Thousands commemorate the Holocaust in Auschwitz

Thousands of people from around the world, including several young Israelis, gathered on Monday in Auschwitz to pay tribute to the millions of victims of the Holocaust.

Several participants in the March of the Living were carrying Israeli flags during the three-kilometer journey from Auschwitz to Birkenau death camp, where Jews and Roma were sent to the gas chambers.

Other marchers had provided themselves with small plates of wood on which were inscribed messages which they had placed along the railway line leading to Auschwitz.

In Israel, sirens were heard and people stopped for two minutes across the country in memory of the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust.

Pedestrians stopped moving, buses stopped on busy streets and cars stood along major highways – their drivers standing on the pavement, with their heads tilted.

A sheaf of flowers was laid at the Yad Vashem monument in the presence of Israeli leaders and Holocaust survivors. The names of several victims were read in the Israeli parliament and the flags at half-mast. Other ceremonies were held in the country’s schools, community centers and military bases.

This Holocaust Remembrance Day is among the most solemn of the entire Israeli calendar.

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