March of Life Belfast 2017

Dear Friends
You might like to see the Video of the March of Life in Belfast on Sunday.  50 attended from the South of Ireland and a good number of Jewish people including the Northern Ireland Rabbi took part in the March and the subsequent Commemoration. A full review of this wonderful event, including pictures and  videos is below.

Paddy Monaghan, ICFI

Jews and Christians unite to remember the Holocaust

The Mile long March was led by a big March for Life Banner and then the Tricolour and Union Jack with the Flag of Israel in the middle

The March of Life brought together Christians and Jews from North and South of Ireland with 50 travelling to Belfast by a specially booked coach from Dublin to take a stand against anti-Semitism. Crowds gathered at the Jaffe Fountain, Victoria Square before walking to the City Hall, with flags of nations on display to show the international backing the event had.

The names of 12 Holocaust survivors and their profile, who found sanctuary in Ireland were read out – only 5 are still living.

Video of Event

At City Hall Ana, from Germany, a granddaughter of a man responsive for the murder of Jews during WW2, shared how she only recently discovered the truth of her family’s involvement in the Holocaust.  She expressed deep sorry and repentance and committed herself to stand against anti Semitism today and for Israel. People were deeply moved.

Peter Weir MLA and former Education Minister took part in the March and said “It was my honour to take part in this event and stand with others in remembering those who were murdered during the Shoah (Holocaust) wrought upon the Jewish community. This year as education minister I announced a new programme to provide funding enabling the Holocaust Educational Trust to deliver its ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ Project to Northern Ireland’s schools and colleges. “I believe it is vitally important that our young people both understand the horrors of the Holocaust and its context in our society today.”

One of the march organisers, Mike McNally, said: “The concept behind this event is to stand shoulder to shoulder with our Jewish community to commemorate the Shoah (Holocaust), remembering those who perished and to pay tribute to the survivors, retelling their stories (keeping the memory alive) for generations to come.”

German granddaughter of Nazi breaking her family silence and apologising outside City Hall.
Rabbi of Belfast & Northern Ireland, Rabbi David Singer, said: “The lessons of the tragic past are being learnt slowly but surely. Momentum is gathering to remember those six million who perished in the Holocaust. Voices are being raised more and more and in many places around the world so that the past mistakes will not be repeated.   “As the survivors grow older, frailer and fewer we are making a mark to say, “We remember, we will honour, we will not forget and we will do all in our power to prevent a recurrence. The March for Life is the best response possible to advertise this sentiment. The older generation, the survivors, together with the younger generation say to those who sought our destruction, ‘You failed – we are here and we stand together with our friends, united in a cause for peace’.”

Mrs Esther Bloch from N. Ireland, a daughter of Holocaust Survivor Edith Sekules, shared a very moving tribute to her family.  Rabbi Singer addressed the 200 plus Jews and Christians and said “Today we marched to step out and be seen, to say we abhor the evil of the Holocaust and to pledge not to be silent in the face of anti-Semitism today.   A unique video was then played of an upbeat version of the Hatikvah led by 8 young adults, whose grandparents were Nazis and involved in the Holocaust; they stated that their motivation is to break their families’ silence and make a statement against Anti- Semitism and for Israel.  See video below:

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