09:45AM, Monday 02 February 2015
A young ambassador for the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) has spoken about his experiences at a commemorative service held in Westminster's Central Hall.
Nick Chevis, head boy at The Windsor Boys' School, was one of 70 young people invited to the service on Tuesday (Jan 27) to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Guests and speakers at the event included Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Holocaust survivors and religious leaders.
"I think a big theme of the day was not just remembering but taking action," said the 18-year-old.
When they arrived, visitors were asked to write an 'I will' promise on a piece of card.
During the service, the young people lit candles following an account by a Holocaust survivor.
Nick, who is in year 13, said it was 'definitely moving' and added the music, which included choirs singing and a survivor's grandson playing the cello, made it more touching.
He said the crucial moment was David Cameron's speech, in which he announced a new Holocaust memorial and education centre in London would receive £50m of government funding.
Nick was one of 200 young pupils from schools in the South-east who were taken on a day trip by HET to the former Nazi concentration and death camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau last February.
The Windsor resident spoke about his memories of the trip one year on.
"I found with the trip the reaction was quite a delayed one," he said, explaining it was quite difficult to take everything in on the day. "I find now a year on, it is still sinking in really.
"I appreciate now having done that trip, especially with things going on, violence at the moment in the news all the time, that remembering the Holocaust is something that is really important."
As an ambassador for HET, Nick also helped organise for Holocaust survivor, Mala Tribich MBE, to visit his school in Maidenhead Road to speak of her experiences and answer questions last year.
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