The March of the Living is an annual educational program, which brings students from all over the world to Poland, in order to study the history of the Holocaust and to examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance and hate. Since the first March of the Living was held in 1988, over 200,000 participants, from 35 countries, have marched down the same path leading from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Today marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, when Soviet troops marched into the Nazi death camp and freed its remaining survivors. By January 1945, the Nazi war machine had killed more than 1 million prisoners at the site, most of whom were Jews. The day has since become International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and the Auschwitz Museum holds a remembrance every year at the camp’s Death Gate to commemorate the liberation and those lost in the war. This year, YouTube is also helping to mark the end of the Holocaust by livestreaming the event online.
Google has already worked extensively with the Auschwitz Museum, digitizing images and records from the site along uploading media to make for an online museum. Today serves as an extension of those efforts, especially at a time when the number of the camp’s remaining survivors continues to fall. You can watch the ceremonies right now in the embed above.
On January 27, 2015, the world will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The 70th anniversary ceremonies taking place in Auschwitz-Birkenau are expected to draw dozens of foreign dignitaries, heads of state and royalty, including President François Hollande of France, President Joachim Gauck of Germany, President Heinz Fischer of Austria, King Philippe of Belgium, King Willem-Alexander of Holland & Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.
More than 3,000 guests will be in attendance, including about 300 survivors of the camps, several of whom will speak during the ceremony, along with 80 March of the Living alumni from Europe. This will likely be the last time when a sizeable group of Auschwitz survivors will be able to personally attend a significant anniversary marking the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The event is being organized by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, the USC Shoah Foundation & The World Jewish Congress.
Please take a few minutes to watch: “Auschwitz-Birkenau: 70 Years After Liberation……A Warning to Future Generations”. In this video, five survivors who frequently accompany students to Auschwitz-Birkenau on the March of the Living, along with a number of March of the Living leaders and students, reflect on the meaning of the 70th anniversary and on the educational importance of Auschwitz-Birkenau to future generations.
In the aftermath of the terrorist murders in Paris, the leadership and alumni of the March of the Living express their solidarity with France – the Jewish community of France and all the people of France – at this difficult time.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent people of all backgrounds – be they Jewish, Christian and Muslim – murdered in the last few days in France by Islamist terrorists.
We pray that the families of the victims find comfort in the memory of their loved ones, in the worldwide condemnation of these unfathomable acts of cruelty, and in the display of unity showed by millions of people of good faith who marched on the streets of Paris in solidarity with the victims.
We pray for a time will come when all humanity will embrace freedom of thought and respect for the dignity of all human life.
As participants in the March of the Living – and as the bearers of the memories of the Shoah survivors and the lessons we learned rom them – we pledge not be bystanders, but to take an active role in combating anti-Semitism and all forms of racism and prejudice.
The Leadership & Alumni
March of the Living International
Raoul Wallenberg rescued more Jews than any other single individual during the Holocaust. He vanished on January 17, 1945 after being apprehended by Soviet authorities. January 17th, 1945 marks the 70th anniversary of his tragic and never explained disappearance.
March of the Living, with the help of the Azrieli Foundation, produced a very moving short piece on his life and legacy, featuring Holocaust survivor Eva Meisels, human rights advocate Irwin Cotler & Joe Kertes, Second Generation Wallenberg survivor.
As we approach this tragic anniversary, in honor of his heroic legacy, please take a few moments to watch:
100,000 Souls: The Legacy of Raoul Wallenberg
Today, Friday, November 7th marks 70 years since the execution of the poet Hannah Senesh by the Nazis during WWII.
Senesh, a member of the British Army, was one of 37 Jews from Palestine to parachute into Yugoslavia during WWII to assist in the rescue of Hungarian Jews. Senesh was captured at the Hungarian border, imprisoned, tortured and ultimately executed on Nov. 7, 1944. During her time as a captured prisoner in her native Budapest, she refused to provide details of her mission. Senesh is regarded as one of the greatest heroines in Jewish history.
If you do nothing else today, please watch this moving 4 minute music video on the heroism and courage of Hannah Senesh. The video is a well known song written by Senesh – Eli, Eli – performed by acclaimed Canadian jazz vocalist and Juno-winner Sophie Milman.
Please share with as many people as possible…..
Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel
Los Angeles, California – May 7, 2014
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you so much. Please, please, everybody have a seat.
Well, thank you, Steven, for your incredibly generous words, for this great honor, for your friendship, and most importantly, for the extraordinary work which brings us here all tonight. To Robert Katz and all the members of the board and staff of the Shoah Foundation; to President Max Nikias and everybody at USC; to all the distinguished guests and to all the friends that I see in this audience — it is an incredible honor to be with you as we pay tribute to a remarkable institution and one that makes claim on our moral imagination. Read the full article…
You experienced something unique and powerful in your MOTL experience, which only those who have done it can truly understand. We know that feeling, as do thousands of others who have experienced MOTL like you did.
It’s a powerful shift which you’ll want to come back to in you over and over. Here’s where that begins, along with all the other Marchers who have experienced it.
For the 6 million. For humanity, and for yourself.
Capture the moment as a statement, a reflection, or a photo- so you can carry the torch as the last generation to hear the testimonies of survivors and honor the 6million with the world we create.
We’ll share your statement for you here, and then send your it back to you in intervals… in 2 weeks, in a year, in two years… with a simple question: “Where does it stir for you NOW? What do you want it to cause in your life and in the world?” Maybe just when you need it most.
You can edit or add back in to your statement as it grows with your experience and impact over time.
Your statement will connect you to a new movement, started by MOTL alumni, harnessing the power of our experience into voice, action and commitment toward a different future.
Together we can go beyond never again, to create a world where tolerance trumps hate.
Declare your voice, make your statement, become part of the movement. Make a moment now to take a stand… www.project6million.org
An amazing opportunity for Sophomore, Junior and Senior High School students to combine both renowned programs!
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