Servite Paints Tribute to the Holocaust

Listening to Holocaust survivors inspires students to translate tragedy into art.

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Servite Paints Tribute to the Holocaust

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 The Holocaust changed the course of History. During World War II, more than 5 million Jews perished under the rule of one leader, Adolf Hitler. This tragic era is remembered for its brutal and relentless bloodshed. But, along with the liberation of the Jews on September 2, 1945, came the liberation of stories and experiences that would echo into the future.

From the end of World War II to the present day, Holocaust survivors have shared their powerful stories to help fill the world with hope after tragedy. These stories have been expressed through many different forms whether it be, literature, music or art. Interestingly enough, art was a prominent characteristic of the 1940s society. Hitler himself was an art enthusiast. In Ms. Berardino’s Drawing Class at Servite, art was used to express the pain and sorrow felt during this dark period.

The work of three Servite students: Matthew Perez, Ian Ward, and Sangjoon (Scott) Lee was selected to be submitted to the 16th Annual Holocaust and Art Writing Contest, hosted by Chapman University. Through this contest, everyday high school students were able to utilize their creative skills to shed light on events that filled the world with despair.

Matthew Perez  stated, “I had the chance to learn how one man dealt with his ordeal and how things ended happily for him. Samuel Goetz suffered through fear and toil. Yet, at the end of his sufferings, he found joy again. No matter how frightened he may have been, no matter what friends and family he lost, he was still able to reach the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Matthew Perez shows off his paiting that won third place in the contest.

Matthew Perez shows off his painting that won third place in the contest.

Out of 200 participating schools, Scott Lee took second place and Matt Perez took third place in the final overall competition. On Friday March 5th, both students attended the awards ceremony at Chapman University along with their mentor and teacher, Ms. Berardino.

Scott (Sangjoon) Lee displays his painting that won second place.

Scott (Sangjoon) Lee displays his painting that won second place.

“During the Holocaust Project, it wasn’t so much that I re-learned the subject matter of the Holocaust. But it was like recreating it through the eyes of a survivor. I learned more of the emotional side of this event. Listening to these survivors helped me to see what their experience was like, and I was able to translate that onto a blank canvas,” explained Ian Ward.

Ian Ward shows off his masterpeice.

Ian Ward shows off his masterpiece.

Each Servite student took something away from this year’s contest, whether it was a deeper appreciation of art or of the pain of Holocaust survivors. “It was an honor to be in the Holocaust Art Contest. I wanted to share the feeling of the survivors who trudged through the pain and misery, making sure that the world would understand their feelings.”

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