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Poem, Research Paper Chosen for Skopp Prize on Holocaust

A graduate student in SUNY Plattsburgh’s Master of Science for Teachers program and an undergraduate history major were this year’s winners of the Douglas R. Skopp Creative Competition on the Theme of the Holocaust.

Deborah Katz, who is working toward her master’s in teaching, was awarded the prize for her poem, “A Granddaughter’s Onus.”

“I wrote the poem one night after I needed to interview both my grandparents for an assignment on oppression,” Katz said. “It was a catharsis of a confusing tangle of emotions: sadness, fear, hope and love.”

She said the 42-line poem started as a series of one-stanza Haiku. Those became one long poem, with each stanza reflecting specific moments in the personal narrative of her grandparents — all of whom were touched by the Holocaust.

Umberto Angilletta was awarded the prize for his research paper, “The Sins of the Father: Generational Conflict, Vergangenheitsbewalitgung, and the Creation of a Militant Generation.”

Learning and understanding national history is important in developing an identity as a citizen, he says in his paper, which grew out of a desire to learn more about how the post-war generations of Germans “worked through their past.”

The sweeping social and cultural revolutions in Germany that took place in the 1960s and 1970s “have their roots in the perpetration of the Holocaust,” Angilletta maintains, adding that the Germans did not adequately deal with their culpability within the years immediately following the war.

The Skopp Prize is given in recognition of excellence in scholarly and artistic creations dealing with ideas and issues surrounding the Holocaust. Students are invited to submit original essays; historical analyses; stories; poems; musical and dance compositions; video productions; and other creations that explore and express their reflections on the Holocaust. For more information on the competition or this year’s prize winners, contact Dr. Jonathan Slater, Department of Journalism and Public Relations, at 518-564-2284 or [email protected].

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