The March of the Living 2024
May 11, 2024

On May 6, 2024, the March of the Living took place, attended by members of the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland (TSKŻ) who represented the Association’s local branched in  Czestochowa, Gdansk, Gliwice, Katowice, Krakow, Lodz, Warsaw and Wroclaw. The event participants walked a three-kilometre march route from Auschwitz-I camp to Auschwitz-II Birkenau camp.

This year marks exactly the 80th anniversary of the commencement of the extermination of the Jews of Hungary. This year’s edition of the March of the Living was particularly dedicated to the memory of the Hungarian victims. The event was also intended to express opposition to the rising anti-Semitic sentiments worldwide.

The central ceremony took place at Brzezinka [i.e. Birkenau], where International March of the Living President, Ms Phyllis Greenberg Heideman, delivered an emotional speech. The event was also honoured with a message sent by Isaac Herzog, President of Israel. Israeli singer Noa Kirel also took to the stage to perform Eli, Eli, a musical piece inspired by a poem written by a Holocaust survivor poet, Ms Hannah Senesh. This musical show elicited a deep, emotional response from the audience.

Another speaker was Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, a prominent figure in the Jewish religious world, who had miraculously survived the Holocaust as a child. Since the very inception of the March of the Living in 1988, Rabbi Lau has dedicated himself to the initiative, ensuring that its important message of remembrance and education for generations to come would resonate around the entire world.

At the ceremony, torches were lit in honour of the Righteous Among the Nations. The torches were lit by Polish, Austrian and German schoolchildren participating in the March to symbolise solidarity and the sharing of common values between different peoples and cultures. This symbolic gesture not only shed light on the adversities of the past, but also expressed unity in the commitment to denounce fake prejudice. The presence of so many participants in the March, underlined the mission of the event – to honour the memory of those who have passed away and foster the message: “Never again”