top of page

Acerca of

The retrospective

On May 8, about 150 people marched in the streets of Geneva carrying a message: "from the heart to the march".

The walk of life is first of all a walk of the heart, of hearts that do not want to remain indifferent in the face of history which seems to be repeating itself.

The growing anti-Semitism requires a firm position.

Leaders of communities and associations, politicians and diplomats took the floor to recall the need to watch and not to be carried away by the current.

If anti-Semitism finds other anchors today, notably in the pretext of anti-Zionism, we have recalled that the foundations of the Zionist project are not what this new form of anti-Semitism seeks to convey.

We were moved by the testimony of Holocaust survivors who had nowhere to lay their heads until they arrived in Israel.

Artists, such asKeren Esther, Sophie Frank, Rebekkah Nassanian moved us with their interpretations.

We did not remain indifferent!

La rétrospective

The reasons for walking

After two years of events guided by health rules, the "March of Life" is back in the streets of Geneva.

Every year we worry about the rise of anti-Semitism and every year its level rises.

The phenomenon is so strong that the organizations monitoring its development are concerned and seek to alert public opinion.

An increase in anti-Semitic language and behavior

The World Jewish Congress conducted a study in December 2021 with alarming results.

According to this survey, in Germany one young person, between 18 and 29 years old, out of three would adopt anti-Semitic attitudes.

The pandemic has revitalized conspiracy theories that place Jews as the profiteers of the situation or even the designers of the crisis we are experiencing.

In French-speaking Switzerland, CICAD notes the increase in anti-Semitic remarks on social networks following the events of May 2021 relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  

Declining knowledge about the Holocaust and Neo-Nazism

The World Jewish Congress report also notes that the level of knowledge about the Holocaust and Neo-Nazism in Germany is declining. It seems that a majority of people questioned cannot affirm that six million Jews died during the second world.

The trivialization of the symbols of the Holocaust and its history

Along with accusations on social media, the revival of Holocaust symbols has been common during the pandemic.

More recently, even in the war in Ukraine, accusations of Nazism or denazification intentions on either side have been common.

Of all the horrors that humanity has been able to produce, the Shoah remains unique to such an extent that it is in Western collective memory as a reference when it comes to qualifying dramatic events.

This trivialization defeats the objective it pursues. It is a distortion of the truth and it prevents analyzing all other situations under a lucid and objective prism.
It neglects, see denies, the reality of the sufferings experienced and prevents us from remaining alert to the reality of the rise of extremes which today tend to want to make the Jewish people responsible for the difficulties of our time.

Report of the World Jewish Congress

CICAD Report

Reasons of the march
The subject

The theme

The 1930s in Geneva

In 1920 the  Spanish flu pandemic hits Europe. Nine years later, the stock market crash on Wall Street sends these shock waves around the world that will take a year to cross the Atlantic.

In 1931 the Banque de Genève went bankrupt, creating a major crisis for employment and savers in Geneva. The specter of communism worries Europe, tensions are high.

It is in this context that Geneva saw the rise in popularity of a journalist-writer,  George Oltramare .

Georges Oltramare.png

He would become a Genevan politician by founding the National Union Party in 1932, for which he would be a member of the Grand Council from 1933 to 1936. Openly anti-Semitic and fascist (he was received by Mussolini on several occasions) George Oltramare would spread that hatred everywhere he can.

Party meetings, often at Victoria Hall, are the scene of speeches of uncommon violence against Jews.

His influence will go as far as Payerne where young people, inspired by these speeches, will assassinate for "the example" the poor Arthur Bloch, Jewish cattle dealer, later in 1942.

The National Union party organized processions in front of the authorities, notably on the Quai Wilson where the members marched with their arms raised, a sign of the fascist party similar to the Nazi salute.

Cortège Union Nationale.png

The context of the 1930s resembles the one we live in today. Pandemic, economic crisis on the horizon, threat from Russia on democratic values, specter of war. 

What does it take for extremist and violent parties to take over people's consciousness?
The confusion in the minds of some between anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and criticism of the policy of the State of Israel  leads straight to violence and potentially murder. If we remain silent, the risk remains.

The route of the march will take the route of one of these processions in the opposite direction to symbolically affirm the antithesis of the values carried by the national unity party .

Anti-Semitism is not a Jewish issue, neither is the Holocaust.

Anti-Semitism is a non-Jewish problem and the Holocaust is its ultimate fruit.

Do we need to remember that the first project of the Nazi party was to eliminate all world Jewish population and that this intention cost the lives of 50 million people in Europe?

If the Jewish community commemorates the 6 million members of their community on Yom Shoah Day (April 28, 2022), non-Jews should also remember to remember that without vigilance, the same events can happen again.


The program

  • Synagogue Square

  • Quai Wilson

  • Sismondi College

Synagogue Square

This first step will be a reminder of the previous themes addressed and the expression of the fundamentals that motivate the "March of life". The speakers, mainly community representatives, will remind us of the need for the approach.

Mr. Yves Félix as a member of the committee will tell us about the nature of his commitment and the need to position himself.

The speakers

Michael Ruh.png

Jobst Bittner

Pastor and Theologian, Founder 

of the "March of Life" movement

Eric Ackermann.jpg

Eric Ackerman

Socio-cultural animator, spiritual guide. Rabbinic delegate, officiating at the Great Synagogue Beth-Yaacov in Geneva

Bjorn Aaronsson.jpg

Bjorn Owe-Aronsson

President of the Free Evangelical Church of Geneva


Yves Felix

Member of the organizing committee

Quai Wilson

On July 24, 1922, in London, the League of Nations endorsed the mandate for Palestine, concretizing the San Remo agreements of 1920. This mandate entrusted to the British aimed to establish a Jewish national home in the land known as "Palestine". . Today this project which was born 77 years ago, in 1948, is demonized, we even try to delegitimize it under the pretext of anti-Zionism. Is this anti-Semitism? We will try to answer it.

The speakers

Ambassadrice Israel.png

Representative at the UN

Patricia Bidaux

Democratic Party MP

Christian on the Grand Council


Tomas Sandell

Co-founder and director

of the European Coalition for Israel

Permanent Representative of Israel 

at the UN and international organizations

Sismondi College

We will have the privilege of listening to Mrs. Tova Muller who will tell us how she had to flee throughout the war through Russia without ever finding a place where she could settle down with her family permanently. Until in 1948 she left for Israel to participate in the construction of the newly proclaimed state. We will also listen to the testimony of a person whose family was involved in Nazism. Jobst Bittner will also share with us his heart and the origins of the march.

The speakers


Jobst Bittner

Pastor and Theologian, Founder 

of the "March of Life" movement

Tova Muller

Holocaust survivor


Nazi descendant witness

bottom of page