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The March of the Living at Auschwitz
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The March of the Living at Auschwitz

The March renews the call of ‘Never Again,’ a vow broken on Oct. 7th.

By JNS

The 36th International March of the Living kicked off on Monday, with thousands traversing the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in memory of the Jews murdered in the Holocaust and in honor of those who survived.

Watch Live: 2024 International March of the Living

The March renews the call of “Never Again,” a vow broken on Oct. 7, when the State of Israel and the Jewish people endured the most severe atrocities since the Holocaust, sparking an unprecedented surge of global antisemitism.

“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 October 7 serves as a constant reminder of the persistent threat posed by antisemitic hatred,” Dr. Shmuel Rosenman, chairman, and Phyllis Greenberg Heideman, president of the International March of the Living, jointly stated.

“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,” they added.

This year’s commemorations began in Budapest on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day with a march marking eight decades since the destruction of Hungarian Jewry.

Led by 80 Hungarian Holocaust survivors and joined by thousands of others, the march began at the Dohany Synagogue adjacent to the birthplace of Theodor Herzl—the father of modern Zionism—and concluded with a ceremony at the Keleti Train Station, where the first deportation of Jews from Budapest to Auschwitz-Birkenau took place.

Following the formal ceremony, a “Train of the Living” departed for Auschwitz on an educational journey retracing the path of the death transports from Hungary.

Accompanied by hundreds of Hungarian students, the train arrived at Oswiecim after which they joined the thousands of participants gathered at Auschwitz.

Over 550,000 Hungarian Jews perished in the final stages of World War II.

Within a span of weeks in the Spring of 1944, the majority of these victims met their life’s end in Auschwitz-Birkenau or during death marches to Austria.

Close to 15,000 people were murdered per day and tens of thousands were tragically slain along the banks of the Danube in Budapest.

Since 1988, more than 300,000 people from over 150 communities across 50-plus countries have participated in the march, along with some 300 Holocaust survivors.

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