Congratulations to Edith Koenig, Lynn Soffer
and Ella Stern
) for their incredible submissions to Nova Southeastern University’s 2022 Holocaust Reflection Contest! The program asked students to connect with a Holocaust survivor - a family member or a video testimonial - and reflect on the experience to create their artwork:
The survivors of the Holocaust have experienced and encountered things that are not just a “story to tell” but the reality that they lived under. The survival testimonial I selected allowed me to acknowledge that although stories are told, what occurred in those camps was beyond what we could imagine.
Throughout the process I have learned how a number of the horrific stories began and ended after crossing the entrance sign of the concentration camps. Nova Southeastern University should continue this contest because it allows students to tell the stories of this significant event in ways that show all the different perspectives from people worldwide, and I would recommend this contest to friends.
Throughout this project, I have demonstrated how my great grandmother shares her memories during teatime. Once my great-grandmother (Rosa Constantin) had told me her stories and experiences, I began to feel shocked and thankful for the life I was given. While she was telling me her Holocaust stories, I felt touched by the events that she experienced. When she shared her story, she was holding a teacup, which is why I included a teacup in my art piece. Additionally, I changed the color of the table linen which went from light to dark once the harsh memories had been shared with me.
Participating in the contest had helped me learn about the Holocaust on a deeper level and I believe this is something Nova Southeastern University should continue to offer. I would recommend the contest to others since it can teach them valuable information from the Holocaust and will help them reflect on our history. Ella Stern
My great-grandfather was the sole Holocaust survivor of his family. While he remarried later in life and had children again, including my grandfather, the pain of losing my great-grandfather's first family still runs deep. Creating an artwork inspired by my great-grandfather’s experience in the Holocaust allows me to connect with my roots and honor my family.
Knowing that millions of other survivors and their families can empathize with the burden of losing family in the Holocaust reinforces the idea that, together, we can ensure that such a horrific event never happens again. Even though people have different beliefs, mankind is one and the same inside--all of us share one heart.
Participating in this contest motivated me to ask questions about my family history in the Holocaust--something that my grandfather hardly talks about because of how painful it is. Nova Southeastern University’s contest promotes Holocaust education and awareness, which is exactly why I’d recommend this contest to others.