IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz promised at the March of the Living on Monday that the IDF would ensure that there will never be another Holocaust.
“Today, at the last stage of the March of the Living at Auschwitz-Birkenau, we are illuminating the next step in our people's great march of life,” Gantz, who led this year’s march, said. “Now as always, our brothers and sisters, victims of this horror, are with us in our hearts. Today we remember that between the Holocaust and the revival, they took a great step on the path of heroism that continues since this nation's birth to this very day:
“This route of heroism began with the flight of a child who stole a loaf of bread for his family in the ghetto dying of hunger; with the mother who shielded her son with her body despite the bullets of the murderers. It continues with the valiant attacks of the partisans, the fighters in the ghettos, camps, and Jewish Brigade that stood up against the Nazis and their accomplices, armed with simple weapons and immense strength of spirit. This is the march of the Holocaust survivors who lived to see the day of their liberation; a march that has crossed seas through the illegal boats that carried them to the Land of Israel. It continues with these survivors joining members of the Jewish settlement to build a state, and fighting for its existence and security; in the battlefields and the heritage of seven wars and countless operations – both public and secret – that we have known in our 65 years of independence.
“My Honored Friends,
“By our standing and marching here today, we commit to preserve the memory of the Holocaust; to mark our people's courage as well as the knowledge of the depths of evil to which man can sink.
“Never again shall a calamity such as this transpire in our world. There shall never be a second Holocaust. We will not forget nor will we allow it to be forgotten. And we will surely never ever stand again unready to defend ourselves!
“I do not know what will be the next step in the march of life, yet it is important to remember that the dove of peace has accompanied us through our journey since the covenant of Abraham.
“But in light of the Holocaust and the thousands of years struggle for Jewish survival, we know better than to make light of the existential threats against Israel.
“As military force at the cutting edge of modern technology and operational capabilities, we know full well that enemies who attempt to harm our civilians – are asking for their own demise. Our strength and determination has increased through this long march, thus there is no weapon or evil intention which can stand against the army of the Jewish People.”