Israel came to a standstill for two mournful minutes today as sirens pierced the air in an annual ritual to remember the 6 million Jews systematically murdered by German Nazis and their collaborators during the Holocaust in World War II.
Israelis stopped what they were doing and stood in silence as sirens wailed nationwide today at 10:00 am. People stood with heads bowed in reflection. Traffic
froze as drivers stopped their cars and stepped outside in respect for the solemn day.
Commemorations are held around the country. The main wreath laying ceremony is held at the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is marked worldwide on January 27,the date of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp. Israel’s annual Holocaust memorial day coincides with the Hebrew date of the Warsaw ghetto uprising.
Israel dedicated its annual memorial day this year to mark 70 years to the Warsaw ghetto uprising,a symbol of Jewish resistance against the Nazis in World War II that
resonates deeply in Israel to this day.
The 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising was the first large-scale rebellion against the Nazis in Europe and the single greatest act of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust.
Though guaranteed to fail,it became a symbol of struggle against impossible conditions,illustrating a refusal to give in to Nazi atrocities and inspired other acts of uprising and underground resistance by Jews and non-Jews alike.
The annual memorial day is one of the most solemn on Israel’s calendar. Restaurants,cafes and places of entertainment are shut down,and radio and TV programming are
dedicated almost exclusively to documentaries about the Holocaust,interviews with survivors and somber music.