March of the Living 2014 to Commemorate Decimation of Hungarian Jewry

photo credit Batia Dori
photo credit Batia Dori

To commemorate the once thriving Hungarian community and honor its memory, hundreds of Jews from Budapest and around the world gathered last night in Hungary’s capital to participate in a moving tribute just prior to the March of the Living. Today they will travel to Auschwitz-Birkenau by train to mirror the deportation of the over half-million Hungarian Jews – the vast majority of whom never returned.

This year’s March marks the 70th anniversary of the deportation and destruction of Hungarian Jewry during the Holocaust.

Yoram Dori, the media advisor of the March told eJP: “The special train trip from Budapest to Auschwitz will be called “the train of the living” and will serve as a strong testament to the great victory of the Jewish People on the Nazi animal.”

On Holocaust Remembrance Day – Yom HaShoa, the participants of the train of the living will join the rest of the participants for the three kilometer march from Auschwitz to Birkenau and for the March of the Living ceremony memorializing the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust – including the one-and-a-half million children. Janos Ader, the President of Hungary, will be a featured speaker and honor the memory of the Hungarians killed in the Holocaust proclaiming his country’s opposition to anti-Semitism.

The March serves as a hopeful counterpoint to the experience of hundreds of thousands of Jews forced by the Nazis to cross vast expanses of European terrain under the harshest of conditions – the infamous “death marches.”

About: March of the Living imparts the lessons of the Holocaust, celebrates the history of Jewish survival, and instills a passion for social justice. Since its inception, over 200,000 Jewish and non-Jewish youth from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds have participated in the March of the Living experience. Instead of learning just from books, the literal facts on the ground become their laboratory.

The journey starts in Poland just prior to Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) and continues in Israel where participants honor Israel’s fallen soldiers on Yom Hazikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day) and celebrate Israel’s Independence on Yom Ha’Atzmaut.