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.
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.
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.