Winners of the 2019 Dora Love Prize announced

  • Date

    Thu 31 Jan 19

Saxmundham Free School

Two schools shared the top honours in this year’s Dora Love Prize – an annual competition which aims to make sure the dreadful atrocities suffered by millions because of genocide and persecution are never forgotten, and that students develop a sense of personal responsibility for the world we live in today.

Saxmundham Free School in Suffolk and Colchester Royal Grammar in Essex were joint winners and were presented with their prize - £250 for each school – by Holocaust survivor, and competition Patron, Frank Bright. 

Dora Love, who lived in Colchester until her death in 2011, was a Jewish Holocaust survivor who spent much of her life raising awareness of the dangers of intolerance and discrimination.

The Dora Love Prize, set up in 2012  by Emeritus Professor of history Rainer Schulze,  continues her work and is awarded each year to the best school project that links learning about the Holocaust with the world we live in today. It is open to schools in Essex and Suffolk. 

The students from Saxmundham Free School in Suffolk designed a board game, plotting the journey of a refugee, which included checkpoints providing information about the daily struggles faced by those who are forced to flee their home. They also developed a website and used Instragram to spread the message about the importance of tolerance in today’s society. The game, and other activities, were shared with local primary schools, and the board game has attracted the interest of the National Migration Museum in London.

The students from Colchester Royal Grammar produced three films with Holocaust survivors speaking about their experiences. They also developed an audio book about Islamaphobia,  pieces of music and various artworks.

Professor Schulze said:  “All projects submitted to the Dora Love Prize were of such a high standard that our panel of judges found it really difficult to decide on a winner. In my view, all projects are winners: all schools shared their projects in their school assemblies, with local primary schools and other groups in their community – doing exactly what the Dora Love Prize is about: standing up against discrimination and hatred, speaking out and working for a world where everyone is accepted and respected as a fellow human being.”

This year’s competition attracted entries from 13 schools – although many more have been involved, as many of the high schools worked with their feeder primary schools on projects to remember the Holocaust. Entries included music, dance, video, displays, presentations, websites, a board game and social media – all on the theme of ‘Torn from Home’.

Frank has been Patron of the competition since it was set up and he has willingly given up his time to talk to pupils about his life and warn of the dangers of discrimination and hatred which persist in today’s society. As a young boy Frank (now 90) was sent to Auschwitz, where both of his parents were killed in the gas chambers, leaving him an orphan. He came to Britain after his liberation, and he featured in the BBC 2 documentary The Last Survivors, screened on Holocaust Memorial Day – Sunday 27 January.

Frank and pupils taking part in the Dora Love Prize were interviewed on Anglia TV.