The first place art contest winner in the 9th-12th grade category is Alexander King, an 11th grader at Stadium High School in Tacoma. The image is one of three identical images, with the exception of the numbers on the arm, which correspond to the prisoners Alexander mentions here:
“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 scientists. Renate Guttman, born December 21, 1937. Identification number: 70917. At the age of 5 she was used as a medical experiment by Nazi scientists because of Hitler’s fascination with twins. Eliezer Wiesel, born September 30, 1926. Identification number: A-7713. At the age of 16, Eliezer was beaten by other inmates for his food.”
Aria Saisslin, 6th grade, Kent Mountain View Academy, Des Moines, second place in the 5th-6th grade category:
“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.”
Blake Jeffcoat, a 7th grader at McMurray Middle School, Vashon Island, first place in the 7th-8th grade category:
The image I drew represents 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.”
Writing contest winners
5th/6th grade, second place
Noah Yeager, Finch Elementary School, Spokane
Based upon the life of a young man who tried to help the Jewish resistance by carrying his violin case, filled with explosives, to a camp of Nazis who had come to love the man’s music.
Bielski replied, “Now we have a plan and we shall carry it out tomorrow. For now, make your last plans, Eli, and do what you must.”
So I left the Ziemlanka (a Ziemlanka is an underground house they used to keep the camp hidden) and walked through this twisted forest back to my Ziemlanka and buried my possessions under the soil of this hidden camp. This way, I will become like a ghost so I hide the evidence of my existence. It will all be gone except, of course, my violin. My true friend will miss me, but will stay strong. I will wait till the morning to give it to him. Then they will fill the case with explosives, but for now I must and rest and play my violin for the last time and I will savor every minute.”
7th/8th grade, first place
Jazmin Ruiz, 8th Grade, McLoughlin Middle School, Pasco.
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…”
9th–12th grade, first place
Lunden Laree Nugen, 10th Grade, Mead Sr. High School, Mead.
From a play, “The Interview.”
Randall: [clears his throat] So let’s get started. How old were you when the Nazis moved you to the camps?
Avner sucks in his cheeks and licks his lips.
Avner: [quietly] Fifteen. [Clears his throat and speaks louder] Fifteen. I was fifteen.
Randall: [nods] Were you with any of your family, or were you separated?
Avner: [still uneasy] My father had died the year before in the ghetto. My mother and sisters were taken away to a different camp.
Randall: Was that hard, not being with your family?
Avner: Yes…and no. On one hand, I didn’t know if my family was alright or not, on the other…I only had to worry about myself. It made surviving a little…easier.
A silence follows.
Randall: Do you know what happened to your mother?
Avner shakes his head.
Randall: Your sisters?
Avner: I know what I hope didn’t happen to them.
Randall: And what would that be?