Israel comes to a standstill for Holocaust Remembrance Day

Life came to a standstill throughout Israel for two minutes Thursday to the sound of sirens to commemorate Holocaust Day, in memory of the six million Jewish victims of Nazism during World War II.

At 10:00 am (07:00 GMT), Israelis observed a moment of silence in the streets, on the balconies of their homes and at the doors of shops and offices.

Motorists got out of their cars and buses stopped. Pupils and students from all school and university establishments also respected these two minutes of reflection.

All the television and radio channels have been broadcasting since Wednesday night testimonies, documentaries and films dedicated to the genocide.

During a ceremony at the Shoah memorial in Jerusalem, Yad Vashem, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Wednesday that "no event, no matter how cruel, is comparable to the Holocaust".

"The Holocaust is the final and absolute expression of thousands of years of anti-Semitism"he added.

At the ceremony, Shoah survivors lit six torches in memory of the six million Jews massacred by the Nazis.

Visiting the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on Wednesday, the president of the Bundestag (the German parliament) Barbel Bas estimated that "Germany’s responsibility" in the fight against antisemitism "I do not finish".

"The lessons of the Holocaust demand that we never tolerate the rise and spread of anti-Semitism"Bas wrote in the Knesset’s golden book.

"We stand with Israel"he added.

According to official figures, 161,400 Holocaust survivors currently live in Israel.

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