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Inspired by Denmark

Threatened by their Nazi occupiers, in 1943 the Danish people organized a national effort to send 7,200 Jews by fishing boats to neutral Sweden. This effort by the citizens of Denmark resulted in the highest Jewish survival rate of any European country during World War II.  The Danish citizens provide a unique example of courage and concern; jeopardizing their own lives to spare those of their fellow countrymen.

Our objective is for students to appreciate their own personal connection to the Holocaust, communities and even conflicts a world away.  Each student can work to make a positive change in the world.

* Suggested browser for the Essay Contest website and forms is Chrome. We are working on correcting any issues on other platforms. 

Essay Contest Overview

Students use the lens of the Holocaust to:

  1. Analyze moral behavior and become better educated about contemporary moral issues
  2. Understand prejudice and discrimination, and the harm they inflict on society
  3. Better understand their connection to the Holocaust
  4. Learn how to work proactively to ensure that history will not be repeated
  5. Develop useful research skills

The contest is open to students in grades 9-12. Students must live in Nebraska or in one of the following counties in Iowa (Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie, Woodbury).

Cash prizes are awarded to the top three essays in each grade level category.


The contest is open to students in grades 9-12, in two separate grade level categories (9-10 and 11-12). Cash prizes are awarded to the top three essays in each grade level category. Students are asked to write a 750-1000 word essay about an individual or group that demonstrates moral courage. Students are asked to:

1. Identify and explain the act of moral courage

2. Connect the example to the Holocaust (if a non-Holocaust example is used)

3. Explain how the lessons of their chosen example might be applied to their own life in the future

Moral courage is the ability to take a strong stance on a specific issue and to defend it based on one’s personal beliefs or convictions regardless of danger or threats to personal safety - physical, emotional or otherwise.

For Teachers

  • The essay, when used as a classroom assignment, can address multiple Nebraska State Standards in reading, writing and social studies.
  • If you are using the Essay Contest as a class assignment, the Essay Prep & Research section can be completed as a class, or assigned to students to complete on their own.
The essay contest is generously funded by the Carl Frohm Memorial Foundation.