ADL Takes Non-Jewish Students And Catholic School Educators To Poland To See Firsthand Accounts Of Holocaust
New York, NY, April 19, 2005 …To mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, non-Jewish students along with Catholic school educators will join Anti-Defamation League (ADL) delegation to Poland and Israel to participate in the 2005 March of the Living (MOTL).
They will be partaking in an international educational program that brings more than 18,000 individuals to see the remnants of Holocaust and the modern day State of Israel. In Poland, they will commemorate Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day and in Israel, they will observe Yom Hazikaron, Israel Memorial Day and Yom Ha'Atzmaut, Israel Independence Day.
"This year's March of the Living is especially meaningful because it marks the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "This trip will teach young people the importance of remembering the Holocaust at a time when the original witnesses are dying and individuals still continue to deny the tragedy happened."
A group of Judaic studies majors at City College of New York (CCNY), only one of whom is Jewish, will join other students from various colleges May 3 to May 12. These students from across the nation have been active participants in their local ADL region since high school. Together, they will meet up with a group of Polish college students for some of the excursion so the two cultures can interact.
One of the highlights in Poland is a program called Expressions of Understanding: Words, Music, Dance, Art & Film. This will present pieces of how Poles weave memories of the Jews of Poland and the Holocaust into their creative lives and of the vibrant Jewish life that was once an integral part of Poland. This event will also show that Jewish life in Poland continues to exist as it struggles to reestablish its foothold in this country where Jews have lived for nearly a thousand years.
Catholic school educators nationwide will also travel to Poland for a week. They will tour Czestochova, the country's Catholic religious center and attend mass at Saint John's Cathedral in Warsaw. All of the instructors have participated in ADL's Bearing Witness Program, which has sensitized them to anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and the Church's role in the Holocaust.
There will be another MOTL delegation composed of ADL national leadership and regional representatives from Omaha, Atlanta, Los Angeles and San Francisco. These individuals will spend the majority of time meeting with politicians and ambassadors in both countries. In Warsaw, they will meet with U.S. Ambassador Victor Ashe and Polish Foreign Minister Adam Rotfeld.
"This is an exciting and touching opportunity for leaders nationwide to remember the liberation of Auschwitz 60 years later and there is no better place for this experience than on the grounds itself," said Barbara B. Balser, ADL National Chair. "They will be emotionally moved when witnessing firsthand accounts of the Holocaust and allow them to pass on the memories of this tragedy since the survivors are dying."
The different ADL groups will each have their own itineraries but will come together with other MOTL participants May 5 for the three-kilometer march that retraces the final steps of the countless Jews and others from the concentration camp at Auschwitz to the gas chambers and crematoria at Birkenau. The ADL groups will also join together the following evening for Shabbat dinner.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.