Thu 13 Jan 22
Holocaust survivors Frank Bright MBE and Maurice Blik welcomed more than 100 secondary school students from across Essex and Suffolk to the tenth annual Dora Love Prize this week at a series of workshops.
Children from ten schools participated in the online event which was recorded and will be made available to a further eight schools planning to take part in the 2022 Prize.
After a welcome from the Prize’s Founder, Professor Rainer Schulze, pupils from Northgate High School in Ipswich presented a pre-recorded interview with Suffolk-based Frank Bright, who was recently awarded an MBE for his services to Holocaust education. In conversation with the students, Mr Bright talked about his own experiences at Auschwitz concentration camp where he was sent aged 16 with his parents, neither of whom survived.
The series of workshops included history-based sessions on how the rights of Jewish people were violated in the run-up to World War II, the non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and post-war and contemporary discrimination against Roma, Gypsy and Traveller communities.
Pupils could also join creative workshops to reflect on the themes of intolerance, discrimination and hatred which included print-making, writing workshops, and stop motion animation.
Workshop leaders included educators from the charity HOPE not hate, the Holocaust Educational Trust, and Ignition Arts.
The day concluded with Essex-Based Maurice Blik reading from his autobiography The Art of Survival. Mr Blik, a renowned sculptor and former art teacher, was born in the Netherlands and came to Britain in 1945 after being held for two years in Westerbork transit camp and Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
For the first time, the day of workshops also included a session for teachers designed and led by Dale Banham from Northgate High School and James Woolven from SET Saxmundham, whose schools were joint winners of last year’s Prize.
Speaking after the event, one teacher from St Mary’s School for Girls, said: “We all came away enthused, inspired and with very many thoughts provoked! My students particularly enjoyed the creative workshop in the morning, and of course hearing from Maurice - as ever it is humbling and a real privilege to hear testimony such as his - and for our students this was the first time they had come across such powerful first-hand evidence.”
Professor Rainer Schulze said: "The Dora Love Prize asks students to think about the kind of country they want to live in. It wants to reinforce the message that it is not sufficient to be silently against hatred and discrimination: everyone, and not least the young generation, has to stand up actively to the voices of intolerance and hate – everyone has to do their bit to reinforce the values of human rights and civil liberties that each and every one of us are entitled to.
"It gives students an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to equality and diversity, and we look forward to seeing the projects that are developing."
Schools submitting to this year’s Prize will be invited to present their entries at a Prize-giving event in early July.