Students Awarded in Lydia and Max May Memorial Contests

Art and writing students were recently recognized in the annual Max and Lydia May Memorial Holocaust Art and Writing Contest. This year’s theme was, “The World Watched in Silence.”

While millions of Jews, Roma, Jehovah’s Witnesses, political prisoners and others died in concentration camps, the world outside the Third Reich said little, and did less, to defend the victims,” the Dayton Holocaust Resource Center, which hosted the competitions, noted on their website. “A few heroic individuals acted, but most governments and organizations did not.”

Winners of the contests from CJ included:

  • Kelly Carmody ‘20, Third Place, Division II, Poetry
  • Natalie Davis ‘18, First Place, Division II, Art
  • Kelsey Dickey ‘20, Third Place, Group B, Division II, Writing
  • Madeline Hoffstetter ‘20, Honorable Mention, Division II, Art
  • Haley Kraft ‘19, Third Place, Division II, Art
  • Erin McGraw ‘20, Second Place, Division II, Writing
  • Aubrey Trimbach ‘20, First Place, Division II, Poetry
  • Hillary Vaughn ‘20, Honorable Mention, Division II, Poetry

Winners reflected on their pieces submitted in the contest:

Carmody: “I think my poem doesn't just reflect what happened in the holocaust, but it also reflects other genocides that have or are occurring. My original thought process was that you might be able to hear someone, but you aren't necessarily listening to them, which is relevant to this topic."

Davis: “My piece was called Eyes of Pogrom. I based my painting after the Night of Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass. I drew a burning Synagogue to represent what happened this night. There is a girl in front of it watching. I used some symbolism in my piece. For example, the girl’s dress was made completely out of eyes to represent the world watching. I also put quotes in the flames from the book Night by Elie Wiesel. The stained glass of the church is from broken pieces of glass.”

Dickey: “My inspiration was just a girl my age (15) and how quick life can change by just one person. How in one moment life is so happy and joyous and then can turn into darkness so quickly. I thought this was such a great opportunity to participate in and I really enjoyed the outcome, and very thankful.”

McGraw: “When I was in the seventh grade, I went to a presentation about a survivor with my mother. Her name was Francine and I've always wanted to write about her story, but I've never had the chance. I saw this contest as an opportunity to tell Francine's story from a different point of view. My submission, although not my complete idea or story, is very personal and special to me. I've never spent more time on any paper or project than on this one because I really cared about the topic. I have always been intrigued when it comes to learning about the personal stories from the Holocaust, and in this story, I had hoped to portray that from a different perspective.”

Trimbach: “I used the examples of bullying and terrorism as my topic, which are currently major problems. I want people to realize that this poem is for everyone, because we have all been bystanders at some point in our lives.”

Vaughn: “I focused my piece around the helpless victims and how the world did nothing to stop it, until it was too late, and too many lives have been lost. This experience made me think about how lucky I am that I have a family, a place to live, and good school, and freedom. People, in my opinion, often take life for granted. Thinking and talking about the Holocaust made me sincerely sad for all the victims, and made me pray that this never happens again.”

The students were recognized in a ceremony where Holocaust survivors spoke.

“The experience itself was moving because of the ceremony held,” Carmody said. “The stories of survivors and the impact it made on their lives was hard to hear because you can read about stories, but to hear survivors tell their stories in person showed their emotions.”

McGraw agreed, “The ceremony that I attended was one of the most powerful experiences I've ever had. I felt the emotions of each person there and, even though I'm not Jewish, I could feel the intensity of the prayers.”

“The award ceremony was truly amazing,” Trimbach added. “Two Holocaust survivors spoke and it really brought to my attention that what happened to the Jewish people is not just some facts or numbers in a book. Each number is a person who had a life, a family, and a story.”

Davis reflected, “I always like attending this ceremony. I think it's a wonderful way to show remembrance and respect to the lives that were lost. It's always so moving to hear from the Holocaust survivors.”

Posted May 5,  2017