Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The March of Remembrance

Yesterday over 400 people began a 1,300 mile walk of reconciliation across Poland, hoping to heal wounds that are now 70 years old.  Descendents of perpetrators of the Holocaust are walking side by side with descendents of survivors of the Nazi death camps in Poland.  The March of Remembrance has brought together participants from Poland, Germany, Israel, and the US.  Fifty of the German contingency are direct descendents of members of Wehrmacht, police, or the SS who were directly involved in gathering and killing six million Jews.
The group gathered at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp and will follow a route that will take them through Treblinka, Kielce, Warsaw, Sobibor, Chelmno, Majdanek, and Belzec.  They will stop at each site for a memorial service, with the main service in Warsaw on Thursday, August 23rd.
The keynote speaker at the Warsaw memorial will be the Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, Lia Shemtov.  She became involved with the idea while helping to host a convention honoring evangelical Christians and organizations that have provided aid to Jews who went through the Holocaust.  The idea for the event was roundly accepted, promoted, and brought to fruition this summer.
Ms. Shemtov told reporters that “These are incredible teenagers who discovered their tragic connection with the Jewish people and decided to follow the truth while seeking forgiveness.”
In her address at Warsaw she is expected to say that, “Sadly, the memory of the acts of the Holocaust haunts you even now when you, the next generation are exposed to the rising anti-Semitism in Europe, radical Islam's burning hatred and you, young men and women, who are the same age as 1.5 million children who were slaughtered in the Holocaust say 'no more!’”
Members of the German delegation have said that they want to use the occasion as a way to “find the words that their fathers and grandfathers never found,” and to “listen to the voices of the voices of the victims and their descendents” in the places where their ancestors wrought death and destruction.  They see it as an opportunity to honor those whose lives were lost and those who survived the nightmarish atrocities.
Of the six million Polish citizens who were murdered during the war, half of them were not of Jewish descent.  Poland became a land of “unspeakable suffering” during the war.  While some would deny that the Holocaust ever happened, and many would rather just forget that it happened, these young people are gathered to ask forgiveness for it happening and to remember those to whom it happened.
The March of Remembrance key Bible verse is Isaiah 62:1, “For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch.”  May we add, appropriately, II Corinthians 5:19, “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them."  And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”  There is nothing uglier than sin and strife.  There is nothing more beautiful than reconciliation.
For more information about the March of Remembrance, go here.
More news can be found at MessianictimesYnetnewsDigitaljournal.

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