The March of the Living is a program funded by Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA and by local UJA and CJA Federations.

2016 March of the Living Ceremony – Auschwitz-Birkenau – Holocaust Remembrance Day

The annual March of the Living program brings thousands of young people from around the world each year on Holocaust Remembrance Day to Auschwitz-Birkenau to honour the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and to pledge to build a better world for all humanity.

2016 March of the Living Canada Havdalah Ceremony – Warsaw, Poland

Ceremony honouring Survivors & Righteous Among the Nations. Held at CENTRUM KONFERENCYJNO-SZKOLENIOWE Sale Kongresowe (Congress Hall), Warsaw Poland

The annual March of the Living program brings thousands of young people from around the world each year on Holocaust Remembrance Day to Auschwitz-Birkenau to honour the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and to pledge to build a better world for all humanity.

From Poland, participants travel to Israel, the birthplace and homeland of the Jewish People, where they commemorate Israel’s fallen soldiers on Yom Hazikaron and celebrate Israel’s independence on Yom Ha’atsmaut.

In Canada, March of the Living is sponsored by Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA and local UJA/CJA Federations.

March of the Living Canada 2016 – Mini-Israel Ceremony

The annual March of the Living program brings thousands of young people from around the world each year on Holocaust Remembrance Day to Auschwitz-Birkenau to honour the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and to pledge to build a better world for all humanity.

From Poland, participants travel to Israel, the birthplace and homeland of the Jewish People, where they commemorate Israel’s fallen soldiers on Yom Hazikaron and celebrate Israel’s independence on Yom Ha’atsmaut.

In Canada, March of the Living is sponsored by Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA and local UJA/CJA Federations

PM Justin Trudeau Speech to the 2016 March of the Living

Tykocin, Lupachowa and Treblinka by Arly Abramson

As I sit here on the bus reflecting on the powerful events today, I am overwhelmed at the thought of explaining the day’s emotions, because it was truly a journey. Starting off at the Tykocin shul and shtetl this morning, I was overcome with Jewish pride. Dancing around the shul along with all participants, chaperones and survivors, I felt so proud to be in that room. I felt as though we were carrying on the legacy of the 2,100 innocent Tykocin Jews, whose lives were brutally taken from them at the hands of the Nazis. Though the town no longer has a Jewish population, the original shul still stands – the same shul these Jews must have danced in, prayed in, and rejoiced in before the war. To have honoured the 2,100 who perished this way is something I will never forget.
After we spent some time in the area where the market used to stand, we travelled to the Lupachowa forest, which we learned was the destination of the Jews after they were deported from the shtetl, as well as the place of their brutal death.

Upon our arrival, we walked silently into the forest, our silence enhanced the power of what we were recreating as we walked – the exact path that the Nazis led the Tykocin Jews toward their death.

Visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau by Osher Mader

The MOL participants and those who were prisoners in Auschwitz-Birkenau are an absolutely incomparable pair, but among the many emotions, I found myself thinking of one thing throughout our heart-wrenching experience in the camps. Us students and other MOL participants have the luxury in Birkenau that 90% of the prisoners that have entered did not have – we left.
Visiting and touring Auschwitz-Birkenau was the first time that all the stories and testimonies I had heard really came to life. There was never any doubt in my mind that the things I have heard about the Shoah aren’t real, but seeing the chambers in which my ancestors were murdered definitely hit me in a way that was exceedingly personal and overall “real”. Seeing the barracks in which one of our own survivors slept in opened my eyes in a way that a story could not.

It is said that those who were not in Auschwitz-Birkenau during the Holocaust will never be there, and that those who were will never leave. But this does not mean that we should stop trying to comprehend the atrocities that happened to our people.

Visiting today brought us all step closer to truly grasping the past.