Dorit Oliver-Wolff, Eastbourne’s leading educator on Human Rights, is launching a competition for budding young artists.
She has made it her life’s work to educate people about the Holocaust and ethnic cleansing around the world.
Her talks are based on her personal experience of the Holocaust as a child.
‘Children are not born with hate, it is so important to teach them how discrimination leads to hate.’
Dorit’s latest project is a story about young boy’s experience in a Concentration camp. ‘It’s a way of explaining how terrible discrimination is in an age appropriate manner.’
It will be printed as a booklet and distributed to schools as an educational aid for primary school ages.
You can enter 5 pictures that will accompany the story, and there is a cash prize for the winner and runners up.
Closing date is 30th September.
Please send entries to:
You can read the story here :
The Striped Kite
(Why Mummy, Why?)
Zack the 8 year old boy was on his way home from school. He was in a hurry to get home to tell his Mum and Miriam, his older sister that he had been given a star in school for his artwork!!!!
When he was only a few houses away from his own house, Zack stopped. There was lots of shouting and a large lorry parked in front of his parent’s house! Soldiers with rifles and barking dogs were breaking down the front door. Zach was very frightened and wondered what was happening?
Then he saw his mother, father, grandma and sister Miriam being shoved into the lorry. Zack asked ‘what is happening Mummy, where are we going? Why are they shouting and pushing Daddy with a rifle? What has he done? What have we done? “Nothing my darling. said his mother, we are Jewish!!! She kissed Zack on his head and tears were rolling down her cheeks!
There were many familiar faces of friends and neighbours, who were just watching! No one tried to help. Getting onto the lorry was very frightening. Keeping together as a family was very important, as the lorry was already full of other Jewish families on the way to the concentration camp.
Zack was allowed to stay with his mum in the same camp, because he was so small for his age. Zack was full of questions, ‘Mummy, why are we kept behind barbed wire? Why do we have to wear striped pyjamas? Why did they take Daddy away? Why do we have to wear a yellow star? Why is it bad to be Jewish? His mum explained it shouldn’t be bad to be
Jewish and we should all be proud to belong to a race that is over 5,500 years old. The star of David symbolises Judaism and is called Magen Davad in Hebrew and shows everybody, that we are all shining stars.
Zack was very lonely as his mum was put to work with all the other women. He only saw her in the morning and at bedtime. The rest of the time, he had to keep himself busy. Zack decided to make a kite, but there were hardly any materials that could be used. He managed to find a few pieces of wood and some scraps of paper. He discovered a little space between the buildings and made this his workshop/hiding place. Here, he could hide his finds, feel safe and escape into a world of his own.
The ladies in the camp, found out about Zack’s project and wanted to help. Old Mrs
Feldman had even undone the bottom of her cardigan. This was her only possession, that she had managed to smuggle in and the yarn was put to good use. Zack worked every day building his kite and hid it in the cracks of his hideaway, so that nobody would find it. Zack was amazed to see what a beautiful kite that he had created from scraps. He thought that his art teacher might have given him another star for his.
Just as he was admiring his creation, a large shadow of a guard appeared in front of him! Poor Zack, he felt his heart beating loudly, his whole little body was shaking with fear. What would happen to him and the kite?
To his great surprise and relief, the guard smiled and squatted down next to Zack. The soldier patted the little boy’s trembling shoulders “Well done! You have built a beautiful kite!” The friendly guard picked up the kite and said “only two things are missing here, a long string and some paint.
When I was a little boy, just like you, also built a kite, just like this one. We were poor when I was a little boy. My name is Herman, and am almost 18! I will bring some string tomorrow, but that must be our secret. You must not tell anyone about our meeting. otherwise, we will both be punished!
Zack did tell his mum about Herman, as they had no secrets! Zack could not sleep that night. He was wondering how it was possible that this German soldier did not kick or shout at him. Herman was not like the others, perhaps not all Germans were bad and did not hate the Jews?
Next day, Herman, the German, brought the ball of string he promised. They tied this to the middle of the kite. Herman had also brought some blue paint and a brush. Zack painted the kite in vertical blue stripes that matched his own camp uniform. Herman’s only problem was where to go to fly the striped kite. Herman decided to smuggle Zack and the kite out of the camp.
The kite was well balanced and took off without difficulty. Herman and Zack spent a wonderful time together and the world stood still. No barbed wire, no fear, just the 2 boys sharing the freedom and passion for flying the kite. Time to get smuggled back without being noticed.
They approached the jeep, with the kite still flying above. They looked at each other without saying a word, Zack let the string go and set the kite free. They both had tears in their eyes as the kite flew higher and higher. They both felt that at least one of them was free. Herman said, ‘we should all be free, regardless of colour or religion! We are all the same!’
It was time to head back to camp, to the horrible reality of the times! As they reached the crossroads, Herman stopped the jeep! Herman did not know which turning to take! Back to the camp meant certain death, for both of them. To the village, the unknown, possible freedom? IF YOU WERE HERMAN, WHICH ROAD WOULD YOU TAKE?
(Readers should be encouraged to write their own ending………..)
The story focusses on a particular aspect of Jewish persecution in WW2 through the eyes of a child.
The aim is that it invites debate about human nature and persecution. It is written for children aged 4-8 years old.
The story questions the randomness of prejudice and celebrates the belief that different races and religions have much more to bind them than to divide them.
There are no easy answers to the question Why were the Jews treated this way? and hope that my story celebrates the potential goodness and ability to change in all of us.