This year, the annual March of the Living returned in full force to honor Jewish heroism during the Holocaust. Taking place at the site of the former German death camp Auschwitz in Poland, over 10,000 participants from more than 25 countries came together to pay tribute to the 6 million Jewish lives lost during this dark period in history.
The event, which coincided with Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, also marked the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, a pivotal act of Jewish resistance during World War II. Shmuel Rosenman, chairman of the March of the Living, emphasized the importance of raising awareness of the countless acts of bravery carried out by Jews during the Holocaust, defying the notion that they were merely passive victims.
The march from Auschwitz to Birkenau was led by 42 Holocaust survivors, a significant increase from the previous year when only seven survivors were able to participate due to pandemic restrictions. Participants included distinguished individuals such as United States Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and Israeli entrepreneurs Haim and Iris Taib.
The event also featured an innovative project by Israeli A.I. startup D-ID, which used animation to bring to life the stories of Jewish heroes during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, with some of Israel’s top artists lending their voices to the animated characters.
The March of the Living is not only an occasion to remember and honor the lives lost during the Holocaust but also a testament to the resilience of the Jewish people. The thousands of Jewish youth participating in the two-week educational journey to Poland and Israel will ultimately conclude their experience with a March of Rebirth to the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Israel’s Independence Day.
This inspiring event reminds us of the strength and determination of the Jewish people, even in the face of unimaginable adversity. The State of Israel stands as a beacon of hope and a testament to the enduring spirit of the Jewish people, embodying the values of mutual responsibility, activism, and unity. As we pay tribute to the heroes of the past, let us also look forward with optimism, knowing that Israel continues to flourish, driven by the same spirit of resilience and determination that has defined the Jewish people throughout history.