March of the Living’s virtual commemoration
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March of the Living’s virtual commemoration

Virtual plaques on the Auschwitz-Birkenau train tracks
Virtual plaques on the Auschwitz-Birkenau train tracks

This year’s March of the Living paid tribute to the medical resistance and heroes of the Holocaust. Participants from across the world, led by Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, joined Holocaust survivors, leaders, and other dignitaries in virtual events marking Holocaust Remembrance Day. Doctors, nurses, and paramedics also joined the march, alongside Prof. Nachman Ash, Israel’s coronavirus commissioner, and senior representatives from Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital, Sheba Medical Center, Magen David Adom, and Ezer Mitzion.

Participants in the virtual March from across the globe were filmed using innovative 3D technology so they appeared to be marching along the traditional March of the Living route at Auschwitz — Birkenau. The march, broadcast around the world, was followed by an online memorial ceremony, where President Rivlin lit the first torch of remembrance. Before Yom HaShoah, March of the Living launched a global campaign, so people could place a memorial plaque virtually against the backdrop of the infamous train tracks going to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp; 10,000 people from more than 70 countries participated using a dedicated mini-site, never-meansnever.motl.org.

Pfizer’s CEO, Albert Bourla, whose parents survived the Holocaust, participated in the symposium. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to President Biden, received the “Moral Courage in Medicine” award for his work in combatting covid-19, his long history of leading the battle against infectious diseases, and his dedication to the health and wellbeing of humankind.

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