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Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress
For the last years, the participants in the ‘March of Life’ have shown their friendship and solidarity with Jews and with the Jewish state.
March of Life receives several awards
After two awards by the Israeli government, the March of Life receives the Emil-L.-Fackenheim Award for Tolerance and Understanding from the Jewish community in Halle.
Read what representatives of politics and Jewish life in Germany and globally have to say about the March of Life movement:
For the last years, the participants in the ‘March of Life’ have shown their friendship and
solidarity with Jews and with the Jewish state. As president of the World Jewish Congress, I know how critical such initiatives are to counter the avalanche of hatred that we often find in today’s world. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking such an important initiative, and I wish you much success with it.
The initiative “March of Life” is valuable and important. Transforming the former routes of deportations and death marches of the final months of the war into symbolic paths and Marches of Life is a public tribute to the victims and a tangible reminder of the – also public – deportation to certain death. [This makes us perceive our cities and streets as sites of history – and perhaps this is one of the most important aspects of this initiative. It makes memories tangible and encourages reflection of one’s own family history. It helps seeing familiar and unfamiliar places with fresh eyes.] The humble prayer initiative has long since become an international movement, including both eyewitnesses and those born later. I hope this idea will stir many people, and that there will be many “Marches of Life“ both with our feet and in our heads throughout the coming years.
We are so grateful for your support. You stand up for Israel! Your support is a sign of true friendship between our communities.
I want to congratulate all the participants of the marches. I want to specifically mention, that many of you not just raise your voices for our country and against antisemitism, but also do practical things, like helping Holocaust survivors in and outside Israel.
I appreciate everything what the March of Life is doing. It’s one of the most important projects that I have been familiar with when it comes to the Holocaust and the tragedy of the Jewish people.
On behalf of the Israeli Government, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to the March of Life for everything it is doing to remember the Holocaust in Germany and Europe. The March of Life is a shining symbol of hope for the future! Together we will ensure that the sentence “Never again” becomes reality.
In the last few years, I have witnessed again and again that with their work they have created a foundation on which Christians and Jews can meet. They have created a platform on which we can speak openly about things that have been kept in silence for too many generations. They have thus created nothing less than the basis for dealing with the traumas, hardenings and fears of several generations. With their work they pave the way for a better future of Jewish-Christian relations and thus make a central contribution to Jewish life in Germany as well as to the State of Israel.
The March of Life takes a stand – for the State of Israel and peace. It is up to each one of us to raise our voices against anti-Semitism and discrimination of minorities, to beware of excuses, reluctance and even justification of any signs of hatred. To me, the initiative [March of Life] is a beacon, providing a sense of direction in the darkness and radiating warmth. They [the Marches] give light to our land. I honor them with respect and admiration.
In 2011 and 2015, the March of Life was honored by the Israeli Knesset for its special efforts on behalf of Holocaust survivors. In 2017, the Jewish Community of Halle in Germany awarded the March of Life movement with the Emil L. Fackenheim Prize for Tolerance and Understanding.
In 2017, the Jewish Community of Halle (Saale) awarded the Marsch des Lebens e.V. association the Emil-L.-Fackenheim Prize for Tolerance and Understanding.
International Press Reports on the March of Life:
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What makes the concept unique is that the participants have discovered that their grandfathers or great grandfathers were Nazi perpetrators responsible for the death of Jews during the Holocaust. Local families began to look into the role played by their grandfathers and great grandfathers and were shocked to discover their involvement with the Wehrmacht, SS, police and the entire Nazi system.
In an exciting and almost unbelievable encounter, Nazi descendants sought to contact Noah Kliger, a Holocaust survivor who was on the Exodus. The result – a musical based on his life. His daughter, Iris Lifshitz-Kliger, sat in the spot designated for him – and also met the daughter of the man who put Jews in the gas chambers.
“A few years ago, I discovered that a great-grandfather of mine served in the Luftwaffe while another great-grandfather served in the SS, being stationed in Poland in 1939. There his unit expelled thousands of Jews from their homes and was involved in the shooting of many of them. Later, he supervised a concentration camp near Belgrade,” confesses the young German Luisa Lupprich to hundreds of Israelis, including Holocaust survivors and relatives of victims of the Nazi machinery, who react with pain and shock to the stark revelation.
Descendants of Nazis organize global marches against contemporary anti-Semitism An Evangelical group dedicated to apologizing to Holocaust survivors and their offspring is speaking up in the wake of anti-Semitic attacks in Germany and the US.
Several commemorative events are held in Vorpommern, Germany from 12 February to commemorate the beginning of the deportation of Jews in 1940 in what was then Pomerania. Organizers are the Pommersche Evangelische Kirchenkreis Greifswald and an initiative from Tübingen, as speakers announced on Friday.