Israel falls silent to remember the horrors of the Holocaust


Israel falls silent to remember the horrors of the Holocaust: Traffic comes to a halt and families stand with heads bowed across the state to mark WWII’s six million Jewish victims

  • The annual memorial marks the anniversary of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising – the most significant act of Jewish resistance against Nazi Germany during the Holocaust that claimed six million Jewish victims
  • The Holocaust is a keystone element of Israeli public consciousness, with the country founded in 1948
  • This was three years after the Second World War and the mass genocide by the Nazis came to an end
  • Hundreds of thousands of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust fled to Israel as a place of refuge

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Israelis stood in silence on Thursday as a two-minute siren wailed across the country in remembrance of the Holocaust’s six million Jewish victims.

Public buses and cars stopped on the streets and highways, and pedestrians stood in place in memory of those killed in the Nazi genocide.

The annual memorial is one of the most sombre days in the Israeli calendar, marking the anniversary of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising – the most significant act of Jewish resistance against Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.

The Holocaust is a keystone element of Israeli public consciousness. Israel was founded in 1948, three years after the end of World War II and the genocide. As a place of refuge for Jews across the world, hundreds of thousands of Holocaust survivors who had lost their homes and families fled there.

Starting at sundown on Wednesday, Israeli television and radio shifted over to Holocaust remembrance broadcasting, and restaurants and other entertainment shut down.

Fewer than 180,000 Holocaust survivors remain in Israel. President Reuven Rivlin said Wednesday in a speech at Yad Vashem, the world Holocaust remembrance centre, that 900 survivors died during the past year’s coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at Wednesday’s memorial, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged world leaders not to renew a nuclear agreement with Iran, saying that ‘history has taught us that deals like this, with extremist regimes like this, are worth nothing.’

People stand for a moment of silence on main road at the entrance to Jerusalem as sirens sound throughout the country to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day in Jerusalem, Israel, 08 April 2021

People stand for a moment of silence on main road at the entrance to Jerusalem as sirens sound throughout the country to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day in Jerusalem, Israel, 08 April 2021

People stand still as a two-minute siren marking the annual Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Day is heard in Tel Aviv, Israel April 8, 2021. Public buses and cars stopped on the streets and highways, and pedestrians stood in place in memory of those killed in the Nazi genocide. The annual memorial is one of the most somber days in the Israeli calendar

People stand still as a two-minute siren marking the annual Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Day is heard in Tel Aviv, Israel April 8, 2021. Public buses and cars stopped on the streets and highways, and pedestrians stood in place in memory of those killed in the Nazi genocide. The annual memorial is one of the most somber days in the Israeli calendar

A man covered in an Israeli flag stands still as a two-minute siren marking the annual Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Day is heard in Jerusalem April 8, 2021. The day marks the anniversary of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising - the most significant act of Jewish resistance against Nazi Germany during the Holocaust

A man covered in an Israeli flag stands still as a two-minute siren marking the annual Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Day is heard in Jerusalem April 8, 2021. The day marks the anniversary of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising – the most significant act of Jewish resistance against Nazi Germany during the Holocaust

People stand still as a two-minute siren marking the annual Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Day is heard in Ashkelon, Israel April 8, 2021

People stand still as a two-minute siren marking the annual Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Day is heard in Ashkelon, Israel April 8, 2021

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, front left, attends a wreath-laying ceremony marking the Holocaust Remembrance Day at Warsaw Ghetto Square at Yad Vashem, the world Holocaust remembrance centre in Jerusalem Thursday, April 8, 2021

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, front left, attends a wreath-laying ceremony marking the Holocaust Remembrance Day at Warsaw Ghetto Square at Yad Vashem, the world Holocaust remembrance centre in Jerusalem Thursday, April 8, 2021

People stand still as a two-minute siren marking the annual Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Day is heard in Jerusalem April 8, 2021. The Holocaust is a keystone element of Israeli public consciousness

People stand still as a two-minute siren marking the annual Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Day is heard in Jerusalem April 8, 2021. The Holocaust is a keystone element of Israeli public consciousness

People stand still as a two-minute siren marking the annual Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Day is heard in Tel Aviv, Israel April 8, 2021. Israel was founded in 1948, three years after the end of World War II and the genocide

People stand still as a two-minute siren marking the annual Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Day is heard in Tel Aviv, Israel April 8, 2021. Israel was founded in 1948, three years after the end of World War II and the genocide

People stand still on a sea-front as a two-minute siren sounds in memory of victims of the Holocaust, in Tel Aviv (seen in the background), Israel, Thursday, April 8, 2021

People stand still on a sea-front as a two-minute siren sounds in memory of victims of the Holocaust, in Tel Aviv (seen in the background), Israel, Thursday, April 8, 2021

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