(photo credit: )
Some 10,000 Jews from all over the world finished making their way from Auschwitz to Birkenau in this year's March of the Living. Ceremonies at Birkenau, led by Nobel laureate Shimon Peres, began at 4 p.m. Israel time (3 p.m. in Poland.)
[For a Jerusalem Online video of events click here]
At the end of the march, participants sang the Hatikva, Israel's national anthem.
Before the march's start, hundreds of youths carrying Israeli flags spent the morning wandering among the wooden barracks and barbed wire of the sprawling Birkenau camp, and visited the museum housed at the smaller Auschwitz camp nearby.
Among those taking part was Diana Katz, a 23-year-old history teacher from Jerusalem, whose grandmother, Lubia Tanenbaum, survived the camp after arriving as a 14-year-old from Hungary.
"I am here with my son to show the evil people in the world that we are here, that we are alive, that we want to live and we want future generations to live," Katz said as she pushed the baby carriage holding her three-month old son, Joseph. "We will not forget, and we have won."
Meanwhile, in Israel, a two-minute siren marked the start of a nationwide day of commemoration for Holocaust victims.
Names were read at Yad Vashem and during the Knesset memorial ceremony "Every Person Has a Name," in the presence of Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and other dignitaries.
Holocaust Remembrance Day began Monday evening with a state ceremony at Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority.
The hour-long event, which was broadcast live on television and radio, was attended by Olmert, President Moshe Katsav, and dozens of dignitaries and ambassadors from around the world.
The theme of this year's ceremony - coming at a time when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called the Holocaust a myth - is "The Human Spirit in the Shadow of Death."
March of the Living
March of Remembrance and Hope