Global medical industry leaders join March of the Living

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, Teva Pharmaceuticals CEO Kare Schultz and US Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci will join annual Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla
March of the Living

Three of the world’s most prominent medical industry leaders will join this year’s March of the Living programs, which takes place virtually on April 7 and 8, marking Holocaust Remembrance Day across the Jewish world.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, whose parents survived the Holocaust, will join March of the Living’s annual memorial ceremony, alongside Dr. Anthony Fauci who will receive a special award for his work in combatting COVID-19.

On Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. ET, the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, a special online symposium will be broadcast titled “Medicine and Morality: Lessons from the Holocaust and COVID-19”. It will feature Holocaust survivors, world renowned medical professionals and researchers who will discuss medical resistance during the Holocaust, the legacy of Nazi medicine and what the Holocaust can teach us about the ethics of care.

During the symposium, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Advisor to the US President, will receive the “Moral Courage in Medicine” award for his work in combatting COVID-19, his long history of leading the battle against infectious diseases, and his dedication to the health and wellbeing of humankind.

The symposium will be held by International March of the Living, together with the Maimonides Institute for Ethics and the Holocaust, the Miller Center at Rutgers University, and Teva Pharmaceuticals, in cooperation with USC Shoah Foundation.

Dr. Anthony Fauci commented, “During this past year, we have witnessed unspeakable suffering caused by a terrible pandemic. However, we have also seen thousands of men and women of great moral courage caring for the sick and the dying with compassion and love, risking their own health. We recognize them as heroes and we all remain in gratitude for their sacrifices. At this time of Holocaust remembrance, we also remember the millions taken by unspeakable evil, whose voices nonetheless speak to us across time. It is important we never forget, not just because evil has not been vanquished, but because virtue and goodness must always remain strong in us.”

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, who has spearheaded development of the company’s pioneering vaccine against COVID-19, will recall his family’s Holocaust story. Born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece, his parents were among the 2,000 of 50,000 Jews in Thessaloniki to survive the Holocaust.

Ahead of the event, he said, “My parents talked about it [the Holocaust] a great deal. They did this because they wanted us to remember - To remember the lives that were lost, to remember what can happen when the virus of evil is allowed to spread unchecked. But most important, to remember the value of a human life. When my parents spoke of the Holocaust, they never spoke of anger or revenge. They didn’t teach us to hate those who did this to our family and friends. Instead, they spoke of how lucky they were to be alive and how we all needed to build on that feeling, to celebrate life and move forward. Hatred would only stand in the way.”

Kare Schultz, President and CEO of Teva Pharmaceuticals, a global industry leader, who will be represented in the medical symposium by Dr. Eran VP, TA Head, Neurology and Psychiatry, Global Specialty R&D, commented ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day, “Teva is proudly and humbly participating in this year's March of the Living and salutes the Holocaust survivors and all those who cherish its victims. For 120 years Teva has been at the forefront of the Israeli pharmaceutical industry, and tirelessly strives to provide access to life-improving medicines for millions of people around the world. Joining the March of the Living represents a loud and clear call on behalf of all our employees, that all of us as one at Teva, will never forget the lessons of the Holocaust.”

March of the Living President, Phyllis Greenberg Heideman said, “As the world continues to face the COVID-19 global pandemic, we reflect on the history of humankind’s relationship with medicine and medical professionals, especially during the dark period of the Holocaust. We are proud to honor the legacy of the professionals who risked their own lives to ease the pain and save the lives of others in the camps, even as today’s medical professionals around the world follow in their footsteps. With continuing commitment to the memory of those who perished and salute to those who miraculously survived the Holocaust, this year we proudly dedicate the 2021 Virtual March of the Living to the Global Medical Community. We do so in honor of the dedication of doctors, nurses, paramedics and technicians who selflessly give of themselves in a profound commitment to serve the healthcare needs of the world’s citizens.”

The Virtual March of the Living will be broadcast on Thursday April 8 at 10:00 a.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. CT / 5:00 p.m. Israel and will be followed immediately by the online memorial ceremony at motl.org.

This year’s March of the Living pays special tribute to the medical professionals who risked their lives during the Holocaust. Participants in Thursday’s virtual March include Holocaust survivors who survived due to the selfless acts of medical professionals, plus doctors, nurses and paramedics at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. All were filmed using innovative 3D technology, so they appear to be marching along the traditional March of the Living route at Auschwitz – Birkenau.

International March of the Living is the largest annual international Holocaust education program which, until the coronavirus outbreak in 2020, has taken place in Poland and Israel without interruption, since its inception in 1988.

To date, close to 300,000 International March of the Living participants have marched en masse along the 3.2-kilometer path from Auschwitz to Birkenau, in tribute to the greatest loss in the history of the Jewish people and all humanity.



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