The talks were held for pupils in Year 9 and above on the afternoons of 17th January and 7th February, following a Human Rights Workshops in collaboration with Amnesty International in the morning. Altogether, 175 children and 40 staff attended the events.
Steven, aged 84, and originally from Amsterdam, survived multiple concentration camps as a child. Steven was liberated in May 1945, with his mother and brothers, who had also survived the camps.
Over the past 24 years Steven has given talks of this kind to over 800 schools, and earlier this year he was photographed by The Duchess of Cambridge, along with his grandchildren, to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.
Chichester Cathedral Chancellor, the Reverend Dr Dan Inman, said:
“It was incredibly moving to hear about Steven’s experience and a reminder to all of us how important it is to discuss human rights and encourage tolerance in today’s society – which really got the students thinking. To welcome Steven to the Cathedral which has sought to be a place of peace, reconciliation and understanding for over 900 years was a great privilege.”
In addition, on Holocaust Memorial Day itself, the Cathedral’s Learning and Engagement Team taught a Human Rights Primary School workshop for 120 Year 6 pupils at Chichester Festival Theatre. The workshop helped prepare the pupils for the PUSH opera which they saw in the afternoon at the Minerva Theatre, the true story of Simon Gronowski who, as an 11 year old boy, was pushed off a train to Auschwitz by his mother in 1943.