Israelis stand still as horns sound for Yom Hashoah

By Nathan Jeffay, April 19, 2012
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Chief of Staff Benny Gantz marking Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem

Chief of Staff Benny Gantz marking Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem

Israel ground to a halt for two minutes yesterday morning, as sirens sounded across the country to mark Yom Hashoah.

As well as mourning victims and honouring resistance fighters, this year's events paid tribute to Jews who helped each other during the Shoah. The theme of Yom Hashoah this year was "My Brother's Keeper: Jewish Solidarity During the Holocaust".

Estee Yaari, spokeswoman for Yad Vashem which chose the theme, said: "We wanted to highlight the remarkable fact that people fighting for their own survival also managed to help others."

Municipalities across the country ran memorial events, and there were televised events at Yad Vashem. The opening ceremony took place there on Wednesday evening, when President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed 2,500 people, including politicians, diplomats and survivors. Six survivors lit torches, each torch representing a million victims.

On Thursday morning, Mr Netanyahu and Mr Peres returned to Yad Vashem to lay wreaths. Afterwards, members of the public were invited to the podium in the Hall
of Remembrance to read out the names of victims. A similar name reading took place at the same time in the Knesset.

Last updated: 4:46pm, April 19 2012