Israel commemorates 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust
Israeli President Isaac Herzog delivers a speech at the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) during the Holocaust Remembrance Day. -/GPO/dpa
Israeli President Isaac Herzog delivers a speech at the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) during the Holocaust Remembrance Day. -/GPO/dpa

Israel held a day of remembrance on Thursday for the 6 million Jewish men, women and children murdered by Nazis and their collaborators during the Holocaust.

Sirens sounded for two minutes in the morning. Cars stopped in the street and people stood still to commemorate the dead.

Afterwards, a remembrance ceremony with top Israeli officials and German Bundestag President Bärbel Bas began at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. Bas laid down a wreath in the name of Germany's federal parliament.

She was the first high-ranking representative from Germany to attend a separate ceremony in Israeli parliament where the names of victims of the Holocaust were read out.

Earlier in the Knesset, Bas lit a candle in memory of Irma Nathan, a Jewish woman who was deported from her hometown of Duisburg 80 years ago. Nathan was murdered by the Nazis in 1942 during World War Two. Her husband and two children were also killed by the Nazis.

At the official opening ceremony in Yad Vashem on Wednesday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stressed the uniqueness of the Holocaust.

"Even the worst wars today are not the Holocaust and are not comparable to the Holocaust," he said, according to a statement. "The Nazis aspired to hunt down all Jews and exterminate every last one of them."

According to national authorities, 161,400 Holocaust survivors are still alive in Israel with an average age of 85.5 years. More than 1,000 of them are older than 100. According to the data, there were 15.2 million Jews worldwide as of the end of 2020, with the largest number - 6.9 million - in Israel.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog lays a wreath during a wreath-laying ceremony in the Yad Vashem museum on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Ilia Yefimovich/dpa
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet lays a wreath during a wreath-laying ceremony in the Yad Vashem museum on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Ilia Yefimovich/dpa
Bundestag President Baerbel Bas lays a wreath during a wreath-laying ceremony in the Yad Vashem museum on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Ilia Yefimovich/dpa
Honourable Guard stand during Two-minute silence at a wresth-laying ceremony in the Yad Vashem museum on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Ilia Yefimovich/dpa
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet (C) and Israeli President Isaac Herzog (center R) stand during Two-minute silence at a wresth-laying ceremony in the Yad Vashem museum on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Ilia Yefimovich/dpa
Richard Lutz (R), CEO of Deutsche Bahn, and Kai Diekmann, German journalist, take part in a wreath-laying ceremony in the Yad Vashem museum on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Ilia Yefimovich/dpa