The White Rose Student Research Competition 


The Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center second annual White Rose Student Research Contest for Westchester County area 7th-12th grade students honored students and teachers from Irvington High School, Westchester Day School and Woodlands Middle/High School via Zoom.

Participating students who chose to compete in the contest submitted essays or original documentaries based on research of primary source and secondary source materials. Student and teacher entries included:

7th and 8th Grade Winners - Rachel Tratt, Westchester Day School and Jake Morton, Woodlands Middle School; and Finalist Annshiya Pulikkottil Sam, Woodlands Middle School.

11th and 12th Grade Winner - Alexandra Pollack, Irvington High School

Sponsoring Teachers - Christopher Barry, Irvington High School; Kasie Peralta, Woodlands Middle School; and Jill Rivel, Westchester Day School.

Jake Morton, Woodlands Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Winner

Winning entries for the HHREC White Rose Student Research Contest were identified by a panel of Blue-Ribbon judges that included Richard Berman, Ph.D. Muma College of Business, University of South Florida; Debbie Lewis, HHREC GenerationsForward speaker; Elena Procario-Foley, Ph.D. Professor of Religious Studies, Iona College; Debbie Minchin HHREC Educators Program Committee; and Audrey Reich Art Specialist, The Birch Wathen Lenox School.

The top prize winner in each age level was awarded a cash prize, and the sponsoring teacher of each first prize winner was awarded a voucher for use on professional development and/or Holocaust resources.

Jews from Subcarpathian Rus (then part of Hungary) undergo a selection on the ramp at Auschwitz-Birkenau. May 1, 1944. —Yad Vashem (Public Domain)


The 2021-2022 contest theme was Auschwitz and the Hungarian Deportations.

Seventy-seven years ago, in the spring of 1944, the Germans occupied Hungary. Between May 14 and July 9, approximately 440,000 Hungarian Jews—the last remaining intact Jewish community in Europe—were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where most were subsequently murdered. This swift, concentrated destruction was aided by local collaborators, the Hungarian government, and law-enforcement agencies. It occurred when the Vatican, the International Red Cross, the Allies, and the neutral powers already knew details of the Holocaust, especially the Hungarian situation.