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Moment of silence Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Moment of silence Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
 
 

Israel commemorates Holocaust victims

National Holocaust Remembrance Day opens as sirens wail throughout country and Israelis stand up for two minutes of silence to remember victims of Nazis. Central state ceremony commences in Yad Vashem

Ronen Medzini
Published: 04.21.09, 10:37 / Israel News

Sixty-four years after the Holocaust, during which six million Jews perished at the hands of the Nazi killing machine, Israelis bowed their heads and remembered the victims as National Holocaust Remembrance Day events commenced on Tuesday.

 

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This year the events will focus on children in the Holocaust.

 

At 10 am sirens wailed throughout the country and Israelis stood up for two minutes of silence.

Immediately following the sirens, the central state ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem opened.

 

The president, prime minister, Supreme Court president, Knesset speaker, IDF chief, police commissioner and other state dignitaries attended the event, alongside survivor and veteran organizations and high school students from across Israel.

 

PM Netanyahu at Yad Vashem ceremony (Photo: Dudi Vaaknin)

 

After the laying of the wreaths ceremony at the Warsaw Ghetto Square in the museum, members of the general public read out names of Holocaust victims as part of the "Unto Every Person There is a Name" project, which seeks to record the names of all the Jews murdered during World War II.

 

A similar ceremony took place at the Knesset, where – for the 20th year - MKs read out the names of victims.

 

At 5:30 pm a rally of youth movements will be held at Yad Vashem and attended by Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar.

 

A ceremony marking the conclusion of the day's events will begin at 7 pm near the museum, with Defense Minister Ehud Barak in attendance.

 

Meanwhile, some 7,000 teenagers and students attended the March of Living from Auschwitz to Birkenau death camps in Poland. For the first time Jewish youths were not the majority of participants, as 4,000 non-Jewish teens seeking to fight racism and anti-Semitism took part in the march.

 

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