From the 23rd to the 19th of April 2014, the LJY-Netzer Movement Workers went on the annual March of the Living UK trip. On our youth-movement bus alone, we were joined by participants from RSY-Netzer, BBYO, FZY, Habonim-Dror, and the Tzofim, and there were also members from Noam, Bnei Akiva, & JLGB across the rest of the delegation. The trip is a six day educational journey across Poland, from Warsaw to Krakow, visiting many Holocaust educational sites along the way.
We are preparing an article on our expereinces there (look out for part 2!) but we wanted to share with you this speech that was prepared by our bus for the UK Yom Hashoah ceremony on the evening of Sunday the 27th, in Krakow, which reads as follows;
“The most difficult struggle of all is the one within ourselves. Let us not get accustomed and adjusted to these conditions. The one who adjusts ceases to discriminate between good and evil. He becomes a slave in body and soul. Whatever may happen to you, remember always, don’t adjust, revolt against the reality.”
This is a quote from a 23 year old youth movement leader who has become the new-found inspiration and hero for us on bus D, the youth movement bus today.
Mordechai Anilevich, the leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, is a symbol of the courage, strength and activism that we, as youth movement leaders and the future if British Jewry strive to emulate.
For the past week, we, like you, have embarked on a journey of education, inspiration and empowerment. We have heard numerous accounts of youth who, driven by their ideology and passion have been able to uplift communities and rekindle life and passion in places where it had been forcefully stripped away.
We have been blessed with the opportunity to go through this journey with our wonderful survivor Arek Hersh and his beautiful wife Jean.
Today, when we made our way through Auschwitz Birkenau, trying to comprehend the extent of the atrocities that took place there, there is one
Our bus, made up of 6 different youth movements, BBYO, FZY, Habonimdror, LJY-Netzer, RSY-Netzer and the Tsofim, may at times not see eye to eye ideologically. specific moment that stood out to me. After hearing his testimony, whilst standing in the exact block in Birkenau where Arek stayed, we sat down as a group and attempted to process what we had just seen and heard and how we, as the youth, can take this with us in the future. The most poignant aspect of the discussion was when someone in the group explained how Arek could come back, relive his story yet to start our discussion he said “what a brilliant day”. For a man who went through so much that one couldn’t even begin to imagine but have such strength and positivity made us truly realise that we, the youth of today, can achieve greatness and nothing can stand within my way. I shall never forget today. Thank you Arek.
Ultimately this trip has highlighted our differences but has celebrated our similarities. This trip has given us the opportunity to gather together, united, and try to embrace this greatness Arek inspired us to strive for for the future of both our youth movements and the world as a whole. We hope that this cross-communal atmosphere continues when we are back home because, if this trip has taught us anything, it is that we are all Jews and a united people. We look to the future with great optimism and hope that the positive changes we make show you how grateful we are that we were given this opportunity. Thank you MOTL UK.