Israel Remembers The Holocaust

April 20, 2009 Updated: October 1, 2015

Jewish people gather at Auschwitz-Birkenau on the eve of Yom Hashoa Day on April 20, 2009 in Krakow, Poland. (Moshe Milner/GPO via Getty Images)
Jewish people gather at Auschwitz-Birkenau on the eve of Yom Hashoa Day on April 20, 2009 in Krakow, Poland. (Moshe Milner/GPO via Getty Images)
The Israeli leadership joined a solemn ceremony in Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem to mark Yom Hashoa Day, or Holocaust Day, on Monday evening.

The first speaker, Israeli President Shimon Peres, remembered the 1.5 million children who were murdered among the 6 million Jews during the Holocaust, which he called "a historical crime." He also took the opportunity to mention the Durban Conference against racism, which he said is actually "accepting racism."

"The main speaker, [Iranian President] Ahmadinejad, is calling to eliminate Israel and is denying the Holocaust. This is shame and disgrace," he said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also attended the ceremony, and also addressed the terrible fate of Jewish children during the Holocaust. He stated that the supreme duty of the state of Israel is to prevent another Holocaust from happening to the Jewish people.

On Monday morning, the Israeli government marked Holocaust Day in a ceremony in Warsaw.

On Tuesday, thousands of Israeli high school students will participate in the March of the Living in Poland. This is an annual educational activity during which the participants march silently from Auschwitz to Birkenau, the largest Nazi German concentration camp complex built during World War II.

Many other ceremonies were held throughout Israel on Monday and more are planned for today.