A record-breaking 220 people joined the British delegation for this year’s March of the Living in Poland on Holocaust Remembrance Day .
And in recognition of the size of the group, they were given the honour of leading the 11,000 strong march from Auschwitz to Birkenau.
March of the Living UK Chairman Scott Saunders was touched by the decision, “We have grown so quickly. The organisation wanted to gives us something to say well done. It was quite something to lead 11,000 people .” he said.
In 2010 only 8 people from the UK took part in the annual event to commemmorate the victims of the Holocaust.
A broad cross-section of the UK Jewish community was involved, with 14 organisations taking part, including the Union of Jewish Students, United Jewish Israel Appeal B irthright, the Zionist Federation, the Centre for Jewish Life and seven youth movements. Six Holocaust survivors also joined the UK delegation this year.
“It’s a unique feeling to have so many people coming together, all with the passionate belief to say never again, to commemorate those who have fallen and to look forward to celebrate Jewish life,” said Mr Saunders.
March of the Living UK organised a havdalah ceremony, spontaneously attended by 400 global participants at the Monowitz-Buna memorial, which was a particularly “moving and unique 15 minutes on the side of the road."
Participant Richard Verber, campaigns manager of World Jewish Relief, said that the number of participants was a demonstration of “the greatness and seriousness of the UK delegation.”
Since the first March of the Living in 1988, over 150,000 people from around the world have marched the same path on Yom Hashoah.