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Category : MOTL in the News

President Obama quotes Pinchas Gutter, Holocaust survivor who participated in the March of the Living, at USC Shoah Foundation Dinner

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…)

Righteous Reunion: A Survivor Reunites with his Rescuer

Watch the CBC broadcast

March of the Living Budapest

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.

Making Amends

Mosaic, By Robert Eli Rubinstein, April 27, 2014

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…)

‘Train of the Living’ to memorialize 70th anniversary of deportation of Hungarian Jews

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.

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…)

Young and old walk hand in hand: For 25 years the March of the Living has striven to bond high school students with Holocaust survivors

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…)

UN Exhibit to Honor March of the Living “When You Listen to a Witness, You Become a Witness”

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, with Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, The Honorable Ron Prosser, as the keynote speaker.


Canada allocates $800,000 to preserve Holocaust survivors’ testimonies

Haaretz, October 21, 2013, By JTA

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…)

Team MOTL has 5 Spots in the 2013 New York Marathon

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.

We have set up a CrowdRise page you can use to track individual fundraising progress: www.crowdrise.com/marchoflivingnyc2013

Download the application here. Please return completed application form to  Wanqing Luo at wan@schnurassociates.com.

We anticipate a high demand for these spots so please reply as soon as possible. Contact Wanqing Luo at wan@schnurassociates.com or 212-489-0600 x214 for more information and to apply.


NYTimes OpDoc: Branko: Return to Auschwitz

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