TEL AVIV (Sputnik) — Air raid alarm had the country grind to a two-minute halt amid the early morning rush, stopping drivers and pedestrians alike, pausing school and university lessons and ceasing work and services, as the country remembered the Jews killed in Germany by the Nazi regime throughout World War II. Israelis traditionally mark the event by laying wreaths on Holocaust memorials, reading out the names of those killed, and watching war films and witness accounts.
- 70th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation by Red Army© Sputnik / Valeriy Melnikov
- Israelis stand as a siren is heard during a ceremony marking the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Hall of Remembrance at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, in Jerusalem© AP Photo / Sebastian Scheiner, Pool
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lays a wreath during a ceremony marking the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Hall of Remembrance at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, in Jerusalem© AP Photo / Sebastian Scheiner, Pool
- Holocaust survivors and their relatives lay a wreath next to the names of concentration camps during a ceremony marking the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Hall of Remembrance at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, in Jerusalem© AP Photo / Sebastian Scheiner, Pool
- Visitors stand in Yad Vashem's Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem© REUTERS / Baz Ratner
- Holocaust survivors light six torches in memory of the victims during a ceremony marking the Holocaust Remembrance Day© AFP 2019 / GIL COHEN-MAGEN
- Motorists stand still beside vehicles as a two-minute siren marking Holocaust Remembrance Day is sounded in Jerusalem© REUTERS / Baz Ratner
- A man holds Israel's national flag as he stands still during the sounding of a two-minute siren marking Holocaust Remembrance Day in Jerusalem© REUTERS / Ammar Awad
- Israeli high school students look at a model of the Warsaw Ghetto at the museum "From Holocaust to Revival" during Holocaust Remembrance Day, in Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, Israel© AP Photo / Ariel Schalit
"The allies could have rescued four million Jews, two-thirds of the six million killed. The powers knew the truth but did nothing as the Nazis carried out one terrible crime after another against the Jews… Has hate disappeared? No, it didn't go anywhere… Maybe the world's indifference changed?" Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, referring to recently declassified UN data, during a ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust victim memorial in Jerusalem.
The prime minister went on to warn that the Jews were now ready to protect their state against any assault.
"Those who threaten Israel are placing themselves in danger… This is not an exaggeration, not a provocation, it is my statement. We must secure a future for ourselves and it is within our power to do this," he said.
The ceremony started with the lighting of six torches, each representing a million victims of Nazi crimes.
Israel's Holocaust Day does not coincide with January's UN International Holocaust Remembrance Day and is held on the commemoration date of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising's first day.