World leaders and ordinary citizens around the globe began marking Holocaust Remembrance Day at sundown on Sunday, 70 years after Nazi Germany unleashed a carefully organised plan for the mass extermination of Jewish people in Europe.
The Holocaust is marked each year in Israel on the 27th day of the Jewish month of Nisan. Restaurants, cafes and places of entertainment are shut down, and radio and TV programming are dedicated almost exclusively to documentaries, interviews with survivors and somber music.
Hungary's annual "March of Life" drew a record 25,000 people on Sunday to mark 70 years since the start of mass deportations of Hungarian Jews during World War II. Around 600,000 Hungarian Jews perished in the Holocaust after Nazi Germany's invasion of Hungary on March 19, 1944, either worked to death in labour camps or gassed. Only around 100,000 survived, mostly in the capital, Budapest.
Several thousand young Jews from Israel and other countries will march in tribute to the victims in the 26th annual "March of the Living" on the site of the former Nazi Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. The march this year is dedicated to Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews while serving as Sweden’s special envoy to Budapest during the war.
Israeli soldiers stand at attention before the start of the ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. © AFP
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech during a solemn ceremony marking the anniversary. Elsewhere, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas called the Holocaust the "the most heinous crime" against humanity in modern times. © AFP
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve (pictured centre) met with Jewish leaders at the Shoah Memorial in central Paris on Sunday. © AFP
A Holocaust survivor places a candle during a ceremony in the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland. The death camp was liberated by Soviet troops. © AFP
Members of the Israeli Parliament, or Knesset, passed the main gate of the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland on Yom HaShoah, which marks the day Jews in the Polish Warsaw ghetto revolted against Nazi German troops. © AFP
Some ten thousand participants walked behind their street-wide banner with the text 'March of the Living, Hungary' in Budapest on Sunday during a march commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust. © AFP
Date created : 2014-04-28