Their steps were powerful, as were the footprints they left behind.
Like every year shortly after Passover, Holocaust survivors, their descendants, and groups of high school students from around the world took part in “March of the Living,” a two-week program that starts in Poland and ends in Israel. On Monday thousands of participants marched silently from Auschwitz to Birkenau, the concentration and death camps so notoriously known for the atrocities and mass murder by the Nazis during World War Two.
In Krakow, Poland, Rabbi Eliezer and Esther Gurary, co-directors of Chabad-Lubavitch of Krakow, prepared for the crowds, with Gurary koshering the kitchens in most of the local hotels to provide kosher meals for the visitors. Boxes upon boxes of food displayed the results of their work.
Rabbi Eliezer Gurary, left, led the Chabad-Lubavitch effort. (Photo: Israel Bardugo)
The “March of the Living” program began back in 1988. It is meant to parallel the death marches Jews had to endure, and its tone progresses from despair to hope by leaving Europe for Israel.
Chabad volunteers who helped the crowd put on tefillin, with Dudu Fisher, center. (Photo: Israel Bardugo)
In recent years, a greater emphasis has been placed on discovering Poland, and the cultural and religious history of Jewish life there.
At the march itself, Chabad-Lubavitch representatives were on hand to offer participants the opportunity to wrap tefillin and pray.
Supervising the preparation of thousands of kosher meals for participants in the march. (Photo: Israel Bardugo)