Thousands of people from around the world, including children, teens and adults, have in the past day, uploaded virtual memorial messages to a special memorial site established by the March of the Living organization.The site was inaugurated yesterday by President Reuven Rivlin and was created because of the cancellation of the March due to the Corona epidemic that had been scheduled to take place next week on Holocaust Remembrance Day.The virtual plaques were written in memory of Holocaust victims and in honor of Holocaust survivors, and include messages stressing the need to fight antisemitism and racism wherever they are found.Within the past 24 hours virtual plaques have been posted from Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, Colombia, Uruguay, Belgium, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, South Africa, Holland, Hungary, Poland, New Zealand, Venezuela, Spain, Belarus, Venezuela, Panama and Brazil.#NeverSayNever - Create your own plaque >>Abigail Lurie, age 13 from Israel wrote, “I want us to remember and never forget. My grandfather, Aaron Lieberson, is a Holocaust survivor. He was born in the Theresienstadt extermination camp with his brother Avraham Lieberson, of blessed memory. Not all children my age (13) are third generation descendants of Holocaust survivors, but I am. It’s difficult to explain how painful and sad this day is for me. Am Yisrael Hai. (The people of Israel live). We always remember.”Amanda Meirowitz of Australia wrote, “To the members of my family whom I never met. I didn't even know you existed, because the horror was buried very deep. Today I know who you are, all 49 of you. I will never forget you and what you had to endure, and I assure you that my children will never forget, too. Am Yisrael Hai.”Aboud Dandachi, a Syrian refugee living in Canada today wrote, “As a former Syrian refugee living in Canada, I have been able to hear first-hand of the experiences of survivors of the Holocaust. We vow never to forget their stories and keep telling them in the future. While we may not be able to hold the March this year, we will and forever still remember, and vow Never Again.”During the past day, public figures, Jewish leaders and ambassadors sent their messages:US Ambassador to Israel Memorial David Friedman wrote, “Just as we stand together to defeat COVID-19. we must unite to fight antisemitism. I wish I could return this year to Auschwitz-Birkenau, but its memory is always with me. May the memory of the 6 million compel us to speak up where there is silence and educate where there is ignorance. #NeverMeansNever.”Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog wrote, “How fragile life is. We must be thankful for each day. The March of the Living – which takes place this year via computer and keyboard – reminds us of fragility of life and puts it in proportion. It lifts up the memory of those who perished. Every Jew and every community in the world today embraces Holocaust survivors in a warm, virtual hug! I personally light a memorial candle for Annette Goldberg from Paris, my father’s cousin, who perished in the Holocaust. May the memory of the 6 million be blessed and forever bound in the nation’s memory.
UN Ambassador to the United Nations Memorial, Danny Danon: “We will never stop following the will of those who perished. Even now, in a new, complex global reality, we will endeavor to ensure that the lessons of history are learned. We must get to know the victims and the voices of the survivors, and fight antisemitism wherever it raises its head, because the fight against the virus of antisemitism is as important as any other struggle. We do not have the privilege to stand aside. We will continue to educate, to fight and to emerge victorious.”Nathan Sharansky, former Prisoner of Zion, and Genesis Prize Winner for 2020:"Today, more than ever, humanity understands how important it is to unite and fight together against common enemies. The hatred of the Jews is not only our enemy, but the enemy of all humanity. While antisemitic hatred refuses to fade, and takes on new and powerful forms, we must continue to remember and remind. We will not forget the horrors; we will not forget the heroic deeds. As an important lesson for all of us, Jews and non-Jews from every corner of the world – must teach and work for a life of compassion, freedom and tolerance.”
This is the first time in 32 years that the March of the Living, among the most important events of Holocaust Remembrance Day, is not being held. One of the most meaningful moments of the March of the Living occurs when participants write a personal memorial message at the entrance to the Auschwitz - Birkenau death camp. In this new project, visitors from around the world can ‘place’ a virtual memorial plaque and view the messages of thousands of other participants.