Am­bas­sador: we must all be wit­nesses

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY MARTIN BRIGHT

IS­RAEL’S AM­BAS­SADOR to the UK, Daniel Taub, has called on the Jewish com­mu­nity to build on the suc­cess of this year’s March of the Liv­ing and boost the num­bers of Bri­tish young peo­ple at­tend­ing the event in the fu­ture. He is also un­der­stood to be keen to at­tract sig­nif­i­cant num­bers from the Is­raeli com­mu­nity res­i­dent in Bri­tain.

This year’s 25th an­niver­sary march saw 11,000 peo­ple walk from Auschwitz to Birke­nau on April 19 to mark Yom Hashoah. The event, es­tab­lished to op­pose the grow­ing tide of Holo­caust de­nial, has grown into a ma­jor in­ter­na­tional phe­nom­e­non, at­tract­ing par­tic­i­pants from 40 other coun­tries.

March of the Liv­ing UK has been op­er­at­ing for just three years and 180 peo­ple trav­elled to Poland for the 2012 event. Canada, which has been in­volved from the be­gin­ning of the ini­tia­tive, sends around 900 peo­ple. March of the Liv­ing UK aims to ri­val the French con­tin­gent of 500 over the next few years

MOTL UK chair­man Scott Saun­ders said he was par­tic­u­larly struck by the abil­ity of the event to bring peo­ple to­gether from across the Bri­tish Jewish com­mu­nity. “We had 180 par­tic­i­pants from

across the breadth of the UK, a com­plete cross-sec­tion of our com­mu­nity, com­ing from 12 dif­fer­ent stu­dent and youth move­ments. When I heard them singing in the Ku­pah Syn­a­gogue in Krakow to­gether as one Bri­tish com­mu­nity, I re­alised some­thing unique was hap­pen­ing.”

Mr Taub spoke to the Bri­tish del­e­ga­tion at the me­mo­rial to the vic­tims of the Auschwitz-monowitz labour camp, who worked at the IG Far­ben chem­i­cal fac­tory. He said: “I urge ev­ery mem­ber of the com­mu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in the March of the Liv­ing. As we ap­proach the mo­ment when the Shoah will cease to be mem­ory and will be­come his­tory, it is cru­cial that we, too, be­come a gen­er­a­tion of wit­nesses.”

In re­sponse to a JC cam­paign, a small cer­e­mony was held to pay trib­ute to the Bri­tish pris­on­ers of war held at Auschwitz, the Bri­tish Jewish sol­diers cap­tured by the Nazis, and the hun­dreds of Jews from man­date-era Pales­tine fight­ing in the Bri­tish army who ended up in Ger­man hands.

Mr Saun­ders called on young peo­ple with re­search ex­pe­ri­ence to help trace doc­u­ments held in archives around the world which might shed light on the Auschwitz POW camp and the role played by Bri­tish sol­diers in alert­ing the War Of­fice to the Holo­caust.

March par­tic­i­pants leave mes­sages on the Auschwitz/ Bitrke­nau rail tracks

Am­bas­sador Taub

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