March of the Living Australia is a for-purpose, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to Holocaust education and memorialisation, combating antisemitism and intolerance, promoting social justice and creating a powerful connection to Israel, our community and future generations through an inclusive and immersive educational experience of ‘going where history books can’t’.
MARCH OF THE LIVING
The March of the Living itself, a 3-kilometre walk from Auschwitz 1 to Birkenau, is a tribute to all victims of the Holocaust, their memories and their legacies. The March is designed to contrast with the death marches, which began towards the end of World War II and continued virtually up until the Third Reich’s last days.
More than 2,200 Australians have participated on the March of the Living program to date
March of the Living changes lives, perceptions and behaviours.
Since the participation of the first Australian delegation to March of the Living in 2001, over 1500 Year 11 Students, 500 Adults and Young Adults and 200 Staff (Survivors, Educators, Madrichim and other support personnel) have experienced this very meaningful and profound life-affirming journey.
According to objective third-party studies, the long-term effect of this immersive educational program, where participants ‘go where history books can’t’, has been significant in terms of its impact on both Jewish and non-Jewish participants alike. All participants return with a deeper and broader understanding of the Holocaust and its teachings, with a better understanding of Israel, and with a greater intent to further their involvement in community and social justice activities, with an emphasis on combatting prejudice and hatred of every kind. Additionally, Jewish participants also show a greater commitment to Israel, a strengthening of their Jewish identity and a definite growth in their propensity to becoming more involved in their local Jewish and broader communities.
The fight against Antisemitism and the ongoing battle against Holocaust denial and trivialisation are one of the central objectives of March of the Living.
“We were convinced antisemitism perished here [in Auschwitz-Birkenau]. Antisemitism did not perish here. Its victims perished here,” said Elie Wiesel on Yom HaShoah 1990 during the International March of the Living in Poland.
Sadly, Elie Wiesel’s eloquent words, shared with March of the Living participants over three decades ago, are no less true today. They are more relevant than ever as antisemitism, Holocaust denial and trivialization, as well as the demonization of Israel, regularly dominate news cycles and give rise to a grave sense of insecurity among Jewish communities around the world. Only by acknowledging the reality of the past, and committing to heeding the lessons of the Holocaust, can we hope to build a world safe for all humanity, free of antisemitism and all forms of racism, bigotry, hatred and intolerance. With fewer and fewer Holocaust survivors able to share their story, there is a universal fear that history will re-write itself: “When there are no longer Holocaust survivors on earth, Holocaust deniers will sprout up like mushrooms” worries Israeli survivor Aliza Landau. And as the words of Auschwitz survivor Henry Appel so succinctly remind us: “There is only one thing worse than Auschwitz itself … and that is if the world forgets there was such a place.”
Appeal to donate
We need your help in ensuring the future of ‘hands-on’ Holocaust Education and Memorialisation, as well as combating Antisemitism and other forms of prejudice and hatred in Australia and around the globe. March of the Living Australia is a for-purpose non-profit incorporated organisation, recognised as a Charity by the ACNC (Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission).
Your donation will enable us to make the program financially accessible to aspiring Young Adult participants and to continue making this the most meaningful journey of their lifetimes by providing world class educators, Survivors and other auxiliary staff on their journey.
The core values of March of the Living are derived from our rich Jewish heritage, where we follow the basic tenet that all people are created equal and therefore need to be treated as equals. Our guiding light is that one should love thy neighbour like oneself and continuously strive for a better world. Hence, the pillars which underpin what we try to explore and educate towards are respect, inclusiveness, tolerance, justice and freedom for all, and ‘tikkun olam’ – acts of human kindness that can help in making this a better world for one and all.
WATCH THE JOURNEY
HEAR ABOUT THE JOURNEY
“It wasn’t just a tragedy in the lives of Jews, this was a tragedy in the whole of mankind. The world needs to know what atrocities were done in order to prevent them from happening again. It s important for youngsters to go, in order to carry that knowledge.”
— Holocaust Survivor