MARCH OF LIFE 2019: TENS OF THOUSANDS DEMONSTRATE AGAINST ANTISEMITISM AND FOR ISRAEL

Antisemitism in Germany, Europe and many other parts of the world is growing at an alarming rate. At the same time, however, every year more and more people take part in Marches of Life that make a clear statement of remembrance and reconciliation, and of friendship with Israel.

By mid-May, March of Life has been able to mobilize tens of thousands of people around the World this year alone who have been working through the history of their countries, cities and families in terms of antisemitism and the Holocaust, and publicly break the silence about it. Descendants of the perpetrators and other demonstrators walk side by side with Holocaust survivors, their descendants and Jewish organizations and communities.

In this year's appeal, March of Life founder Jobst Bittner stressed that the growing Jew hatred is not primarily a political problem. At the Marche de Vie in Geneva (Switzerland), he stressed that it was the general society's task to publicly say “no” to antisemitism and racism. The main event in Geneva took place at Place des Nations in front of the UN Headquarters – next to Swiss politicians, the youngest Israeli Knesset member May Golan was among the speakers. 

In Leipzig, the Saxon Minister of Justice, Sebastian Gemkow, and the Commissioner for Jewish Life in Saxony, Thomas Feist, supported the March of Life on May 2. On the same day, Sharren Haskel, member of the Knesset Parliament from Israel, called on the March of Life in Stuttgart not to tolerate antisemitism and Israel hatred in one's personal environment. The guest of honor was Holocaust survivor Shlomo Hameiri from Lviv (Ukraine). He was a passenger of the famous refugee ship Exodus 1947. As a child he was the only one of his family to survive the invasion of the Wehrmacht, mass shootings, the ghetto and the Janowska concentration camp.

The March of Remembrance in Russellville, Arkansas (USA) very unpleasantly demonstrated that Jew hatred is not just a problem of yesterday. A handful of American neo-Nazis held an antisemitic counter-demonstration showing swastika flags and calling for the extermination of the Jews.

The 5th March was held in Berlin on May 12. 500 participants started at the Oranienplatz in Berlin-Kreuzberg and walked to Potsdamer Platz with yellow stars as a sign of remembrance and warning against any form of exclusion, where the final rally took place. The German-Jewish rapper Ben Salomo challenged the audience not to get used to antisemitism and radicalization with his new rap "They tell me", but rather to stand up against it. Only recently, his little daughter had been antisemitically insulted by other children.

In Latin America, ten Marches have been planned so far this year. On April 28, a Marcha de La Vida took place in Quito (Ecuador) and in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) with a total of 6,000 participants. The March in Quito in particular attracted a lot of attention in the national media and in the Spanish-speaking press in Israel.

Among the 3,000 participants of the Marcha de La Vida Bogota (Colombia) was the Chief Rabbi of Colombia, Alfredo Goldschmidt, who was very moved by the fact that so many Christians publicly proclaimed their support for the Jewish community and for Israel.

In the midst of the diplomatic dispute between Poland and Israel, which brought to the light blatant antisemitism in Poland, the Marsz Zycia Warsaw (Poland) with the former Israeli Ambassador to Poland and Holocaust survivor Shewach Weisz set a sign of friendship and reconciliation.

In total, at least 70 Marches of Life are expected this year worldwide. In the coming weeks, more Marches of Life will take place in Hungary, Ukraine, Poland, Finland and other nations. All dates and locations can be found here.

 

Pictures and videos:

Photo album on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/1419584598337216/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2014599125502424

Live stream March of Life Stuttgart:

www.facebook.com/marchoflife/videos/2277129849218187/

Live stream March of Life Berlin:

www.facebook.com/marchoflife/videos/2012992575479823/

Some media reports:

www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Tens-of-thousands-set-to-March-for-Israel-in-Switzerland-588639?fbclid=IwAR2mK-TRq3rBuwv8qqegegeKkFFP1Jdy1fuDAbiGoHS6v2rKALAcgf6IbovyJk

Belfast, GB:

www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/marchers-rally-in-belfast-in-support-of-jewish-community-38058064.html?fbclid=IwAR0qAnkKYiZmkZ3YM-L6gHDeHbVSNwEEsg8x7q08uMqYHHHmFY4n7ITOPHW8

Bergen, GER (German):

www.cellesche-zeitung.de/Celler-Land/Bergen-und-Lohheide/Bergen-Stadt/Gedenken-Marsch-des-Lebens-erinnert-an-Holocaust-Opfer

Erfurt, GER (German):

www.erf.de/erf-plus/audiothek/aktuelles-vom-tag/nie-wieder-schweigen-zu-antisemitismus-und-judenhass/6719-5586

Russellville, USA:

5newsonline.com/2019/05/06/holocaust-remembrance-day-event-in-russellville-interrupted-by-white-supremacists-rally/

Schaffhausen, CH (German):

www.shn.ch/region/stadt/2019-04-30/erinnern-versoehnen-zeichen-setzen

Stuttgart, GER:

www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-5502861,00.html?fbclid=IwAR1pjHn3TrE0vgWI7AY9FGKQh0jyQrEBrSbI43wBs8dOp_Awqf39O045A5Y

Quito, ECU:

www.elcomercio.com/actualidad/quito-primera-marcha-vida-holocausto.html

Warsaw, PL (Polish):

fakty.tvn24.pl/ogladaj-online,60/marsz-zycia-w-w-warszawie-przeciw-antysemityzmowi-by-upamietnic-holokaust,934973.html

Wolfsburg, GER (German):

www.wolfsburger-nachrichten.de/wolfsburg/article217126629/Rosen-gibt-es-in-Wolfsburg-zur-Versoehnung.html

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