Days of Remembrance

Days of Remembrance

Essay Contest


Who Can Apply

High school students may apply. Applicants must live in Pennsylvania in Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, or Union County.


  • A first-place $500 check will be awarded to one student.
  • A second-place $250 check will be awarded to one student.
  • Multiple honorable-mention $100 checks will be awarded.


The essay contest for the 2018-2019 school year is closed. We will soon be announcing the winners. Thank you to everyone who participated in the essay contest. We will announce the timing of the 2019-2020 essay contest in the summer or fall of 2019.

2018-2019 Essay Topic

The event called the Holocaust was the systematic murder of more than six million Jews and five million others in Europe, which was initiated prior to World War II and continued throughout the war. This event decimated established Jewish communities throughout Europe. The Holocaust has become a prime example of how hatred taught to generations of people can result in the most horrible of crimes. The purpose of the essay is to enhance an understanding of the Holocaust, to educate, and to help us prevent such tragedies in the future. Write your essay on the following topic:

In Germany and Europe during the 1930s and 1940s, members of many institutions and organizations (churches, military, sports groups, semi-official groups like the Hitler Youth, etc.) had to decide how they would respond to Germany's mass murder of Jews and others. Pick a group or organization. Explain that group’s behavior in the Holocaust. How did they respond to the Nazi government? How did they relate to individual Jews or other state-sanctioned “enemies?” Then, explain how studying this group’s response to the Holocaust today can help us remember the Holocaust better and what lessons we can learn.

To answer this question you must do research on an organization or group and its activities before and during the Holocaust.  Make clear your main point and use concrete evidence to support what you write.

Evaluation Criteria

We will use the following criteria to evaluate essays:

  • Establishes and supports a clear argument with evidence
  • Summarizes historical facts accurately
  • Demonstrates an understanding of how historical factors influence the topic
  • Demonstrates analysis and interpretation
  • Demonstrates that studying this topic helps explain the Holocaust and its relevance today
  • Answers directly all aspects of the question asked
  • Demonstrates balanced research that utilizes a range of scholarly sources (no Wikipedia)
  • Uses correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  • Communicates established argument clearly and coherently
  • Follows all essay rules and requirements


  1. Essays should be between 500 and 750 words of content, not including the title page and bibliography.
  2. Entries must be typed and double-spaced.
  3. Print single-sided; i.e., on one side of the page.
  4. References should follow the MLA style guidelines or a citation style with which you are familiar.
  5. In addition to your essay, submit a single sheet with the title of your essay and your name. Include the word count on the title page.
  6. Download, print, and fill out the the submission form below. Include the submission form with your essay.
  7. Mail your entry and submission form to: Days of Remembrance, Box 292, Lewisburg, PA 17837.

Submission Form

Include this form with your essay.