2015 Second Place Winner

2015 Second Place Winner

As we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps, what have we learned from the past so we do not repeat it.

Written by

Eliana Goldstein

Stopping the Raging Fire

The horror indescribable

Of the destruction of generations

Of hatred not reigned

So strong that it left most of Europe

In a state of total desolation


Bigoted arguments

Fed by the intellectual elite

Made the overall populace more likely to believe

The horrendous negativity

And they accepted it blindly, without using a sieve


Centuries of anti-Semitism

Bottled up and stored

To explode in one moment

Like was never known before


Indeed the Holocaust was different

Then the hatred of the days in the olden reign

To add extreme religious intolerance

A racial aspect unprecedented added fuel to the flame

That could not be changed by conversion

And in the blood did remain

Once this fuel was added

The fire sparked, it flared

Spreading rapidly and alarmingly

Destroying all that crossed its path and dared


But what caused this spark

That started the roaring fire

And what factor attributed to

Racial anti-Semitism’s spark escalading higher?




Among the many causes the nationalism of Germany

And the feeling of superiority that came along

The concept of the Aryan race

And the despicable inferiority directed towards those to this did not belong


Self-absorbed to the extent

That everyone else was viewed in mass

Lack of appreciation for the individuality

And the uniqueness of those not belonging to their class


Although anti-Semitism is evident through historical analysis

To have existed for time immemorial

Through infinite persecutions

Like the crusades, Inquisition, and blood libels

To only name a few

Despite all this there must be prevention

And something that the world can do


One crucial idea that can be gleamed

From the tragedies of this past time

Is the dreadful atrocities that result

From viewing a people as one kind


By educating children as soon as they can comprehend

Along with learning colors and ABCs

They should be instilled with the basics

Of toleration and civility


With importance of viewing people as talented individuals

Of not developing prejudiced views

And highly discouraging stereotyping a race

And perceiving the multitude

As a multifaceted person with but one face


Moreover a lesson of the power of standing up for one’s beliefs is clear

In a world silent and passive

Of taking action and vocalizing dissent

Of truly being active


And analyzing the media

And the opinions of respected leaders

Not making the mistake again to blame oblivion

And excusing one’s actions as simply following public opinion