The International March of the Living is an annual educational program, bringing individuals from around the world to Poland and Israel to study the history of the Holocaust and to examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance and hatred.
Since its inception in 1988, more than 260,000 alumni from 52 countries have marched down the same 3,2-kilometer-long path leading from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Holocaust Remembrance Day – Yom Hashoah – as a tribute to all victims of the Holocaust.
March of the Living will take place this year on April 28th in person following a two-year hiatus during the COVID-19 global pandemic. The March will operate with reduced capacity under the shadow of war in Ukraine, with only eight survivors scheduled to participate this year. The theme of this year’s March will focus on the importance of passing the responsibility for Holocaust remembrance and education to the next generation – the grandchildren of those who endured the dark days of Nazi oppression and systematic annihilation of more than 6 million Jewish victims and those committed to remembering the past as a teaching tool for the future.
Under the shadow of war in Europe, one of the world’s most prominent international Holocaust commemoration events will be held in person again in Poland, a country hosting around three million refugees from the conflict. The number of participants is limited to 2,500 from 25 countries, including refugees from Ukraine, along with delegations from around the world.
The delegation of refugees from Ukraine was organized by the Shalom Ministry Association, an organization established by Christians and Jews in the town of Oświęcim near the Auschwitz extermination camp, and by Dr. David Machlis of Adelphi University, who serves as Vice Chairman of International March of The Living. The Shalom Ministry, which has participated in March of the Living for many years, has been working to help refugees from Ukraine since the outbreak of the war.
Piotr Paweł Borek, Co-Founder and leader of the Shalom Ministry Association in Oświęcim, explained, “As the Shalom Ministry Association, we are so privileged and honored to march together, hand-in-hand, to proclaim that we are writing a new chapter in our common history after the Holocaust, especially now in face of the horrible war in Ukraine. We are thankful that we can bring many refugees, including Jews, to come to Oświęcim – turning Oświęcim to a place of refuge, blessing, and saving human lives – unlike what happened at Auschwitz nearby.”
More information about the event: International March of the Living