2014-04-19 17:29:26 - 250 participants from Germany are walking together with several hundred participants from Hungary along the routes of the former death marches from April 22 to 27, 2014. At the sites where people were deprived of their rights, dispossessed, deported, and murdered, German and Hungarian descendants of the perpetrators will walk together with the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors.
The theme is “Remembering, Reconciling, and Shaping the Future in Friendship”; with the March the participants want to honor Holocaust survivors and make a stand for Israel, against anti-Semitism and racism.
On Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 11 am there will be a press conference in the Culture Hall (Liszt Ferenc Konferencia és Kulturális Központ, Liszt Ferenc utca, 9400 Sopron) where the organizers Jobst Bittner (Germany) and Andrea Simonyi (Hungary) will share information on the March of Life. In Budapest, there will be an official Memorial Event with reception held in the facility of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary MAZSIHISZ (Síp Utca 12, Budapest) on Friday, April 25, 2014. After the event, the organizers will be available for questions
from the press.
70 years ago in March 1944, the Holocaust in Hungary began with the invasion of the German Wehrmacht. With gruesome efficiency, Adolf Eichmann supported by the Hungarian authorities organized the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz. After the end of the regular deportations, people were sent on death marches from Budapest in November 1944. 85,000 were sent to Austria for forced labor – 25,000 had already perished along the way from Budapest via Sopron to the Austrian concentration camp Mauthausen. They died from exhaustion, hunger, and execution.
70 years later, from April 22 to 27, 2014, the March of Life will take place in Hungary. 250 participants from Germany will be walking together with several hundred participants from Hungary along the routes of the former death marches. Many of the participants know that their fathers and grandfathers were actively involved in the Holocaust against the Jews of Hungary as members of the SS or Wehrmacht, as administration officials, or as members of the Hungarian Arrow Cross party. With memorial events and prayer marches they will set a mark against forgetting and for remembering and reconciliation in twelve places all across Hungary. The March of Life will culminate in a large march on Saturday, April 26, 2014 in Budapest from the Buda side across the chain bridge to the Shoe Memorial near the Parliament building. On Sunday, April 27, the participants of the March of Life will join the “March of the Living” walking to the Keleti Station.
The March of Life is organized with the support of public institutions, Lutheran, Reformed, and Free Churches as well as in partnership with the “March of the Living International” and the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary “MAZSIHISZ”.
The March of Life was initiated by Jobst and Charlotte Bittner. Since 2007, reconciliation marches have taken place in 13 different nations and 120 cities with over 20,000 participants. In November 2011, the initiative was honored with an award by the Israeli Knesset for its special efforts among Holocaust survivors. For 2014 and 2015, we are planning on having reconciliation marches in 100 cities in Germany and the neighboring countries to commemorate the death marches 70 years ago.
For further information on the March of Life, as well as the proposed schedule in Hungary, please refer to our web site www.marchoflife.org or www.menetelesazeletert.hu .
The Detailed Schedule of the March of Life
Tue, April 22, 2014 – Sopron
19:00 h Opening Service
Hotel Fargus, Ojtózi fasor 3, 9400 Sopron
Wed, April 23, 2014 – Sopron – Györ
9:00 h Open-Air Start Event of the March of Life
At the Holocaust Memorial, Paprét 18, 9400 Sopron
11:00 h Press Conference
Culture Hall Sopron, Liszt Ferenc Konferencia és Kulturális Központ, Liszt Ferenc utca, 9400 Sopron
19:00 h Memorial Event
Synagogue Györ, Dr. Róth Emil utca, 9025 Györ
Thu, April 24, 2014 – Györ – Komárom
9:00 h Open-Air Memorial Event
Radnoti Memorial, Abda, Bécsi út 14, 9025 Györ
19:00 h Memorial Event
Csillag-Fortress, Csillag Eród, 2900 Komárom
Fri, April 25, 2014 – Budapest, Debreczen, Baja, Kiskunhalas, Pecs
11:00 h: Memorial Event and Reception
Festival Hall of MAZSIHISZ, Síp Utca 12, Budapest
Local Events in Debreczen, Baja, Kiskunhalas, Pecs
Sat, April 26, 2014 – Budapest
12:00 h Memorial Event
Memorial at the former Brick Factory, Bécsi út 134, 1032 Budapest
13:15 h Memorial Event
Catholic Church, Városmajor, Csaba utca 5, 1122 Budapest
14:00 h Start of the March
15:30 h Closing Event of the March of Life
Kossuth Lajos tér, Budapest