Remarks by the President at USC Shoah Foundation Dinner
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. (more…)
March of the Living Budapest 30,000+ marching to train station where 600 participants will board train (of the living) to Auschwitz commemorating the 70th anniversary of deportations to the death camps (and the Shoah of Hungarian Jewry), with Irwin Cotler MP.
Earlier, MP Cotler chaired an international parliamentary panel on antisemitism at a special conference of the March of the Living Hungary.
A mysterious request leads the Canadian-born son of a Holocaust survivor back to the old country.
“There’s someone here to see you.”
“Who is it?”
“Her name is Magda Zelenka,” replied my receptionist. “She says she has something important to discuss with you, but she doesn’t have an appointment.”
It took me a moment to recall Magda. Decades earlier, my late father Bill had hired her and her husband Ferenc as superintendents of an apartment building in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke. Despite his own shattered life back in Hungary, my father was remarkably free of vindictiveness, hiring Germans, Austrians, Ukrainians, Croats—even Hungarians—as long as they were the best qualified candidates for a job.
The Zelenkas proved excellent employees: hard-working, courteous, beloved by tenants. After long years of service, Ferenc suffered a series of heart attacks followed by a fatal stroke. Although Magda hoped to continue managing the building on her own, the challenge had proved overwhelming. She was no youngster, and hardly in the best of health herself. Nor, in spite of her lengthy residence in Canada, had she ever really mastered the English language, which made it difficult for her to communicate. With deep regret, she submitted her resignation, asking only that she be allowed to rent an apartment in one of our buildings. (more…)
HUNDREDS OF high school students from across the globe march from Auschwitz to Birkenau last year in an annual event sponsored by International March of the Living. Photo: COURTESY OF BATIA DORI
The Jerusalem Post, by Daniel K. Eisenbud, April 23, 2014
Hundreds of high school students to ride train from Budapest to Auschwitz to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the mass deportation and murder of over 585,000 Hungarian Jews during World War II, hundreds of highschool students from across the globe will travel by train from Budapest to Auschwitz, where they will join 10,000 other students to march to the Birkenau extermination camp.
The four-day event, organized by International March of the Living to observe Holocaust Remembrance Day, will begin on Friday in Hungary, which is ranked among the most anti-Semitic nations in Europe. (more…)
National Post, By Abigale Subdhan, January 27, 2014
A Holocaust survivor takes part in the March of the Living holding a photos of himself as a concentration camp prisoner. A UN-hosted exhibit marking the March of the Living’s efforts will show hundreds of poems, quotes, photos and videos from the experience of students and survivors. Photo: Y. Zeliger
When Holocaust survivor Anita Ekstein first visited the death camp that held her mother, she couldn’t stop shaking.
She walked into the Belzec extermination camp in Poland to visit a newly opened memorial – and found her mother’s name, Ettel, etched into the wall. It was 2005, on Mother’s Day, more than 60 years after she had last seen her mother.
“It’s like my cemetery. We don’t have graves to visit, so now once a year when I go there, it’s like going to the cemetery there for me, my family,” the 79 year old says of her experience at the death camp where almost 435,000 Jews went to die.
Now Mrs. Ekstein’s story will be told at a UN-hosted exhibit in New York celebrating 25 years for an organization that bridges the gap between high school students and Holocaust survivors. (more…)
On Tuesday, January 28th 2014, in the Visitor Centre, Dag Hammarskjold Library Lower Level, the United Nations will begin hosting the International March of the Living Exhibit: When You Listen to a Witness, You Become a Witness. The opening event and reception will take place that evening in the Library gallery from 6PM – 8PM, withIsrael’s Ambassador to the UN, The Honorable Ron Prosser, as the keynote speaker.
A plaque is placed by participants of the March of the Living on the railway tracks of the former Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi Death Camp near Oswiecim, Poland. Photo by AP
Video testimony is tool for educating public, government says.
Canada has allocated $800,000 to preserve the testimonies of Holocaust survivors.
The funding from the federal Citizenship and Immigration department will go to four Jewish organizations in Canada to gather video testimony from survivors.
“Canada has been profoundly shaped by approximately 40,000 Holocaust survivors who resettled across our country after World War II,” Jason Kenney, the minister for multiculturalism, said in a recent statement. “As Canadians, it is our responsibility to learn from these brave individuals and ensure that the horrible events of the Holocaust are not forgotten, and ensure that such atrocities never happen again.” (more…)
We are very excited to announce that the March of the Living International is an Official Charity Partner for the 2013 New York Marathon!
We have 5 coveted spots for the November 3, 2013 marathon and we invite you to share this opportunity with your local community. General entry to the 2013 ING New York City Marathon has already closed. Our spots are guaranteed, automatic admission.
In order to run, candidates must commit to raise, or personally donate, a minimum of $3000. Someone from your community may already be running the Marathon. They can join Team MOTL with a commitment to raise a minimum of $1500.
The New York Times, April 14, 2013, By Topaz Adizes
April 15 marks the 68th anniversary of Branko Lustig’s liberation from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp when he was not quite 13 years old. In this Op-Doc video, we follow Mr. Lustig back to Poland to visit the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps (where he was also interned) and to celebrate the bar mitzvah he could never have as a young man.
Between these pivotal moments in his life, Mr. Lustig became one of the most accomplished producers in Hollywood. He won best picture Academy Awards for producing “Schindler’s List” and “Gladiator,” and also worked on Volker Schlöndorff’s epic German World War II tale “The Tin Drum” as well as “Sophie’s Choice,” “War and Remembrance” and “The Winds of War.”
The arc of Mr. Lustig’s life — from Holocaust survivor to Oscar winner — is one of remarkable triumph. While many people shy away from revisiting their personal traumas, Mr. Lustig — in his feature films and in my short documentary — has enabled us all to reflect upon them and, perhaps, come to terms with them.
Topaz Adizes is a New York-based filmmaker whose documentaries and narrative films have played at festivals including Cannes, Sundance, South by Southest and Cinéma du Réel. He is currently developing a narrative feature film, “Close Enough.”
View Clip about Academy Award Winner Branko Lustig’s return to Auschwitz on the March of the Living”: http://nyti.ms/159f7LG
The song was written and performed by Vadim Drezyin a participant in the 1988 March of the Living. The chorus of the song, “to live with honour and to die with honour…” was taken from the last letter of Emmanuel Ringleblum, the famous Jewish historian of the Warsaw Ghetto. He observed in these last words, that the spirit of those who resisted the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto, was to “live with honour and die with honour.
Ringleblum was murdered a week after he wrote those words.
Haaretz, By Danna Harman | June 9, 2014 A lawyer by training, the 49-year-old Makis Voridis went into politics in 1994, founding the far-right Hellenic Front party – its motto was ‘Red Card to the Illegal Immigrants.’ Ignoring the pleas of Greece’s 5,000 strong Jewish community, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras promoted far-right politician Makis Voridis to [...]
Haaretz, By Matthew Kalman | June 8, 2014 Mohammed Dajani, the Al-Quds University professor who led the first organized group of Palestinian university students to Auschwitz, tenders resignation. Mohammed Dajani, the Al-Quds University professor who received plaudits and threats earlier this year after leading the first organized group of Palestinian university students to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, [...]
Remarks by the President at USC Shoah Foundation Dinner 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 [...]
Yad Vashem Name Recovery Project
Since 1955, Yad Vashem has worked to fulfill its mandate to preserve the memory of the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust by collecting their names, the ultimate representation of a person’s identity. Millions of victims remain unidentified. Yad Vashem urgently calls upon Jewish communities to recover their names through a worldwide Names Recovery Project. Unless we assume collective responsibility for completing this vital mission, some of them may be lost forever. This is a race against time, before those who remember them are no longer with us.