Winners of National holocaust essay competition

Two of the three writers who have been honoured for their moving compositions on the Holocaust, in the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand’s annual Paul Seideman Composition competition, are from east Auckland.

The winner of the inaugural Year 7-8 age category is Year 8 student Rosetta Tanner from Somerville Intermediate School. Rosetta wrote about Irena Sendler, the Polish nurse and social worker who smuggled more than 2000 children out of the Warsaw ghetto. Rosetta said researching Irena’s story “made me realise it is simple courageous acts that make someone a hero”.

Rosetta Tanner, a national Paul Seideman Annual Composition prize winner from Somerville Intermediate with Bob Narev, child Holocaust survivor (left) and Chris Harris, CEO of the Holocaust Centre New Zealand. photo supplied

Orlando Ye, a Year 9 student at Botany Downs Secondary College, won the Year 9-10 category, writing about how Holocaust survivors “found it very hard to return home” and that many chose to immigrate to countries around the world, including New Zealand.

Funded and supported by Holocaust survivor Paul Seideman, this year’s competition introduced a new junior age category for students in Year 7-8. Chris Harris, chief executive officer of the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand, visited the winners at their respective schools to break the good news to them.

Rosetta and Orlando will attend the United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Day at Makara Cemetery in Wellington on January 27 and will read their winning compositions before an audience of distinguished guests at the Parliamentary reception.