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News > OC news > OC returns to introduce Grill Lecture

OC returns to introduce Grill Lecture

OC Anna Hedges (18) returned to introduce the Holocaust survivor who inspired her to study History at university...
28 Feb 2023
OC news

On the 22nd of February, I had the privilege of introducing Steven Frank at the 2023 Grill Lecture. I first met Steven over six years ago when I was a student at Churcher’s. I heard his unforgettable story during the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Ambassadorship programme that I took part in, during which Steven spoke of his happy childhood growing up in a secular Jewish family in Amsterdam during the late 1930s and how this life changed drastically following the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands in 1940. His story is remarkable: it is full of sadness and horror like the disappearance and death of his heroic father Leonard Frank, and the frequently brutal times Steven spent in Westerbork and Theresienstadt camps. At the same time, I was once again moved by Steven’s compassion and wisdom. In a particularly poignant moment, Steven told us of a man who taught him how to grow tomatoes at Westerbork. The man was ‘sent East’ – most likely to his death – and ever since, Steven has been growing and watering tomatoes in his garden in memory of this man.

I was compelled to return to Churcher’s to once again listen to Steven’s story since it was the HET’s programme and hearing Steven speak six years ago that first inspired me to study History at university. By passing on Steven’s story we preserve the memory of what happened during the Holocaust and actively remind each other of the individuals to whom the atrocities occurred. I was incredibly grateful to be asked back to Churcher’s to host such a memorable event and person. Thank you to Steven Frank and to Helen Jolliffe for inviting me.

More photos from the evening can be seen here.

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