The 10,000 high school students set to participate in next week’s Holocaust education trip to Poland, known as March of the Living, have a little surprise in store for them: a personal statement of support from Justin Bieber’s musical director and lead guitarist, Dan Kanter, himself a Jewish Canadian.
Touring Poland with the Biebs during the tween star’s 2013 “European Believe Tour,” Kanter visited Auschwitz — the former Nazi camp where over 1 million men, women and children, the vast majority of them Jews, were gassed to death during the Holocaust — at the start of the Passover holiday last week. He was greatly moved by the powerful history of the site.
He took to Instagram and posted a photo of the entrance to Auschwitz and Birkenau, adding that it was an “emotional and meaningful visit,” thanking March of the Living for arranging his tour of the camp.
To the participants in next week’s trip to Poland, he said in a recorded video clip: “I wish you all a meaningful March of the Living trip. I hope you all do it and have a memorable experience. It’s been very intense and emotional day for me.”
Knowing that the second leg of the March of the Living journey continues to Israel, Kanter added: “I also wish you a great trip to Israel. Israel is one of my most favorite countries in the whole world. I have many incredible memories there, including meeting my wife Yael there on Birthright and a very special show that we played with Justin in Tel Aviv in 2010.”
Kanter’s wife, Yael, was a 1994 March of the Living participant.
March of the Living is an annual program that seeks to teach the lessons of the Holocaust while celebrating Jewish survival and instilling the values of social justice. To date, over 180,000 students have been on the March.