Minister of Pensioner Affairs, Rafi Eitan, is representing the Israeli government and heading the "March of the Living” which commemorates Holocaust Remembrance Day taking place today, April 16.
The March entails a three-kilometer march from Auschwitz to Birkenau, the largest concentration camp complex built in Poland by the Nazis during World War II. The March follows the actual route of the “March of Death,” which countless numbers of Jews were forced to take on their way to the gas chambers at Birkenau, and concludes with the singing of Israel’s national anthem, “HaTikvah, reaffirming “Am Yisrael Chai – the Jewish People Live.”
Knesset Member Rafi Eitan was selected as Israel’s government representative since he is in charge of the issue of restitution of Jewish property lost during World War II. Eitan participated a month ago in the Claims Conference held in Warsaw, Poland and met with the Polish Parliament Chairman and other senior government officials with the goal to move forward the issue of compensation for Holocaust survivors.
A picture is worth a thousand words: Minister Rafi Eitan (photo) stands next to a memorial in Warsaw in memory of Mordecai Anilevitz and friends. Eitan was appalled when he read the graffiti on the statue and reported it to the Israeli Ambassador to Poland, David Peleg, who turned to the Polish authorities asking them to remove the graffiti the same day.