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ADL Honors Austrian Teen Artist

The Vienna-based Central and Eastern Europe Office of the Anti-Defamation League has announced the winners of a national high school art contest held to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

First prize went to 17-year-old Alexandra Szeredi, for a work that depicted a baby with a tiny swastika in its right eye.

More than 500 high school students from all over Austria entered the contest, which was sponsored by the ADL and endorsed by Austrian political and church leaders.

They were asked to consider how pogroms against Jews were allowed to happen in 1938 and how they themselves would react if such violence was unleashed today.

“The idea was to motivate these young adults to think about their own civic responsibility here and now,” said Marta Halpert, director of the ADL’s Central and Eastern Europe Office.

“Our goal was to get the participants in this contest to think how they would act in similar circumstances — would they just stand by and watch houses of prayer engulfed in flames? Or would they run to extinguish the fire?”

Some 100 prizes were awarded to students, who entered paintings, drawing, collages and ceramics.

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