This week we held a joint march of all the youth movements in Belgium in memory of the Belgian Holocaust victims and the Jewish underground who blew up the railway and thus delayed the deportation of the Jews to Auschwitz.
Every year in Belgium, the Belgian Holocaust Day is commemorated in a state ceremony with representatives of the king, the mayors of the Belgian cities, the Israeli ambassador and many Belgian citizens, along with a few survivors. But there is no doubt, that most of the participants in the ceremony are organized by the “Brit”. The “Brit” is actually the Council of Zionist Youth Movements in Belgium, which brings together 5 movements.
The youth movements gather on Saturday after the weekly activity day, for peula for the bogrim and the madrichim about the Holocaust memory and after the peula, about 500 people gather and are divided between two cities in Belgium to hear testimony from a Belgian Holocaust survivor.
After this evening, the movement madrichim and chanichim return to sleep in their nests and the next day they leave early in the morning for a march near the railway line which sent the Jews and which Belgian residents blew up together with the Jewish partisans. At the beginning of the march there is the ceremony of the youth movements and in the end they reach the plaza of the Holocaust Museum in the near city for the state ceremony. The head of the brit, a madrich from Habonim Dror spoke at the ceremony of the youth movements as well as in the official ceremony:
“We cannot carry on as the world changes, generations pass and memorialization of the important and painful historical events dissipate before our eyes. We, the youth movements and the generation of the future, must always remember, not forget, and not put the power in the hands of those who want us to forget, we ,must not remember only what is shown us, but grow and explore and discover for ourselves. At a time like this, when we are seeing signs of renewed anti-Semitic awakening in Germany and the United States, strengthening of the extreme right in Europe based on hatred of the other, it is time to stand strong and firm with the most important tool, education.We are proud of you, the generation of survivors and victims of the Holocaust, and we ask you to trust us, we are here to continue in your path.”
Written by Shabi Toledano,
Shaliach Habonim Dror Belgium