NY assemblyman urges March of the Living to suspend annual trip

NY Assemblyman Dov Hikind says 'now is not the time' for March of the Living to make trip to Poland.

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New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn), an Orthodox Jew, called on the International March of the Living to suspend its upcoming trip to Poland in light of that country’s recent denial of its role in the Holocaust.

In a Facebook post, Hikind posted a letter to International March of the Living Chairan Dr. Shmuel Rosenman.

“Seeing Poland’s government attempt to whitewash its role in the murder of innocent men, women and children via their despicable Holocaust Denial Law has had a chilling effect on all of us who understand what really occurred in Poland - both before, during and after the war,” he wrote.

“As the son of Holocaust survivors who lost their families in Auschwitz, I have the greatest admiration for the outstanding work done by the International March of the Living. I believe there’s a chance they can help undo the terrible injustice now occurring in Poland by suspending their upcoming march this April.

“As vital as their past trips have been, they are in a unique position to make an impact on Poland and especially the many young people who will know of their actions if the March of the Living suspends its trip this year.”

He also emphasized that “Jewish leaders in Poland have made it clear that they are fearful of new and mounting dangers in Poland, which now denies its history of official anti-Semitism.”

In Hikind's opinion, “not visiting the concentration camps where innocent souls were murdered by Nazis - many after being turned over by their Polish neighbors - will be a statement heard around the world.”

“Holding back the 12,000 travelers who spend their money in Poland is a statement that will not be ignored.

“More, protecting future generations of innocent Jews is incumbent upon all of those who G-d empowers with the ability to make a difference.”

Earlier this month, Ukrainian Rabbi Moshe Azman suggested this year's March of the Living be held in Ukraine, instead of in Poland.

“Ukraine has many places fit for a March of the Living: Babi Yar in Kiev, Drobytsky Yar in Kharkiv, Janowska concentration camp in Lviv and dozens of other places where Jews suffered and were murdered in a terrible tragedy,” he wrote then.

Rabbi Zev Friedman has told parents to stop funding their children's trip to Poland.

However, Rabbi Azman's suggestion was declined, and the March of the Living is scheduled to take place in Poland.