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Holocaust survivor supports prize for Czech schoolchildren

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PRAGUE, June 9 (JTA) — Fifty-five years after being interned at Terezin, Holocaust survivor Hana Greenfield returned recently to present awards to Czech schoolchildren. The 70-year-old Israeli handed out cash prizes last month to a dozen students ranging in age from six to 16 for their paintings and essays on intolerance and anti-Semitism. The children were among 250 students from schools across the country who participated in a competition in which they visited Terezin and then recorded their impressions in words or pictures. Greenfield, who was deported to Terezin from her hometown of Kolin in 1942, established the annual competition five years ago. It is financed by proceeds from sales of “Fragment of Memory,” a book she wrote about her wartime experience. Through this competition, “young Czechs learn about Jewish history,” said Greenfield, who immigrated to Israel after the war. “It is a subject most of them know little about, yet it’s an important part of this country’s history. “I impress upon the students that it’s not enough to learn about democracy,” she said. “You must fight to preserve it. You must take a stand against its enemies.” The annual competition is held under the auspices of the Terezin museum. Terezin, also known as Theresienstadt, is an 18th-century garrison town that was designated by the Nazis as a ghetto for Jews on their way to concentration camps farther east.

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