For the 15th annual edition of the literary contest and the 13th annual edition of the art contest held by the Terezín Memorial, the I and the war theme was chosen in order to remind us of the horrors of World War II (this year being the 70th anniversary of its outbreak).
The total of 950 works were submitted in the traditional age categories corresponding to elementary and secondary school grades (the art contest is open for students from the 1st grade (i.e., primary school grades 1 through 4), the literary contest to students of the 2nd grade (i.e., primary school grades 5 through 9) and above). The committee of the literary contest (members Jana Klímová, Ludmila Chládková and Pavel Straka) chose from 148 works by 2nd grade students and 129 secondary school students, the art contest committee (Jan Špringl, Jana Pichňová and Ludmila Chládková, assisted by Pavel Straka) chose from 673 works (187 by the youngest students, 418 by older students and 68 by the oldest student group). For each category of both contests, eight best works were awarded. Also awarded was one special prize (to the Practical Elementary School of Karel Herfort in Prague 1 in the 2nd category of the art contest) and four Erika Polák Awards ( Marie Černá from Gymnázium Opatov in the younger literary contest category, Lucie Židová from the Secondary Medical School Prostějov in the older category and the 1 A class of Gymnázium Jilemnice, and, in the 2nd art contest category, the students of Elementary School Chabařovice for their drypoint illustrations for Mikhail Sholokhov’s book Sudba Cheloveka, The Fate of a Man).
The laureates and official guests (magistrate of the Ústí Region, Jana Ryšánková, representative of the Terezín Initiative, Michaela Vidláková, director of the Terezín Memorial, Jan Munk, Jiří Polák – son of the historian Erik Polák, after whom one of the awards is named, Ondřej Zavadil from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Czech Republic, representatives of the Ministry of Culture, Lidice Memorial and the Municipality of Terezín) gathered on June 10 at 13:00 in the Ghetto Museum’s cinema hall, to take part in the award ceremony, hosted by the head of the Terezín Memorial’s education department, Jan Špringl. The foyer of the cinema held the exhibition of awarded artworks, installed and displayed there until the end of June. The afternoon of the award ceremony day also saw a performance by the children’s fipple flute ensemble Bellus, led by Jindřiška Yesterday, with their adaptations of medieval dance tunes, Moravian and Irish folk songs, Yesterday by John Lennon/Paul McCartney and Memory from the Cats musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber.