Next week, the March of Nations will take place in Jerusalem in a remarkable effort by the descendants of Nazis to make amends for the Holocaust. The march brings non-Jews from around the world in a unique event, celebrating Israel’s eternal capital. The events are inspired by a prophecy in Isaiah:
And the many peoples shall go and say: “Come, Let us go up to the Mount of Hashem, To the House of the God of Yaakov; That He may instruct us in His ways, And that we may walk in His paths.” For instruction shall come forth from Tzion, The word of Hashem from Yerushalayim Isaiah 2:3
The march was officially blessed by Israel’s President Isaac Herzog:
“Against a backdrop of growing Holocaust denial, and spiking global antisemitism, The March of Life is an inspirational display of unity and remembrance a vocal antidote to the complicit silence of good people which made the Holocaust possible,” Herzog wrote.
“I look forward to the upcoming March of Nations, which coincides with the International Date of Israel’s 75th anniversary. Your presence demonstrates unwavering moral support for our nation-state and its people, and the State of Israel. welcomes you with open arms. You are true symbols of the possibility available to human beings to bravely confront their pasts and bring about healing and transformation.”
“You are evidence that even out of unimaginable darkness can emerge the great light of compassion and friendship between nations and between men through your intentioned actions you are helping histories of unspeakable crimes between man and man reincarnate into a present of compassion, justice, and truth channeling the pain of implication in a dark and damning history to lend your voices to the resonating imperative. ‘Never again’.”
The March of Nations has been taking place since 2007 as an initiative of the Jobst and Charlotte Bittner and TOS Ministries from Tübingen, Germany organized along with descendants of German Wehrmacht soldiers and members of the SS and police force. Marches have been held in 20 nations and in more than 400 cities in cooperation with Christians from different churches and denominations, as well as from many Jewish communities.
The message of the marches is described on the website of the March of Life organization which organizes the March of Nations:
“It was the indifferent silence of the majority that made the Holocaust possible. An indifference that, even today, paves the way for antisemitism and xenophobia.”
- Remembering: Working through the past, giving survivors of the Holocaust a voice.
- Reconciliation: Healing and restoration between descendants of the victims and perpetrators.
- Taking a stand: For Israel and against modern antisemitism.
“The March of Life combines the personal working through the past with a public voice against today’s antisemitism and taking a stand for friendship with Israel.”
Luke Gasiorowski, the Executive Director of the Helping Hand Coalition, explained the revelation that led to the March of Nations.
“The Christians who began this initiative did so after they discovered that their parents and grandparents were not the war heroes fighting for Germany, as they claimed to be, but were instead the actual perpetrators of the genocide and murder of 6 million Jews,” Gasiorowski told Israel365 News. “This harsh discovery led these Germans to establish marches worldwide to do the exact opposite of what their family did: to stand and fight for the Jewish people and the State of Israel.”
Gasiorowski had great expectations for what the march might accomplish.
“The expectation of this march next week is to continue deepening the relationship and bond between the international Christian community and the people of Israel, to declare to the international community that Israel is here for the long run, and to encourage all parties involved for future joint activities.”
The Director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus and President of the Israel Allies Foundation, Josh Reinstein, said that there is a global partnership between the Israel Allies Foundation and the March of Life.
“The descendants of perpetrators of the Holocaust and also by believing Christians around the world have come together to take commemoration of the Holocaust a step further, Reinstein said. “They are honoring the memories of victims in the best way possible by coming to honor Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. They are making amends for the antisemitism of the past and battling antisemitism by standing with Israel so that it won’t happen again.”
“The vast majority of the people who participate are not connected to that path,” Reinstein said. “These are people from all over the world, including the United States and Latin America who also want to stand with Israel and they are well received because it’s not just lip service They are not just saying, ‘We’re sorry in the name of Christianity for what has happened in the past. They’re actually taking concrete steps to try to repair the relationship with the Jews.”