Despite Covid-19, on June 7, 2020, the 3rd March of Life took place in Geneva, albeit differently than planned: Not on the streets, but as a virtual online “march”. The advantage was that many notable guests and speakers were able to easily join the event to honor Israel and Holocaust survivors.
In his words of introduction, Richard Pittet, the organizing association president of the March in Geneva, reminded the participants of the moral and ethical responsibility not to forget the commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust. “The rising antisemitism is a problem in society as a whole”, he said, “which we have to face responsibly”. Continuous attacks of the community of states on the State of Israel, stoked by negative and one-sided news coverage of events in the Middle East, as well as the continuous questioning of Israel’s freedom and right to exist, obligate us not to remain silent, but to publicly oppose these voices.
In a review of the previous two Marches in Geneva, Holocaust survivors told stories of their lives and of how they have lived through and survived the times of National Socialism and thereafter. Those were gripping testimonies that moved the listeners and showed the urgency for the “No to antisemitism”.
In his speech, Jobst Bittner, the founder of the March of Life movement, pointed out that especially through the Corona crisis, conspiracy theories against Jews are increasing again. Insistently, he posed the question: “What do we do when we hear of this? Are we ready to become involved?” According to a study of the Simon-Wiesenthal-Center, Switzerland has been permeated by antisemitism since the 1940s. This “veil of silence” must be broken and Geneva has a crucial spiritual role in this, he said. The call that “We must always take sides!” has been passed on from Elie Wiesel – Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner. “Neutrality produces a silent generation!”, Jobst Bittner added to it in his speech.
Click here to view the full record of the third March of Life in Geneva: