National Unity party MK Matan Kahana joined hundreds of Jews and Christians at the March of Life in Berlin on April 20 and gave a keynote speech at the event which was held under the motto "Uprising against Antisemitism!"
Kahana joined the march on Holocaust Remembrance Day as a representative of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus (KCAC), a multi-partisan group aiming to promote relations between Israeli MKs and Christian leaders and political representatives around the world.
“My great grandfather was murdered in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. His son, my grandfather, Reuven Kahana, managed to escape Germany at the start of the war due to the heroism of Reverend Cornelis Moulijn who transported him to multiple hiding places," Kahana said at the march. "That I am now commemorating Yom Hashoah as a member of Knesset by marching in front of the Bundestag in Berlin alongside Christian supporters of Israel brings my family story full circle.”
“We are not responsible for what happened in the past but we are responsible to make sure that it never happens again,” said Vice President of the German Bundestag Petra Pau, who also gave a keynote speech.
This year's motto
The founder of the March of Life, Jobst Bittner, explained this year's motto, “The motto '[Uprising Against Antisemitism is meant to remind us that 80 years after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, we do not want to look the other way, but actively make a statement against any kind of hostility towards Jews. This year, Marches of Life will take place around the world with tens of thousands of participants. We wish every participant the courage to personally raise their voice with our motto 'Uprising Against Antisemitism' – today and on any other day!”
Additional speakers and participants at the event included Holocaust survivor Alexej Hejstver, European Director of the March of the Living Michel Gourary and KCAC Assistant Director Sharon Weinstein.
“The recent anti-Israel demonstrations in Berlin declaring both 'death to Israel' and 'death to the Jews' underscores how anti-zionism is rooted in antisemitism. It is now more important than ever that Jews and Christians march together on the streets of Berlin to show support for the Jewish people and the Jewish state. Strengthening ties between the Knesset and Christian supporters of Israel continues to be a strategic necessity and moral imperative,” said KCAC Assistant Director Sharon Weinstein.
March of Life was started by an initiative of Jobst and Charlotte Bittner, who come from the town Tübingen in southern Germany. It began with a memorial march from the Swabian Alb to Dachau concentration camp. Since 2007, marches were held in more than 20 nations and over 400 cities.