Israel marks Holocaust Memorial Day

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem.

Yom HaShoa, the Holocaust Memorial Day was marked in Israel yesterday.

In Israel, a two-minute siren brought life to a standstill at 10 a.m. as Israelis observed an annual moment of silence in remembrance of the victims of the Nazis and their collaborators. Pedestrians stood, buses and cars pulled over on streets.

The sirens were followed by services at the Knesset and Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority. At the Knesset, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert read the names of the members of the Richter family, relatives of his wife Aliza who were killed in the Holocaust whilst Benjamin Netanyahu, opposition leader, read the names of his wife Sara's relatives. Vice Prime Minister, Shimon Peres spoke of losing his grandfather, whilst Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog spoke of his father's cousin who was caught trying to cross the French border and was sent to Auschwitz. Additionally, memorial services were held throughout the day at all schools and institutions.

Virginia Tech Shootings

The spirit of the day was further saddened late on in the day with the news that Professor Liviu Librescu, an Israeli Holocaust Survivor was killed in the Virginia Tech massacre. It was reported that he was murdered while holding off the gunman at his lecture hall entrance so his students could escape through the window.