April 18, 2001
Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah in Hebrew)
is a national day of commemoration in Israel, on which the six million
Jews murdered in the Holocaust are memorialized. It is a solemn day,
beginning at sunset on the 27th of the month of Nisan and ending the
following evening, according to the traditional Jewish custom of
marking a day. Places of entertainment are closed and memorial
ceremonies are held throughout the country.
The central ceremonies, in the evening and the following morning, are
held at Yad Vashem yad-vashem.org.il) and are broadcast on the
television. Marking the start of the day-in the presence of the
President of the State of Israel and the Prime Minister-dignitaries,
survivors, children of survivors and their families, gather together
with the general public to take part in the memorial ceremony at
Yad Vashem in which six torches, representing the six million
murdered Jews, are lit.
The following morning, the ceremony at Yad Vashem begins with the
sounding of a siren for two minutes throughout the entire country.
For the duration of the sounding, work is halted, people walking in
the streets stop, cars pull off to the side of the road and everybody
stands at silent attention in reverence to the victims of the Holocaust.
Afterward, the focus of the ceremony at Yad Vashem is the laying of
wreaths at the foot of the six torches, by dignitaries and the
representatives of survivor groups and institutions. Other sites of
remembrance in Israel, such as the Ghetto Fighters' Kibbutz and
Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, also host memorial ceremonies, as do schools,
military bases, municipalities and places of work. Throughout the day,
both the television and radio broadcast programs about the Holocaust.
In recent years, other countries and Jewish communities have adopted
Yom Hashoah, the 27th of Nisan, to mark their own day of memorial for
the victims of the Holocaust.
Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day
begins this year on Wednesday evening, April 18th, 2001
and continues Thursday, April 19th, 2001.
Yad Vashem Remembrance Site