Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, began Sunday evening, April 23, and lasts until Monday evening, April 24. U.S. President Donald Trump spoke up in support of the Jewish people in a video address that was released on Sunday. President Trump opened his address by calling the Holocaust “the darkest chapter of human history” saying “We mourn, we remember, we pray, and we pledge: ‘Never again.’ I say it ‘Never again.’”
The video, which can be seen in this article from Huffpost, was made to honor those who lost their lives in the Holocaust as well as to express America’s support of Israel.
“The mind cannot fathom the pain, the horror and the loss. Six million Jews, two-thirds of the Jews in Europe, murdered by the Nazi genocide. They were murdered by an evil that words cannot describe, and that the human heart cannot bear.”
In Israel, a siren rang out, over the entire country for two solid minutes as the people stopped everything they were doing to remember the devastation of the Holocaust and the 6 million Jews that died. According to KRQE News, the siren ritual is “the centerpiece of Israel’s annual Holocaust Remembrance Day.” The entire country paused, with cars pulling over to the side of the road and businesses and households in complete stillness and silence as they honored the victims of the Holocaust.
There was also a wreath-laying ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and a public reading of names which took place in Israel’s parliament. According to the KRQE article, Holocaust Remembrance Day is “one of the most solemn days on Israel’s calendar.” Schools and community centers hold ceremonies and prayers, certain business shut down, and radio and television stations are filled with documentaries and interviews with Holocaust survivors.
“Restoring Their Identities: The Fate of the Individual During the Holocaust.” That is the theme of this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorations at Yad Vashem.
“It is a race against the clock to collect as many names of those murdered during the Holocaust before there are no more survivors left,” said Alexander Avram, director of Yad Vashem’s Hall of Names, as he and others at the Holocaust memorial, urged people to help them gather as many names and survivor testimonies as possible.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, spoke at the Holocaust memorial ceremony, giving a warning to those who threaten Israel, as reported by Deutche Welle. Netanyahu’s warning was directed at Iran and in the warning he said that “those who threaten to destroy us risk being destroyed themselves.” Netanyahu pointed out how Israel became strong following the Holocaust.
“From being defenseless people, we have become a state with a defensive capacity that is among the strongest in the world,” said Netanyahu.
The people of Poland honored Holocaust Remembrance Day with an annual event called the “March of the Living,” which is a two-mile (three kilometer) march from the Auschwitz camp, to Birkenau, a larger death camp. According to Fox News, those participating in the march gathered at the main gate and, at the sound of a shofar, began the march in silence. The march took participants along the train tracks used to carry people to Birkenau, and many participants left small wooden plaques, with messages of honor and remembrance for those who were killed along the tracks.
The Holocaust was one of the worst, if not the worst tragedy in the history of humanity. An event rooted in hatred that affected the entire world. An event so tragic that there are two separate days of remembrance. International Holocaust Remembrance Day was on January 27 of this year, and Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah, ends this evening. May humanity never forget what has happened, and may we all band together to ensure that nothing of the like ever happens again.
[Featured Image by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images]