In honor of Yom Hashoah, one thousand Jews and Christians marched throughout the public streets of Berlin under the motto "From the Heart and on Foot - for Peace, against Antisemitism". Members of the Bundestag and Member of Knesset Ruth Wasserman Lande were the keynote speakers at the event.
MK Ruth Wasserman Lande attended the event as a member of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus (KCAC), a multi-partisan working group which looks to strengthen the lines of communication between the Knesset Members and Christian leaders and political representatives throughout the world. Prior to the march, she met with Bundestag Member MP Frank Muller Rosenritt, known for his commitment to Israel, Jewish life and against anti-Semitism, which he frequently publishes in the German media.
“In light of the anti-Israel protests which took place in this area a few days ago, I consider it a privilege to participate in this march, which is one of the largest gatherings of Jews and Christians in support of Israel and in honor of Yom Hashoah. We must continually work in parternship with the faith leaders and political representatives in order to stem the tide of anti-Semitism and strengthen support for Israel at the grassroots and political levels” said Lande.
Since 2007, Yom Hashoah Marches have taken place in 25 nations and more than 400 cities through the March of Life organization. At these events, Jews and Holocaust survivors join together wtih descendants of Nazi perpetrators for memorial and reconciliation marches to combat anti-Semitism and to support Israel. This year, 70 Marches of Life will be taking place in 15 nations to commemorate Yom Hashoah.
In a new partnership, this year’s March of Life in Berlin took place in coordination with the International March of the Living, whose delegates from all over the world joined the march in Berlin, and will then continue on to their annual march from Auschwitz to Birkenau later in the week.
March of Life President Jobst Bittner said “I feel more than ever an urgency to become active against antisemitism, especially because of the pandemic and the war in the Ukraine. I am very grateful that we can stand together with March of the Living and other partners, to take to the streets of Berlin on the occasion of Yom HaShoah from our hearts and on foot against antisemitism and for peace. Education and awareness are important, but only those who allow the truth about the past of their own family or environment to pierce their own hearts and who speak about it personally and become active can change something and move hearts.”
Additional speakers and participants at the event included Members of the Budestag MPs Steffen Bilger and Albert Stegemann, Ukrainian Holocaust survivor Boris Zabarko, who recently fled from Kyiv to Germany together with his granddaughter to escape the war in Ukraine, and European Director of the March of the Living Michel Gourary.
"We want to make sure that 'Never Again' is not just a empty phrase but that the security of Israel will remain a top priority here in Germany" said MP Bilger.
The importance of the march was underscored by a recent World Jewish Congress study which found that one in three people in Germany under the age of 25 harbors antisemitic views.
“The KCAC plays an important role in building bridges between Knesset members and Christian leaders and political representatives throughout the world. We are proud to facilitate the participation of Knesset Members in these important events which gather thousands of people in support for Israel” said KCAC Assistant Director Sharon Weinstein.