History 2006 - 2018
As founder of March of Remembrance (USA) and charter member of March of Life (Europe) I would like to use this space is for sharing more personal items like photos, videos, impressions, etc.
Since the end of WWII in 1945, generations of Germans had grown up under a thick veil of shame left to them by their fathers. As WWII began entering it's last phase and it became obvious that the Nazis were going to lose, Hitler tried to hide the evidence of Nazi genocide by ordering Jews on long death marches to Concentration camps where they could be mass-exterminated. Many prayers of repentance have been uttered each year by churches all over Germany since the end of WWII, yet the third and fourth generation since that time barely knew what their own families had done because no one wanted to talk. It was simply covered with a thick veil of silence.
In 2006, I was invited to play at a conference called "Road to Jerusalem" at TOS Church in Tubingen Germany. This church had been surrounded by nine Nazi labor camps during WWII. Jews and political prisoners were killed by exhaustion and hard labor before the order for liquidation came in 1944. From the Badden-Wittenberg area in southwestern Germany, Jews were forced to walk along the Schwabian Alps in winter with nothing more than ragged prison clothes, exposed to extreme temperatures for 180 miles as they were marched to the notorius Dachau Concentration Camp outside of Munich.
At TOS Church in Tubingen, Pastor Jobst Bittner and several of his church leaders wanted to walk and pray along those same paths of death marches in the Schwabian Alps as a repentance event for their local region. At a small Wednesday night gathering to lead worship, they gave me the honor of announcing this initiative to the church. Immediately I urged the people of TOS Church to invite all nations who allowed Nazi genocide to succeed through their own personal indifference, to walk with these descendants of the perpetrators. Pastor Bittner's response was, "If you think anyone would walk with us". I was the first person to sign up for the March of Life 2007
Together with Galilee of the Nations we immediately produced a music video that was released from
Munich, Germany on Yom HaShoah, (April 17, 2007) called "The Forgotten People"
(more info on that song and video here)
Friend and co-writer, Rabbi Michael Stepakoff, suggested that Holocaust survivor Rose Price might be willing to join them; and Pastor Bittner's staff gratefully asked her to join them, and began planning for that 180-mile walk across southern Germany to arrive at Dachua in April of 2007. Ironically, TOS Church did not even realize that they would complete this journey on Yom HaShoah (Day of Holocaust Remembrance) nor did they know what that was.
(For more details on March of LIfe I watch this video)
Only a few months after completing the first March of Life, several Pastors in eastern Germany requested help from TOS Church to break the silence on their side of the country, and in 2008 March of Life II was held. Everyone started together in Buchenwald Concentration Camp and spread out to walk their portion of a 1,400 mile path over the nation. We ended with all of us meeting again in Berlin to declare a new relationship between Germany and Israel. This gathering was ten times bigger than the first March of Life and engaged literally every strata of German society, as Shoah survivors, Pastors, Rabbis, media, politicians, civic leaders, and dozens of churches participated in walking a path across their nation in the shape of a Star of David to break their own veil of silence.