Jews march in Auschwitz in memory of Holocaust victims
April 29, 2014
Several thousands of Jews from around the world came to Oswiecim (Auschwitz in German) in southern Poland on Monday to take part in the 23rd March of the Living, to honor memories of those who perished in Holocaust.
Each year, Jewish teens, adults and survivors carrying Israeli flags march the same three-kilometer path between the two parts of the Auschwitz Nazi German death camp, from the notorious gate to a memorial in Birkenau. Holocaust survivors also share their experiences with marchers in the same places where they happened
During World War II, the Nazis killed some 1.1 million people at the camp, mostly Jews, but also Russians, Roma, Poles and other nationals.
This year Hungary's President Janos Ader took part in the march as it honors some 430,000 Hungarian Jews killed in Birkenau gas chambers in 1944.
The first March of the Living was held in 1988.The event brings students of diverse backgrounds and survivors from around the world together in Poland for a week of intensive education to study the history of the Holocaust and examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance and hate.
Culminating in a three-kilometer march from Auschwitz to Birkenau, it serves as a counterpoint to the experience of the "Death Marches," where hundreds of thousands of Jews forced by the Nazis to cross vast expanses of European terrain through harsh conditions.
So far, almost 200,000 Jewish youths have taken part in the march, according to the International March of the Living organizers, who intend it to be an element of education for new generations.