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.
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.