January 26th, 2018 – March of Life volunteers organized a special Shalom House meeting for 14 Holocaust survivors from Hadera, to honor them and to commemorate the international Holocaust remembrance day.
On January 27th, 1945, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp, was liberated by the Red Army. The United Nations, on November 1st, 2005, designated the 27th of January as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
A man from Germany shared the story of his grandfather who participated in the occupation of Ukraine. He also showed a picture of his grandfather in the Nazi uniform. He was able to tell the survivors that he is taking reponsibility and taking a stand for Israel.
Among the group we had one survivor from Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. He shared with the volunteers that many times he did not have food or water. People used to collect rainwater to drink. As he heard the man from Germany sharing his family story, he touched and rubbed his arm several times. It was like rubbing the pain away, but the memories and the pain are still there. If he had chosen to roll his shirt sleeve a bit, we would have seen the mark of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentation camp, the serial number that was tattooed on his arm to identify him.
He is 87 years old and has been living happily for 45 years in Israel. I am sure that there are more marks in his life and heart that we were not able to see. But how many more survivors like him are still among us with the mark of the Holocaust?
This is why we as March of Life Movement are doing what we do. This is why people from other nations are coming regularly to share their family stories and to support the survivors in Israel. This is why many nations are gathering on May 15th for the March of the Nations. This is why we are “Remembering, Reconciling and Taking Stand for Israel”.
This is why we Remember.