Holocaust Writing & Art Contest

The Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center and the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center (HERC) are proud to partner each year on a contest that encourages middle and high school aged students to draw lessons from the Holocaust. This contest is generously sponsored by the Habush Family Foundation.

2024 Holocaust Writing & Art Contest Guidelines

Eligible Participants: 7-12th grade Wisconsin students

PROMPT: Many people and groups resisted the Nazi regime during the Holocaust, like Sophie Scholl and the White Rose and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In order to resist the Nazis, people had to be willing to put their life on the line. Why were these acts of resistance important to the Holocaust and how can people show resistance today?

DEADLINE: Monday, April 1, 2024, at 11:59 pm CST

*Only accepting applicants from Wisconsin schools.

Original writing or art entry may be one of the following:

Essay (not to exceed 3 pages, single-spaced)

Poetry (single poem or collection of poems, not to exceed 3 pages, single-spaced)

Short Story (not to exceed 3 pages, single-spaced)

Film/Video (maximum length: 5 minutes)

Visual Art (painting, drawing, collage, etc.)


Comic Book

Podcast/Social Media (maximum length: 5 minutes)

All works must be submitted digitally. Other than poetry, entries are limited to a single object (sculpture entries may include up to four images from different angles).

Artist’s Statement: All entries must include an artist’s statement, 50-200 words, in which you identify your inspiration for the piece and the takeaway you would like the audience to have.

Judging Criteria: Each entry will be judged with the following criteria in mind and using this scoring rubric:

· Offers a clear lesson from the Holocaust and connects it to present-day

· Presents accurate historical facts

· Reflects artistry and skill

· Demonstrates originality and creative representation of the theme

Prizes: There will be 4 grand prize winners, two in the writing category and two in the art category. These four grand prize winners will be taken to Washington DC to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The art winners will also receive a $50 Blick Art Materials gift card for art supplies. Thank you to Blick Art Materials for their donation. Teachers of the four grand prize winners will receive a $100 gift.

All winners will be featured on the website of the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center and in the Milwaukee Jewish Chronicle.

Winners of the 2023 Holocaust Writing and Art contest in Washington DC.

Instructions: Submit the writing or art via the submission form by Monday, April 1, 2024, at 11:59 pm CST. Please make sure submissions do not contain any identifying information for the student, teacher, or school.

More Information: Contact Jennifer Koss, Education Coordinator at the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center at 414-963-2711 or jenniferk@milwaukeejewish.org.

Past Winning Submissions









Some of the materials for the Writing and Art contest have been adapted from Chapman University’s Holocaust Art and Writing Contest, presented by the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education, in partnership with The 1939 Society.  We are grateful for their support and collaboration.