Rainer Hoess - Germany
Rainer is the grandson of the Auschwitz Commandant, Rudolf Höß. However first and foremost Rainer is dedicated to challange intolerance , hatred and discrimation. It's because if these believes that he and Simon founded Footsteps. In that spirit he's been educating students and adults alike on the Holocaust and what happens when hate becomes a weapon. Rainer is also the author of The Heritage of the Commandant.
Simon Bell - United Kingdom
Simon Bell is a former mental health nurse with over 37 years of National Health Service experience in England and co-founder of Footsteps. The first 15 years of his career were spent working in hospitals, and included – in old asylum care – looking after severely damaged, elderly survivors of the war in Europe and the Holocaust. These shadows of humanity had eyes that appeared not to see, but had tormented minds that sadly knew and saw too much. That instilled a long-held interest not just in the Holocaust but in the consequences of all hatred and discrimination. For nearly 22 years he worked with mentally-disordered offenders, and has dealt with most types of criminal behaviour, witnessed the consequences of crime, and dealt with those who have experienced the extremes of personal trauma. In the summer of 2016 Simon retired from health care. He has an MA in Second World War Studies: Conflict-Societies-Holocaust. He is also the author of: Auschwitz-Birkenau: From Hell to Hope, and Tribalism and Prejudice: The Far-Right and Lessons From History.
Simone Boersma - Netherlands
Simone is a pedagogue with 10 years of experience at primary schools and special education in the Netherlands.
In 2016 she started her final research to graduate as a pedagogue. From the beginning it was crystal clear that the subject would be trauma of children and youth resulting out of discrimination and prejudice within the current generation. She has been fortunate to meet and exchange correspondence with refugees, survivors, historians and others who shared this interest. As a pedagogue with an ecological vision, Simone believes it is important to maintain awareness and sensitivities to the impact that past experiences have for children and families in the present. Understanding different ideals, and their origin is of importance if you want to be able to interact with each other. The consciousness of history is, as she thinks, of great importance when it comes to learning democracy attitude. History tells the story of the establishment of democracy, but also provides insight into the development of citizenship, and shows us how freedom, citizenship and democracy interact with each other.
Inga Jäger - Germany
Waldorf School Pedagogue, graduate Family & Social Advisor ,certified trainer in adult education for ethical communication, conflict management, and social arts, freelance work in mission statement work and management consultancy with farmers. Long-standing national and international studies in Anthroposophical Spiritual Sciences, Philosophy, Geotheanistic Natural Sciences, and art ,married, mother of five children. My love for future-oriented impulses has always been the motive of my actions – in pedagogy, in my seminars and in the social sphere. This includes an open-mind in thinking and reflection. This can lead to living knowledge that goes beyond the individual and can, in the best case, develop broader coherences regarding the development of the world and mankind.
A social order based on values, which Footsteps advocates, does not arise through negation, but through affirmation, not through exclusion and prejudice, but through encounter and connection. A free community that stands up fort the dignity of each individual human being, that does not accept national tendencies and discrimination, but that creates a network of encounters in our present age of globalisation that is mutually supportive.
Giuseppe Leone - Germany
Due to his many years of work in the fashion and retail sector, for example with labels such as Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce & Gabbana, etc., he has been working for many years. Where, as director for the whole of Italy, he was confronted with different groups of people from all over the world with their views, and was at times attacked
because of the fact that he is homosexual. This inspired Giuseppe to take up and confront this
worldwide problem. He was actively involved in the care of AIDS patients with the aim of educating them against exclusion and discrimination. Giuseppe has become a part of Footsteps. Thanks to his long-standing personal friendship with Rainer Höß and Simon Bell. Giuseppe's main focus at Footsteps is the persecution, discrimination, exclusion and murder of homosexuals in National Socialism, and the hostility that community still faces today.
Jessica Clark - United Kingdom
A graduate of English Literature and Education, Jessica grew up with a passion for history. During her research into the Second World War became more focused on the Holocaust. This steered her towards researching the experiments which tortured innocent men, women and children, Jessica focused mainly on Josef Mengele and his experiments involving twins. Believing that the beginning of the euthanasia within the hospitals, the doctors and their cruel experiments were not spoken enough about, she took it into her own hands to write about the horrors of the experiments. This lead to meeting Simon and Rainer and co-founding The Footsteps Team at the age of twenty-two.
After traveling the world, teaching in South Korea, seeing and hearing about the injustices which are continuing to let innocent lives suffer because of ones race, gender, religion or sexuality, Jessica has stepped back into Footsteps to continue her research and to fight against the injustices of the world.