March of the Living: We shall not be defeated

Dr. Shmuel Rosenman speaks before the march kicks off. 'There is one thing worse than Auschwitz: Forgetting there was an Auschwitz.'

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Shmuel Rosenman
Shmuel Rosenman
Yossi Zeliger

Dear Marchers,

We are about to begin the 2019 March of the Living from Auschwitz to Birkenau.

In 1939, 80 years ago, World War 2 began, with the brutal invasion of Poland, by Nazi Germany. This attack was followed by 6 years of unimaginable brutality and the most deadly war in the history of the world – a war that spelled the end of so many Jewish communities throughout Europe.

In taking part in the March of the Living, on this Yom Hashoah, you are marching at a time, when a growing wave of anti-Semitism is yet again sweeping the world.

But in truth, anti-Semitism never really did disappear. It simply lay, barely hidden, under the surface, waiting for the right time to strike again.

And strike it did – in deadly fashion – at the Eitz Chaim synagogue in Pittsburgh last year and just a few days ago, at the Chabad synagogue in San Diego, on the last day of Passover.

We recognize that the Jewish people are not the only victims of violence and terror. We stand side by side with the victims of senseless terror anywhere in the world – be it in a church in Sri Lanka or a mosque in New Zealand or during the Rwandan genocide, that happened some 25 years ago.

But today, as we gather together in Auschwitz-Birkenau, on Yom Hashoah, we are here to mourn our 6 million ancestors, 1/3 of the entire Jewish people and 2/3rds of all European Jewry, who were murdered in the most unprecedented genocide in all of history.

And we proclaim to our enemies, with a loud and clear voice:

We shall not be defeated! We will return here, year after year, to raise our voices against anti-Semitism and, indeed, against all forms of racism and hatred – whether the victims are Jewish, Christian or Muslim or from any other group.

A survivor of Auschwitz once said: There is only one thing worse than Auschwitz. That is - if the world ever forgets there was an Auschwitz. We promise to never let that happen - and we pledge to keep reminding the world about the horrors of Auschwitz, and its lessons, that we dare never, ever forget!

And it is from this very place, from this blood soaked earth – that we call upon all world leaders – all the decision makers, to say loud and clear:



Since the first March was held in 1988, some 300,000 people – young and old, survivor and student, religious leaders and political figures - from around the world, have participated in this sacred journey, have marched the 3 and a half kilometers, between Auschwitz and Birkenau

In a few moments from now, you will be following in their footsteps.

Let this be your first step, on a life time journey, of fighting hatred and injustice, and creating a world, where every single human life is valued.

Let the March begin!