We are saddened to announce the death of Bernard Marks on December 28, 2018.

Bernie was a beloved father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He was also a Holocaust survivor, proud patriot fighting for justice, particularly on behalf of immigrants and refugees, and a beloved long time member of Congregation B'nai Israel.

May his memory be for a blessing.

At this time, the current essay contest is still ongoing.
For any inquiries or questions, please contact

In 2008, Bernie Marks established a Holocaust essay writing project in memory of his dear wife, Eleanor J. Marks. Bernie is himself a survivor of the Łódź Ghetto, Auschwitz, and Dachau. Of the 200 extended family members he had in his early years, only five—his father, two cousins, and an aunt—survived the war. His mother and brother were both exterminated at Auschwitz.

With this worldwide essay writing project, now in its 11th year, Bernie reminds us all that genocide happens when we accept prejudice, bullying, and ignorance.

What better way to build awareness of these horrifying episodes of history than to write essays about Heroes of the Holocaust? Who at their own peril, decided to hide Jews during the dark and terrible days, months, and years during 1939 through 1945.

The writing project is open to students not just in California, but worldwide—and this year, included students throughout California and in Europe.

Every year the Eleanor J. Marks Holocaust Project holds an essay contest to

  • Honor the memory of Eleanor J. Marks

  • Promote remembrance, awareness, and study of the Holocaust

  • Enhance educational experiences

2019 Essay Contest

For the 11th Annual Essay Contest, the theme is:
Heroes* of Hungary and the Netherlands:
*The hero you select must be recognized as “righteous” by yadvashem.org

This topic may be researched at yadvashem.org.



Once the essay contest comes to a close, the essays are compiled and published yearly.

Books are sold by Bernard Marks with all proceeds donated to the Eleanor J. Marks Holocaust Project Foundation.

Cost of books and additional information is available in Book Details.