Thousands of participants from across the globe were set on Tuesday to walk down a 3.5-kilometer path leading from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Holocaust Remembrance Day—Yom Hashoah—as part of the International March of the Living.
Since 1988, March of the Living has brought students, Holocaust survivors, educators and leaders from around the world to Poland to study the history of the Holocaust and march from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day).
The current and immediate past U.S. ambassadors to Israel, Thomas Nides and David Friedman, are leading this year’s march in what the organization described as a bipartisan commitment to combating Jew-hatred.
Given that Friedman was part of former President Donald Trump’s Republican administration and Nides serves in U.S. President Joe Biden’s current Democratic administration, their co-leadership of this year’s trip “highlights America’s bipartisan solidarity with Israel and its commitment to combat antisemitism in all its forms, a commitment which transcends politics and partisan agendas,” according to the march.
“As divided as we are as a country, I think we are all of one mind in the battle against antisemitism. So, I sat down with Tom Nides and I said, ‘We don’t agree on much of anything.’ So, how about he, a left-wing Democrat, and me, a right-wing Republican, lead the March together? And, to his credit, he said, ‘What a great idea.’ We will say not in words but in deeds that we are fighting against antisemitism,” Friedman said at an event in January.
JNS CEO and Jerusalem Bureau chief Alex Traiman is co-anchoring the March broadcast from Poland.
More than 300,000 people from more than 150 communities across 50-plus countries have participated in the march, along with some 300 Holocaust survivors.
After spending the week in Poland, participants will fly to Israel, where they will take part in celebrations marking the Jewish state’s 75th anniversary on Yom Ha’atzmaut on April 25/26.