MCHE is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016-2017 White Rose Student Essay Contest. First place in the 10th-12th grade division went to Ashton Stropes from Lone Jack High School and first place in the 8-9th grade division was won by Alex Gibson from Harmony Middle School. Congratulations to the winners and all of the finalists.

CLICK HERE for a complete list of the finalists and to read the winning essays.

Yom Hashoah


Holocaust Organizations, Scholars and Educators Sound Alarm on Surge in Hate Crimes Issue Call to Action to Lawmakers and Citizens

In a powerful statement issued by an array of Holocaust institutions, scholars and educators from around the world, an alarm is being sounded on the rise of groups that promote intolerance and hate speech. These 90 institutions and 71 individuals call on lawmakers to condemn white nationalist groups and ask citizens to be vigilant.


The board of directors of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education strongly condemns recent statements by Kansas Senator Steve Fitzgerald who alleges that Planned Parenthood is “more insidious than [the Nazis]” and that “the Nazis ought to be incensed by the comparison.” Having been notified of a donation made in his honor to Great Plains Planned Parenthood, Fitzgerald, a strong opponent of abortion rights, wrote that being associated with Planned Parenthood “is as bad, or worse, as having one’s name associated with Dachau.”

In fact, we are incensed by the senator’s appalling and ill-informed comparisons that trivialize and misappropriate the memory of the Holocaust. While we respect his right to express personal opinions regarding abortion, it is unconscionable and misguided to equate abortion and genocide. In doing so, he distorts history and offends those victimized by the Nazis. In their names, we call upon all caring Kansans to inform Senator Fitzgerald that his remarks are an embarrassment to our state and do not reflect the views of the majority of his constituents. Please contact the senator at or leave a message at 785-296-7357.

Joyce Hess

Board President, Midwest Center for Holocaust Education
Overland Park, KS

This statement is also endorsed by the following members of the Kansas Holocaust Commission:

Alice Bertels
Katherine Kline Berkowitz
Lauren Cohen
Barry S. Crawford, Professor of Religious Studies, Washburn University
Alan Haimowitz
Loraine H. Lindenbaum
Rabbi Herbert J. Mandl, Ph.D
Ragen Murray
Alan Parker
Laura Silverberg
Rabbi Debbie Stiel, Temple Beth Sholom, Topeka, KS
Erica Fox Zabusky

Witnesses to the Holocaust Archive

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