ALMOST 240 students from Slovak, Czech and Hungarian secondary schools took part in the international “March of the Living” at the former Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland. By taking part in the programme the students could witness the extent of the evil and destruction committed under the influence of Nazi ideology, the SITA newswire wrote.
The March of the Living is an international educational programme that brings Jewish teens from all over the world to Poland on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, to march from Auschwitz to Birkenau, the largest concentration camp built during World War II, and then to return to Israel to observe Yom HaZikaron, Israel Memorial Day, and Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independence Day, as described on the webpage of the March of the Living.
During Yom HaShoah, tens of thousands of Israeli high-school students and thousands of Jews and non-Jews from around the world hold this memorial service in Auschwitz, according to Wikipedia, in defiance of the actual Holocaust death marches during the Nazi period.
About 80 students from Slovakia, guided by their teachers, had discussions with Slovak, Czech and Hungarian historians to clarify the historical facts, Peter Švec, the head of the Slovak branch of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), told SITA.
On the afternoon of Holocaust Memorial Day, the Slovak students – together with more than 10,000 participants from various countries worldwide – walked a three-kilometre route from Auschwitz to Birkenau – which was literally the terminal station and the point of no return for those prisoners who were sent to their deaths on a daily basis.
This year’s march was also meant to commemorate the killing of 1.5 million children during the Holocaust. An additional goal is to support improved relations between nations and cultures.
The event had financial support from the European Commission within its Active European Memory programme and, among other things, serves as a clear rejection of some people’s efforts to question the reality of the Holocaust, SITA wrote.
The project “March of Memories and Hope” was organised by the Slovak and Czech branches of the ICEJ, the Chevra Slovensko company and the Hungarian Foundation of the March of the Living.
19. Apr 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská