Yesterday, President Trump issued a statement for today in honor of Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, honoring the memory of those who were murdered in the Holocaust.
Holocaust Remembrance Day corresponds with the 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar and also marks the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in which Polish Jews enslaved in the Warsaw Ghetto formed a valiant and heroic uprising against their Nazi captors.
In Israel, the nation solemnly remembers the 6 million victims. All across the nation, sirens sound at 10 a.m., officially beginning the day of remembrance.
At the sound of the sirens, everyone immediately stops. Traffic comes to a halt – cars, buses, big rigs, all stop in the middle of the highway and people get out of their cars and stand with their heads bowed for a full minute as the siren sounds.
There is also a traditional wreath-laying ceremony at Yad-Vashem’s Memorial of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, located in Jerusalem. At 11 a.m. members of the Knesset begin reciting the names of of victims of the Nazi’s. The recitation continues for nearly two hours.
The day is also observed in Poland, where a “March of the Living” of over 10,000 people takes place at 2:30 p.m. led by President Reuven Rivlin. The March was also attended by IDF chief Gadi Eisenkot and the heads of Israel’s Mossad spy agency and Shin Bet security service.
According to The Times of Israel, “They participated in a three-kilometer (two-mile) march from the main Auschwitz concentration camp to the Birkenau extermination camp, which housed the gas chambers and crematoria.” More details:
Participants carrying Israeli flags at the former Nazi-German Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp during the ‘March of the Living’ at Oswiecim in Krakow, Poland on April 24, 2017. (Omar Marques/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images via JTA)
The Nazis killed some 1.1 million people at the camp, mostly Jews, but also Russians, Gypsies, Poles and members of other nationalities.
Events will conclude at 7:30 p.m. with ceremonies at Kibbutz Lohamei HaGeta’ot and Kibbutz Yad Mordechai in Israel’s north.
Decades after the liberation of the Nazi camps, the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day continues to be marked with solemnity in Israel, with restaurants, stores and entertainment centers closed and Holocaust-themed movies and documentaries broadcast on TV and radio.
In the official statement released by the White House, the President outlined the brief history of the atrocities of the Holocaust and Proclaimed April 12, 2018-April 19, 2018 as “the Days of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust.” He concludes the Proclamation by urging for a unified tribute to the people who so courageously withstood Nazi aggression though facing certain defeat. Read the full text of the Proclamation here.