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March of the Living takes teens to Auschwitz

The Story


"We rise again," sings a group of Jewish teenagers from Montreal after returning from an incredible odyssey. As part of a program called March of the Living, they joined other students from around the world on a trip to Auschwitz. Tears flowed as they saw the gas chambers, mounds of human hair and other gruesome exhibits of mass slaughter. Then, the students flew to Israel where pain turned to relief and joy, as we see in this CBC Television clip. "We went through the highs and lows of Jewish life in the past century," one boy says. 

Medium: Television
Program: Newswatch
Broadcast Date: April 18, 1994
Reporter: Gerri Barrer
Duration: 2:25
The song "We Rise Again" by Leon Dubinsky, Shagrock Music, SOCAN.

Did You know?


• The first March of the Living was organized by the Israeli education ministry in 1988. It is now run by a New York-based non-profit agency with the help of Jewish groups in different countries. The name is a twist on the Nazi-ordered "death marches" that killed many concentration camp inmates. Students spend one week in Poland and one week in Israel. At first held every two years, the event has been held annually since 1996.

• At Auschwitz, the students march three kilometres from the original Auschwitz camp to the Birkenau part of the complex where, during the Second World War, thousands of Jews were gassed and cremated daily. The students also learn what Jewish life was like before the Nazis invaded Poland in September 1939. There is a separate March of the Living program for adults.

• In 2004, about 8,000 high school students, teachers and Holocaust survivors from around the world participated in the March of the Living. Since 1988, about 3,000 Canadian students have made the trip. The event is usually held in April to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day as well as Israel's memorial and independence days the following week.


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