Competitions

Is the Past Still Alive?

Sára Vykrutová, Dream of a Small Terezín Inmate, age: 8 years.

Sára Vykrutová, Dream of a Small Terezín Inmate, age: 8 years.


The winners of the Terezín Memorial’s 23rd literary competition and the 21st art contest, named The Hana Greenfield Memorial in honor of the initiator, co-founder and sponsor of the competitions, this time held under the common title Is the Past Still Alive?, were announced at an award-giving ceremony in the cinema of the Ghetto Museum in Terezín on June 7, 2017.

In addition to the winners and runners-up in the individual competitions, the ceremony was also attended by Mr. Oldřich Bubeníček, the Regional Commissioner of the Ústí Region, Mrs. Hana Rožcová, the Mayoress of Terezín, officials from the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and from the Lidice Memorial. Speaking to the winners on behalf of the Terezín Initiative, an association of the former Terezín Ghetto inmates, was its Chair Dr. Dagmar Lieblová. Together with Jiří Polák, son of the former Terezín Ghetto inmate and Terezín Memorial historian Erik Polák, Dr. Lieblová presented the Erik Polák Award, financed by the Terezín Initiative. The ceremony was also attended by Hana Greenfield’s husband Murray.

Barbora Kopecká, The Past Hidden in the Walls, age: 16 years.

Barbora Kopecká, The Past Hidden in the Walls, age: 16 years.


The art section of the program featured the Brno Children’s Choir, conducted by its choir leader Valerie Maťašová, with piano accompaniment by Galina Aleškevič. The Choir prepared a selection from a literary program called A Flowered Horse. This had been written, during the Nazi occupation, for children from Prague’s Jewish orphanages by two former Terezín inmates, namely writer Norbert Frýd and music composer Karel Reiner.

The winning works of art went on display at an independent exhibition in the lobby of the Ghetto Museum cinema during July 2017

As many as 429 entries from 95 schools all over the Czech Republic were sent to the competitions in the school year 2016/2017. A total of 126 entries were sent to the literary competition and 303 entries to the art contest. List of the winners and the winning works is to be found on the Terezín Memorial’s web pages in the section Vzdělávání (Education).

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Teaching was strictly forbidden!

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Anna Janotková: Fairytale from Terezin, 7 years.


The traditional announcement of the names of the winners of the 22nd literary and 20th fine-art competitions, held by the Terezín Memorial as the Hana Greenfield Memorial in honor of the initiator and co-founder of the competitions, took place in the cinema of Terezín´s Ghetto Museum on June 8, 2016. The competitions were held under the joint title Teaching Was Strictly Forbidden!

In addition to the competition winners and runners-up in the individual categories, who were mostly accompanied by their relatives or teachers, the award-giving ceremony was also attended by Terezín´s town councilors and by Mr. Oldřich Bubeníček, the Regional Commissioner of the Ústí Region. Representing the Terezín Initiative, an association of the former Terezín Ghetto inmates, was Dr. Michaela Vidláková, who addressed the gathering and, together with Jiří Polák, son of a former Terezín Ghetto prisoner and later Terezín Memorial historian Erik Polák, also presented the Erik Polák Awards, financed by the Terezín Initiative.

Veronika Mackovčínová: Secret moments, 11 years.

Veronika Mackovčínová: Secret moments, 11 years.


Since this year’s Terezín Memorial art competitions have been incorporated into a joint project called Schoolchild in the War Years, co-organized by the Terezín Memorial, the National Pedagogical Museum and Library of J.A. Comenius, the Terezín Initiative Institute and the National Institute for Further Education, the privilege to award prizes in the individual categories was alternately offered to representatives of all the institutions mentioned above.

The art program of the award-giving ceremony presented the Brno Children’s Choir under the baton of its choir mistress Valerie Maťašová, with piano accompaniment by Lukáš Hurtík. The latter performed part of Act I Avec La Garde Montante of Bizet´s opera Carmen. By the way, this opera was also staged during the war by the children imprisoned in Terezín, among other compositions. The program included a cycle called “Flowered Horse”, written by two former Terezín inmates, writer Norbert Frýd and music composer Karel Reiner. As a matter of record, both authors had originally prepared the performance for children in Jewish orphanages still before their incarceration in the Terezín Ghetto, and its current staging featured poetry readers Jakub Libánek and Vítězslava Ševčíková, members of the DAVA theater group, and producers David Kříž and Renata Fraisová.

Awards ceremony of the art and literary competition of the Mamorial Terezin, Juni 2016, photo: Radim Nytl, Památník Terezín.

Awards ceremony of the art and literary competition of the Mamorial Terezin, Juni 2016, photo: Radim Nytl, Památník Terezín.


A traditional exhibition of the best entries from this year’s fine-art contest went on display on that day in the lobby of the Ghetto Museum’s cinema, together with four panels tracing the life of Hana Greenfield, her share in founding the Terezín Memorial’s art competitions and their history.

As many as 680 entries from 115 schools all over the Czech Republic were sent in to the competition in the school year 2015/2016. These included 188 entries in the literary contest, and 492 artworks in the fine-art competition. The list of the winners and awarded works can be found on the Terezín Memorial’s website in the section Education.

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The announcement of the results of the Terezín Memorial competitions in 2015

Simon Gašpárek: We draw fro better future, 6 years

Simon Gašpárek: We draw fro better future, 6 years


On 9th June 2015 in the cinema hall of the Ghetto Museum in Terezín, a ceremony was held to announce the winners of the 21st literary and 19th fine art annual competitions of the Terezín Memorial, which bear the subtitle Hana Greenfield’s Memorial to honour their inspirator and co-founder. The former ghetto prisoner, Hana Greenfield-Lustigová died on 27th January 2014 at the age of 87. Her husband, Murray Greenfield , was an honorable guest at the ceremony.

In addition to winners in each category, who mostly came accompanied by their parents or teachers, the ceremony was also attended by representatives of the Town of Terezín and the Ústí nad Labem region. The association of the former Terezín ghetto prisoners was represented by Dr. Michaela Vidláková, who made a speech. Along with Jiří Polák, the son of Erik Polák, a former ghetto prisoner and a later Terezín Memorial historian, they handed over awards to the winners. Another welcomed guest was Žanda Frýdová, the daughter of a former Terezín prisoner, a writer Norbert Frýd. He was the author of the text Flowered Horse, to which Karel Reiner, another ghetto prisoner, composed the music.

Murray Greenfield, photo: Radim Nytl, Terezín Memorial

Murray Greenfield, photo: Radim Nytl, Terezín Memorial


They created the work prior to their deportation in Prague and performed it with children from Jewish orphanages. Later on, it became an important part of the repertoire in the cultural life of the Terezín ghetto. Currently, it was newly staged by the Children’s Choir of Brno, and performed during the awarding ceremony. On the same day in the foyer of the cinema in the Ghetto Museum, there was opened a traditional exhibition of the best works of this year’s art competition, together with four panels to honour the life of Hana Greenfield , her share in the creation of the artistic competitions of the Terezín Memorial, and to map their history. These panels will now accompany the touring exhibitions of the Terezín Memorial Education Department.
Children's Choir of Brno with Žanda Frýdová (second from the right), photo: Radim Nytl, Terezin Memorial

Children’s Choir of Brno with Žanda Frýdová (second from the right), photo: Radim Nytl, Terezin Memorial


In the school year 2014/2015, a total of 495 works from 93 schools throughout the Czech Republic participated in the competitions, 103 works in the literary part and 392 in the fine art part. The lists of winners and awarded works can be found on the website of the Terezín Memorial in the Education section.

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“Do I really feel so good in Theresienstadt…?“

On June 12th 2014, an awarding ceremony of the 18th year of the art and the 20th year of the literary contests of the Terezín Memorial were held  in the Ghetto Museum under the title “Do I really feel so good in Theresienstadt? …”. The theme had been chosen due to the 70th anniversary of the Nazi propaganda efforts associated with the Terezín ghetto (film shooting, visit of the International Committee of the Red Cross).

In total, 427 works from 80 schools throughout the Republic registered in the competitions, out of which 44 were awarded. Score sheets and samples of art work are to be found on the website of the Terezin Memorial.

In addition to children, students, their parents and other guests, the afternoon ceremony was also  attended by the Children’s Choir Brno under the direction of their choirmaster Valerie MATASOVA. Accompanied by pianist Sarka Kralova, they sang the following pieces of Terezín composers: Three Hebrew Pieces For Boys’ Choir of Viktor Ullmann and four songs from the programme Flowered Horse composed for children from Prague Jewish orphanages in the time before Terezín by Karel Reiner and lyricist Norbert Fryd.

During the ceremony a special remembrance was paid to the founder and sponsor of the Terezín contests Mrs. Hana Greenfield, who died in January 2014.

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Why did the muses not keep silent in the ghetto?

David Šulík (aged 13, Liberec): Why did the muses not keep silent in the ghetto

David Šulík (aged 13, Liberec): Why did the muses not keep silent in the ghetto


XIX year of the literary and XVII year of the art competitions organized by the Memorial should commemorate the 70th anniversary of a number of first-night cultural events in the Terezin ghetto ahead with Brundibar. Therefore, we had chosen for the main topic the question: “Why did the muses not keep silent in the ghetto?”
Ivana Domesová (aged 18, Olomouc): no name

Ivana Domesová (aged 18, Olomouc): no name

The fact that the topic attracted the pupils and students of Czech schools is evident from the number of participants – we have received 501 works within the art competition and 181 works within the literary competition, altogether out of 135 schools across the country. Like in previous years, prices were sponsored by the former Terezin prisoner Ms. Hana Greenfield and the Terezin Initiative.
Prizes were distributed among the contestants, however, this year they unfortunately could not be handed over at a ceremony in Terezin as it used to be the rule in previous years. The organization of the ceremonial event was interrupted by the floodwater which reached the Terezin town in early June. The awards ceremony had to be cancelled due to operational reasons and prizes were sent to the winners by post.

Scorecards as well as winning artwork can be found on the Terezin Memorial websites.

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Announcement of the results of the Terezin Memorial literary and art competitions

XVIIIth literary and XVIth art competitions aimed at drawing attention to the 65th anniversary of the Terezin Memorial establishment. Therefore, the same theme “Memory, Remembrance, Commemoration” was chosen for both of them. There were 599 individual and team works from 120 schools throughout the Czech Republic sent into the competitions. The award ceremony took place in the cinema hall of the Ghetto Museum on 7th June 2012, and the winning works of the art competition were then exhibited in summer in the museum foyer.

The result sheets can be found on the website of the Terezin Memorial in the Education section.

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Vyhlášení výsledků uměleckých soutěží PT

Picture by Nikola Polzerova sent to the TM competition, 1st place in 3rd category, without name

Picture by Nikola Polzerova sent to the TM competition, 1st place in 3rd category, without name

The topic of the 17th literary and 15th art competitions organized by the TM, and designed for pupils of elementary and students of secondary schools, was given by a sentence which many people were telling themselves in the 1930s, since they did not believe, despite all the warnings, that the democratic system of the First-Republic Czechoslovakia could ever disappear, i.e. the sentence “It cannot happen here.” By the way, a sentence which even nowadays occupies the mind of many people who do not realize, or do not want to admit certain dangerous tendencies of right-wing movements occurring in our country.

There were altogether 480 works sent to the competitions; the literary jury selected out of 130 works, the art jury out of 350 works. Awards went to the eight best works in each category, five more works received the Erik Polak Award.

Eva Hermannova and Jiri Polak

Eva Hermannova and Jiri Polak

The awards ceremony took place on 9th June 2011 in the cinema hall of the Ghetto Museum at Terezin. The majority of winners as well as the following official guests were present: representative of the  Terezin Initiative (former Director of Opera at the National Theatre), Mrs Eva Hermannova; Director of Terezin Memorial, Mr Jan Munk; son of Jiri Polak – historian of the Terezin ghetto; representatives of the Terezin town-hall and the Lidice Memorial. The festive afternoon was accompanied by the Chamber String Ensemble of the Basic Art School in Litomerice, led by the violin teacher Miroslav Rocek, who introduced to listeners: the violin motive of John Williams from the film Schindler’s List, a sonata by Arcangelo Corelli, and Allegro from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

All art works awarded, including the literary ones which had won the Erik Polak Award, were displayed in the foyer for the whole month of June. Results along with awarded works may be found on the TM website in the section Education/Competitions.

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