Holocaust Remembrance Day to begin tonight at Yad Vashem

Israel will pause in memory of the six million who perished in the Holocaust; YouTube effort launched to counter Shoah denial.

new yad vashem 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
new yad vashem 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Israel will pause Wednesday night in memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, as the country marks the start of Holocaust Remembrance Day. The annual state ceremony that ushers in the 24-hour commemoration will begin at 8 p.m. at Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. The hourlong event will be broadcast on television and radio, and will be attended by President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and scores of dignitaries from around the world. The central theme of this year's ceremony is Holocaust Survivors in Israel. Six torches will be lit by Holocaust survivors in memory of the six million who perished. The chief rabbis of Israel will recite a selection from Psalms and the Kaddish mourning prayer. All places of entertainment will be closed on Wednesday night. Another Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony with the participation of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni will take place at the Massuah Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Kibbutz Tel Yitzhak, near Netanya. On Thursday, a two-minute siren will sound at 10 a.m., at the start of a day of ceremonies throughout the nation. An official state wreath-laying ceremony will take place just after the siren is sounded, at the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Memorial at Yad Vashem, in the presence of the prime minister and other VIPs. The "Unto Every Person There is a Name" ceremony will follow - in which Holocaust victims' names are read out - at both the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem and at the Knesset. Approximately 250,000 Holocaust survivors live in Israel. On Tuesday, in an effort to combat Holocaust denial, Yad Vashem launched two YouTube channels, http://www.youtube.com/user/YadVashem in English and http://www.youtube.com/user/yadvashemarabic in Arabic, with testimonies and archival footage about the Holocaust. "Unfortunately, there is a plethora of misinformation and deliberate lies about the Holocaust available on the Internet," said Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev. "The Yad Vashem channel on one of the most popular Web sites today will counter this material, and make reliable information widely available to anyone who seeks to know more about this terrible chapter in human history." Separately, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi arrived in Poland on Tuesday, where he will lead the 10,000-strong March of the Living at Auschwitz-Birkenau on Thursday. Ashkenazi will also meet with Poland's Defense Minister Bogdan Klich and Chief of Staff Gen. Franciszek Gagor during his three day visit.