Young People’s History Award

Since 2009 the Jewish Museum of Westphalia has organised a competition for young people which, since 2015, has been called the Margo-Spielmann Award. The entries must relate to Jewish history, religion and the present day as well as the history of National Socialism. We hope to encourage intensive study of issues of recent history and active intercultural contributions.

In recent years 10 to 20 young people from the Münsterland and Ruhr area, partly also from the rest of North Rhine-Westphalia, took part in the competition.
And in 2016 students from all types of schools in Westphalia and the Rhineland were invited to enter their essays, projects etc. As mentioned above, the entries had to relate to German-Jewish or regional Jewish life past and present, to the Jewish religion, or the Nazi regime. Entries could also focus on Jewish authors (e.g. Joseph Roth, Franz Kafka etc.) studied in German lessons or issues of Judaism studied in religion, practical philosophy etc. Group work and projects on relevant subjects were also allowed
The prizewinners receive book tokens.

Entries are judged by a small jury.
The deadline is 31 July 2017. The jury announced the winners in November in a small “ceremony” at the museum where the prizes were also presented.

Jüdisches Museum Westfalen
Thomas Ridder M.A.
Julius-Ambrunn-Straße 1
46282 Dorsten
T. 02362 951431

Who was Margot Spielmann?

Margot was a Jewish girl from Gelsenkirchen who was born on 21 May 1926. In 1942 she lived with her mother Luise Kopf, her stepfather Curt Kopf and her grandmother Henriette Breuer in a so-called “Jewish House” at 7 Augusta Strasse in Gelsenkirchen. Together with their daughter Margot, Luise and Curt Kopf tried to flee to the unoccupied part of France but were arrested while trying to escape. Margot was seriously ill with diabetes and suffered a shock. She was taken to hospital in Mülhausen while her parents were separated and deported. Up to her deportation her mother was in prison in Münster. Margot stayed in hospital in Mülhausen. It was there that she died, probably in late autumn 1942. The doctor who treated her later stated that before she could be taken away, Margot had fallen into a deep coma. The doctor said that the hospital deliberately did nothing to improve her condition in order to save Margot from being deported and murdered.
An autograph book that belonged to Margot Spielmann can be seen at the Jewish Museum of Westphalia. The book contains the names of other young girls who were deported and murdered. By naming this youth history prize after Margot Spielmann, we would like the memory of Margot and many other young people from the region to stay alive.