2023 White Rose Research Contest


Theme:  Auschwitz and the Hungarian Deportations


Seventy-seven years ago, the Germans occupied Hungary in the spring of 1944. Between May 14 and July 9, approximately 440,000 Hungarian Jews—the last remaining intact Jewish community in Europe—were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where most were subsequently murdered. Local collaborators, the Hungarian government, and law-enforcement agencies aided this swift, concentrated destruction. It occurred when the Vatican, the International Red Cross, the Allies, and the neutral powers already knew the details of the Holocaust, especially the Hungarian situation.

Using at least three of the documents listed below, plus a minimum of two outside resources, prepare an essay or documentary that addresses the 2023 contest theme: Auschwitz and the Hungarian Deportations.

About The Contest

The contest is named in memory of the White Rose, a resistance movement consisting of German university students. Among them were Hans and Sophie Scholl, along with several friends and their professor, were arrested and executed for distributing leaflets denouncing the policies of the Nazi regime. The project commemorates the efforts of these brave young people who gave their lives for what they believed in. May their memories inspire us to reflect upon our own responsibilities as citizens in a democratic nation.


Two Ways To Enter:  Essay or Documentary

Click one of the blue buttons below to learn more about entering with an Essay or a Documentary.


Auschwitz and the Hungarian Deportations


Open to 8th-12th grade students.

Submission Deadline:

March 31, 2023

Prizes & AWARDS:

  • The top prize winner in each category and age level will be awarded a $300 prize.
  • The sponsoring teacher of each first prize winner will be awarded a voucher worth $150 for use on professional development and/or Holocaust resources.


The contest is sponsored by generous donors that are committed to supporting Holocaust education.  


Please email Megan Ferenczy Director of Education, mferenczy@vaholocaust.org.

General Contest Guidelines:

  • Each contestant is limited to one entry per year.
  • Previous winners may enter again.
  • Projects will be evaluated on historical accuracy, development of content and theme, and original expression according to this rubric.
  • All entries become the property of the Virginia Holocaust Museum and will not be returned.
  • Applicants give the Virginia Holocaust Museum permission to reprint entries.
  • The decisions of the judges are final.
  • Entries are accepted in two age divisions, 8-9th grade and 10-12th grade.
  • We ask students and educators to respect the privacy of the survivors and to refrain from conducting personal interviews.


General Contest INSTRUCTIONS

Using at least three of the documents provided below, plus a minimum of two outside resources, prepare an essay or documentary that addresses all parts of the following topic:

Research: Describe preparations made by the Germans for the deportation of the Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau
and place the experiences of one Hungarian Jewish person or family in historical context, explaining how that individual or family was affected by these circumstances.

Reflection: Today the former site of Auschwitz is a memorial and museum where artifacts are preserved and displayed. Discuss the importance of preserving sites like Auschwitz.  In your opinion, what role can preservation play in
maintaining the memory of the Holocaust?


You must base your research on at least three of the following documents. All documents referenced from this list are considered electronic sources and the Works Cited page should clearly denote that they were referenced from the VHM site. That citation can take any format chosen by the teacher.