Students Staff

04 February 2015

Students praised for work to remember and learn from the Holocaust

Students from St Bernard’s High School in Westcliff-on-Sea won this year’s Dora Love Prize for their project ‘The Not-So Pointless Blog’ which uses social media to tell young people about the Holocaust and the importance of 'Keeping the Memory Alive'.

Northgate High School in Ipswich and Colne Community School in Brightlingsea were runner-ups.

The students took inspiration from Alfie Deyes a YouTube Video Blogger who has amassed millions of followers and used Tweets, Facebook and a YouTube video to create a social media campaign which would connect with people and raise awareness of the continuing importance of remembering the Holocaust.

St Bernard’s teacher Sarah Perkins was inspired to get her students involved in the event after hearing Dora Love speak at her graduation at Essex.

She said: “I will always remember Dora’s powerful message regarding humanity, she said that when people asked her what she thought of German people she told them that there were good Germans and bad Germans and that nationality, or any other form of identity, does not define a person.

“I found this particularly inspirational as Dora’s unimaginable suffering could easily have led to her being consumed with hate. I believe that the Dora Love Prize is so important as participants develop an understanding of the fact that a person’s faith, race, sexuality, disability or nationality does not define them as good or bad and this allows and encourages, students to challenge continuing prejudice discrimination.”

Professor Rainer Schulze, who organises Holocaust Memorial Week at the University, said: "Holocaust survivor Frank Bright, the patron of the Dora Love Prize, made the presentation to the winners. He was visibly moved by the youngsters' impressive projects which are keeping the memory alive of those who perished in the Holocaust.

“Our special candle, commissioned by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, was lit for a second time by Frank at the beginning of the evening and took pride of place on the stage, together with the portrait of Dora Love, during the whole of the evening.”

The Dora Love Prize was established in memory of the Holocaust survivor who worked tirelessly to raise awareness that the attitudes which made the Holocaust possible – intolerance, discrimination and outright hatred of those who are regarded as ‘different’ for whatever reason – are still alive all around us today.

The prize is awarded each year for the best Holocaust awareness project by an individual pupil or group of pupils at a school in Essex or Suffolk.

The Prize goes to the project which expresses best the principles which were important to Dora Love: speaking up against hatred wherever it occurs, never forgetting the ultimate consequence of seemingly small acts of discrimination and developing a sense of personal responsibility.

The panel of judges included Dora’s daughter Janet, an anti-aparthied activist who is now a Commissioner on the South African Human Rights Commission, who attended the prize evening. She was joined by representatives from three national organisations: James Ingham from René Cassin, Anthony Grenville from the Association of Jewish Refugees AJR and Jim Davies, the founder and chair of the Gypsy Roma Traveller Police Association. The other judges were Antonella Castelvedere from University Campus Suffolk, Joan Davies from the University of Essex, Dora Love’s friend Tanya White and Antony Penrose, Director of the Lee Miller Archives. 

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