Death March. 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. | 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 to 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 Federman’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, and because of luck, they let her go to the right line, to work; to have a chance to live. My art shows how, on the right of the train tracks, rows of people are 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. 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 Chai, 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 - Abdullah 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 ter rors.
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