Staff Report (Florida Catholic)
St. Andrew Catholic School students in Cape Coral welcomed Steen Metz as an honored guest speaker March 31.
Metz is a Holocaust survivor from Odense, Denmark, who winters in Sanibel. Only 8-years-old when his family was impacted by the Holocaust, he is on a mission to share his story and what happened to the Jewish people during this time with as many people as possible.
At St. Andrew, each student in grades 6, 7, and 8, reads a novel about the Holocaust for their Literature class, and they also conducted a research project for their Language Arts class. This curriculum is at every Catholic School in Diocese of Venice for these grade levels.
â€œThis presentation from an actual survivor is a rare treasure to support our curriculum,” explained Middle school teacher Julie Dudek.
During Metz’ visit, students began with a prayer service during which the students commit themselves to remembering those that had perished and were affected by the atrocities of the Holocaust. Student representatives lit 6 candles, each representing one million of the six million Jews that died.
Metz explained that “it took me many years before I could tell others what I experienced in the Concentration Camp at Theresienstadt. It is now my life’s work to tell my story.”
After visiting St. Andrew Catholic School in 2016, Metz was inspired by a question from students who told him they had looked for him on the website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C, but were disappointed that he was not in their resources.
This year, he informed students that in September 2016 he was indeed interviewed and his testimony is now part of the archive on the website. In his interview for the Holocaust Memorial Museum, Metz kindly mentions St. Andrew Catholic School students who composed a special poem for him title “Steen Axel Metz – A Survivor’s Light.”
Metz makes himself available to various schools and organizations to share his remarkable story and insights and spoke to the students at Bishop Verot Catholic High School on April 10. His website, www.steenmetzneverforget.com, as well as his testimony on the national memorial site, now has the ability to reach thousands of people and shine a light on the truth of the events of the Holocaust.