The Douglas R. Skopp Creative Competition on the Theme of the Holocaust

Permanent URI for this collection

The Skopp Prize is given in recognition of excellence in scholarly and artistic creations dealing with ideas and issues surrounding the Holocaust. Students are invited to submit original essays, historical analyses, stories, poems, musical and dance compositions, video productions, theater works and visual arts creations exploring and expressing their own personal relationship to or reflections on the Holocaust. The award ceremony typically is scheduled in conjunction with SUNY Plattsburgh’s annual Holocaust commemoration, Days of Remembrance, held in the Douglas and Evelyne Skopp Holocaust Memorial Gallery in Feinberg Library. Award winners perform or present their original creations during the observance.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 10
  • Item
    The Human Heart
    (2019-04-30) Maher, Kailey
    Albert Einstein once wrote, “The world is too dangerous to live in – not because of the people who do evil, but because of the people who sit and let it happen.” We are all merely human, but where the fight lies is trying to stay human. One of the things that binds us, above all else, is our humanity. As such, no human life is more important than another. As human beings alike, we have a personal responsibility to one another to protect and preserve the life and rights of those who have lost their voice or no longer have a voice. We – as individuals, as students, and at our very essence, as human beings – have the power to promote change because, unlike so many unfortunate others, our voices can still be heard.
  • Item
    Tainted Lives
    (2018) Kiroy, Nicholas
    The work describes in a 20-line standard stanza the lives of six individuals who were affected in some way by the holocaust. I tried not to just define each character by their status and circumstances, but also by a dominant emotion that would carry with them. The first character, Alfons, I share the closest connection with personally because he and I both are nineteen. I attempted to imagine how my life would be affected if I were forced to endure this event at a time of discovering I face now. Along with devaluation, expectations, and hopelessness as elements, what path was he set on by this exterior force on his life? The other characters are much similar in having faced normal human difficulties in their pre-holocaust lives, endured unimaginable hardship during the events that took place, and were forever disadvantaged and scarred by this portion of their lives in which they involuntarily relinquished control to a great evil. Each of the characters are distinct in their own unique experiences shaped by where they went, who they were before they became involved, and how they cope with these hardships. Each of the characters are also the same inasmuch as they are unsuspecting victims in a merciless campaign to de-humanize that which is different, an increasingly relevant concept as the post-modern age progresses in a globalized world of self-awareness shared in a space with that of many others different from ourselves.
  • Item
    Mannequin Renewal
    (2018) Suphan, Jessica
    In a small, sheltered home of modern day United States, an older man named Josef paints those slaughtered in the Holocaust on mannequins. But his solitary passion is interrupted by a high schooler named Lydia; she bursts into his home in a flurry of excitement and hope. Her aunt sent her to Josef, with the teenager hoping he’ll help her create a birthday present for her elderly grandmother. Her sweetheart, Lydia’s grandfather, was lost in a concentration camp. Josef takes on this custom order. At her grandmother’s birthday he experiences the bittersweet effect his art can have on the family of those long lost, and is inspired.
  • Item
    Paragraph 175
    (2017) Suphan, Jessica
    Rationale: No one wants to talk about LGBT+ history. As if we didn't exist outside the AIDS crisis and our suffering in the Holocaust is just the word "homosexual" in the list of those who were wronged, easily skipped over. This piece was inspired by those whose suffering is seen as a footnote, because they deserve to be brought back to life. Paragraph 175 refers to a longstanding provision of the German Criminal Code that outlawed homosexual acts between men. Synopsis: Our main character Aloys and his lover Otto begin the story by hiding from the SS in an alleyway. They're torn apart but reunited months later, with whispers of Allied forces amongst homosexual-specific horrors. As expectations mount the two dare to dream of a life together, of happiness. When the Allies attack the camp a soldier gets into the homosexual part of the camp and orders them all inside so they're not shot. But once they obey he locks them in, rescuing everyone else while leaving them all to die.
  • Item
    (2016) Squires, Allison
    Synopsis: Based on fact. In 1942, Amsterdam begins to feel the clutch of German Nazi reign. Miep Gies, recently married and working as a secretary, must make the choice between values and security to save the family of her boss and friend, Otto Frank. Rationale: My inspiration for this short story came from taking the class "Anne Frank: The Adolescent Self" with Dr. Carol Lipszyc last spring. While the class detailed Frank's writing and her growth as an artist and young adult during her family's time in the attic, I found myself fascinated and saddened by the war's atmosphere in Europe at the time. The general feeling of gloom and anxiety was so much less sprightly than Anne's writing. Nazi forces had entered Holland by 1940, and slowly began implementing more and more rules designed to oppress and identify the country's Jewish population. The rest, narrowly saved by birth or marriage, stood directly in the face of a choice between speaking out or staying silent, and for many, certainly, silence was safer. Yet some brave souls could not be silenced -- so they worked as quietly as they could to save their neighbors and friends from a horrible fate. The story of such heroes as Miep and Jan Gies, who helped to hide the Frank family for more than two years, is one of the greatest instances of human kindness I have ever heard of, and one that moved and inspired me to illustrate the enormous decision made in one small Amsterdam kitchen.