This year’s March of the Living commemoration marred by ‘Stop the Genocide’ protests

March of the Living 2024
From left: Erin, Abby, Zoe and Harvey Wright participated in the 2024 March of the Living event, walking between Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland. (Submitted photo)

Organizers of the 36th annual March of the Living commemoration, in Poland, knew that this year’s three-kilometre walk at Auschwitz would feel even more poignant after Oct. 7.

That’s why some Israeli Holocaust survivors were invited to join the procession, which honoured not just the memory of the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust—but also the 1,200 people in Israel who were murdered in the single worst slaughter of Jews since 1945. Yet it appears some groups in Poland weren’t willing to allow the annual March of the Living to proceed without conflating the ongoing Middle East war with Hitler’s systematic genocide. Pro-Palestinian protesters wore keffiyehs, waved flags and held signs saying “Stop the Genocide” as the marchers passed by.

It was a scene one Canadian family will never forget. Harvey Wright, 85, whose grandparents were among Hitler’s victims; his son Erin Wright, of Edmonton, who served as the trip’s physician; and Erin’s daughters, Abby, 20, and Zoe, 19, currently university students, all join The CJN Daily to explain why they joined the march this year and how they hope it will help them face an uncomfortable future for Canadian Jews.

What we talked about:

  • Read survivor Nate Leipciger’s message to travellers on this year’s Canadian delegation to the March of the Living, in The CJN
  • Learn how the annual Canadian delegation to the March of the Living is scaled down for 2024, in The CJN
  • Watch the March of the Living 2024 recorded broadcast

Credits:

The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here. Hear why The CJN is important to me.