Ten years since the March of Remembrance & Hope

Today marks ten years since one of the most pivotal experiences of my entire life — the March of Remembrance and Hope Holocaust Study Trip to Germany and Poland

Travelling on the trip with two Holocaust survivors and sixty young Canadians was transformative. My grandfather had practically dared me to go — thinking that it would shake my faith.

As I always say, this trip led me to wonder: if dehumanization is at the core of genocide, then what does it mean to humanize humanity? This question has guided the entire trajectory of my education, work, and leisure throughout the past decade. 

I became consumed by the quest to find saints, heroes, martyrs, tzadikim — exemplars of living life in order, resisting dehumanizing ideologies of untruth, and adding more and more good deeds and light to the world. 

It’s impossible to overstate the influence that this trip had in my life. It forged my character, instilled a sense of responsibility, and led to countless of my most precious relationships and reflections. 

I am profoundly grateful for this program. There’s no substitute to sitting at the feet of survivors and hearing their testimonies, to walking with them hand and hand, and to singing and dancing with them. These are the great experiential treasures of my life. 

Listening to survivor Faigie Libman share her story on the bus.
Reflecting on the tens of thousands of books that were burned by students in Nazi Germany. This underground memorial contains enough empty bookshelves to commemorate the number of books that were burned.
Rapt. Few times have I been so captivated as when I was listening to incredible storytelling of our guide as well as the survivors.

Published by Amanda Achtman

What matters to me is living in truth, taking responsibility, creating value & cultivating community.

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