Commuters, workers, students and Israelis of all stripes took two minutes from their lives Thursday morning to stand in silence on Holocaust Remembrance Day. At 10 a.m. a two-minute siren was sounded throughout the country to remember the six million Jews murdered at the hands of the Nazis in the Holocaust.

Following the siren, various official state ceremonies and events were due to commence immediately.



A ceremony was set be held at Warsaw Ghetto Square at Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, which President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Supreme Court President Asher Grunis were due to attend.

The Knesset was to hold a ceremony entitled "every person has a name," led by Peres and Netanyhau, in which the names of Holocaust victims will be read out.

On Thursday afternoon, youth from Israel and around the world were expected to participate in the "March of the Living" in Poland.

Speaking on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day Wednesday evening the prime minister said that while it is the world’s duty to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear arms, it is first and foremost Israel’s obligation.

Speaking at the state’s Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem, Netanyahu delivered a speech that dealt heavily with Iran. He said the obligation Israel must take from the Holocaust is not only to remember the past, “but to learn the lessons and more importantly to implement those lessons to ensure the future of our people.”

He noted that this was especially true in this generation, when there are those calling for the destruction of the Jewish state, and when Iran is working toward obtaining the means of achieving that goal.

Netanyahu’s comments came at the ceremony whose theme this year – under the banner of “My Brother’s Keeper” – was Jewish solidarity during the Holocaust.

Hundreds of survivors attended, and six survivors who assisted other Jews during the Holocaust were honored during a torch lighting ceremony.

Herb Keinon and Melanie Lidman contributed to this report

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