A variety of events have taken place over the last two days to mark Yom HaShoah – the Jewish communities’ time to remember the 6 million Jewish lives that were lost in the Holocaust, and honour their memory. In the UK on Sunday the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, joined survivors in an emotional commemoration held in north London. He was there alongside the Chief Rabbi, Israel’s ambassador to the UK and other dignitaries.
The 2017 Commemoration at the Yad Vashem
In Israel that same day there was a ceremony at the Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, including speeches by Israel’s president and prime minister. Reuven Rivlin declared that the existence of the State of Israel is not compensation for the Holocaust; whilst Benjamin Netanyahu was deeply critical of the Allied powers during WW2 for not taking action to stop the slaughter.
Then at 10:00am on Monday, wailing sirens in Israel summoned the population to the annual two-minute pause to remember; producing unique scenes of people and traffic coming to a halt everywhere, to remember those who died.
The two-minute pause in Israel
And timed to coincide with that event in Israel, there was the annual ‘March of the Living’ in Poland, in which thousands of people from around the world walked the two-mile route between the Auschwitz and Birkenau death camps.
Deeply moving as they are, many people think it essential to continue these acts of remembrance so that the world will not forget the horror of the Holocaust.