Two MVS seventh graders have won top prizes in the Max and Lydia May Memorial Holocaust Art and Writing Contests.
Sophia Perevozchikov (in photo, on the right) won first place in Division I of the Max May Memorial Art Contest with a drawing of Elisabeth Gersch and her daughter, Eva Gersch. Both Elisabeth and Eva were deported to Auschwitz and died in the gas chambers in 1944. Sophia paired her portrait of Elisabeth and Eva with a quote from Elie Wiesel: “To forget a Holocaust is to kill twice.”
Charlotte Ward (in photo, on the left) won first place in the Division I Poetry category of the Lydia May Memorial Writing Contest for her poem “Zwillinge,” inspired by Iudit Barnea and Lia Huber. “Zwillinge,” which is the German word for “twins,” describes how Iudit and Lia, identical twin sisters, were subjected to medical experimentation at Auschwitz by the infamous Dr. Mengele. The poem also describes how Iudit and Lia’s mother, Miriam-Rachel, who was also imprisoned at Auschwitz, would sneak bread to her daughters each night. Iudit, Lia, and Miriam-Rachel all survived the Holocaust, as did the girls’ father. They eventually immigrated to Israel in 1960.
The theme of this year’s Max and Lydia May Memorial Contests was to shine a light on a lesser-known figure from the Holocaust whose story is inspirational to you. Both Sophia and Charlotte began their research on the Yad Vashem website, a project of Israel’s World Holocaust Remembrance Center, which contains ample educational resources and biographical information.