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Student-Parent March of the Living

march-of-the-living-1For years, ICJA students have joined The March of the Livingmarc, an annual educational program that brings students from all over the world to Poland, in order to study the history of the Holocaust and to examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance and hate. This year, for the first time, we plan to organize our first-ever Student-Parent March of the Living. Shortly after Pesach, students and parents, together, will visit Poland for one week to attend the March. After spending a week in Poland visiting other sites of Nazi Germany’s persecution and former sites of Jewish life and culture, our students will travel to Israel the following week to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day. Parents will have the option to continue on to Israel or head home. For more specific information about ICJA’s trip, email [email address=”motl@icja.org”]motl@icja.org[/email]

The March of the Living itself, a 3-kilometre walk from Auschwitz from Birkenau, is a silent tribute to all victims of the Holocaust.

march-of-the-living-2The March is designed to contrast with the death marches, which began towards the end of World War II, and continued virtually up until the Third Reich’s last days. The Nazis forced approximately 750,000 prisoners, almost half of whom were Jewish, on to the death marches. The March of the Living serves as a hopeful counterpoint to the experience of hundreds of thousands of Jews and others forced by the Nazis to cross vast expanses of European terrain under the harshest of conditions where many of them perished.

A key element of the program is the participation of Holocaust survivors who share the memory of their wartime experiences with the young people in the very places where they unfolded. There is a greater urgency to encourage larger numbers of students take part in the program in the coming years, while the survivors are still well enough to participate in this challenging trip. A major theme of the 2013 March is child survivors and a special effort is being made to include child survivors in this year’s program.

 

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