Thousands Join March of the Living

Thousands Join March of the Living

Survivors of the Holocaust and the Oct. 7 attack took part in the annual March of the Living from Auschwitz to Birkenau.

A contingent of 55 Holocaust survivors led the procession during this year’s March of the Living // Photo Credit: March of the Living
A contingent of 55 Holocaust survivors led the procession during this year’s March of the Living // Photo Credit: March of the Living

The 36th annual March of the Living took place on Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day, traversing the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in memory of the Jews murdered in the Holocaust and in honor of those who survived. More than 8,000 people participated in the March, renewing the eternal call of “Never Again.”

This year’s March was led by 55 Holocaust survivors from around the world. They were joined by thousands of Jewish and non-Jewish students and adults, university presidents from campuses in the U.S. and Canada, a global delegation of top TikTok creators, and a Transnational Law Enforcement delegation.

Addressing the ceremony at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Nate Leipciger, who survived Auschwitz, said, “I stood here over 80 years ago. My family’s ashes are spread all over this site. They and all those killed here are testimony to the worst hatred humanity has ever seen. That is why I marched here today. And this is why I say to you today: We must stand up to antisemitism and fight hate and falsehood wherever we are. And that is what we will do. Am Yisrael Chai.”

Addressing the ceremony via video message, Israeli President Isaac Herzog said, “This year, the darkest tragedies of our past do not feel so distant. Although the Holocaust stands alone in the history of human crimes, we have been grieving deep tragedy over the past months. The sickness of blind hatred has been unleashed, once again, in our own world and time. May your March go forth proudly this year. May it carry the history of everyone who has ever fought for justice and humanity in the face of hatred. And may it send a resounding call for freedom for every last hostage, for the values of justice, democracy, humanity and life across the world.”

Among the Holocaust survivors who marched were seven who were personally impacted by the Oct. 7 attack in Israel. They marched alongside several former hostages released from Hamas captivity, along with families of Israeli hostages, bereaved families, wounded survivors, and mayors from the south of Israel. The delegation was organized by the Menomadin Foundation under the leadership of Haim Taib, a third-generation Holocaust survivor from Tunisia.

Phyllis Greenberg Heideman, President of International March of the Living said, “This year’s March of the Living holds profound significance, as the horrors of the past intertwine with the present ongoing nightmare faced by the State of Israel. The recent incomprehensible massacre on Oct. 7 serves as a constant reminder of the persistent threat posed by antisemitic hatred. This year, more than ever, we understand why preserving the memory of the Holocaust is still essential. Fighting against the continuous and overwhelming wave of antisemitism makes the March of the Living’s mission to remember more important and more relevant than ever. We will strenuously continue to teach about the history of the Holocaust, and we will continue to stand together against antisemitism.”


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