The March of the Living is a Jewish memorial and educational response to the 6 million who died during the Holocaust. Started in 1988, the participants walk the three-kilometer route linking the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps.
The march aims to instill in the younger generation the history of the Holocaust and instill in them values of tolerance, acceptance of others, and mutual accountability.
From three hundred participants in 1988 to eleven thousand this year, it has been a evergrowing testament for the world ‘to never forget’. Jews from many countries, youth movements, adults, survivors, non-Jews, all came saying “Never again!
This year, because of the tensions between Israel and Poland, it was decided that no political officials of the two countries would be present during this march. This Israel was represented by, among others, Rabbi Israel-Meir Lau, a survivor of Buchenwald, and Israeli singer Yehuda Poliker, son of parents who survived the Holocaust. The march of this year is placed under the sign of the Jewish community of Greece decimated to 90% by the Nazis.
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman was also present, along with Jewish Agency Director Itshak Herzog, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Dany Danon, the head of the Romanian government Viorica Dăncilă and the Head of the Greek Orthodox Church Hieronymus II.
“Unfortunately, studies have shown that in the United States and Europe about half of young people have never heard of Auschwitz before. One of our goals here in this march is to raise awareness”, said Dr. Shmuel Rosenman the president of the March of the Living.
”We are here to say in a clear voice: “Never again. We are walking to remind the world of the horrors and lead a global movement against antisemitism” he said.
The march ended with an official ceremony of speeches and songs, as well as traditional prayers.