NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Holocaust Remembrance Day, the day honoring the six million Jewish victims who died in the Holocaust, was observed around the world on Thursday.
Israelis stood in silence as a two-minute siren wailed across the country. Buses and cars stopped on the streets as people stepped out of their vehicles to stand with their heads bowed.
A ceremony was also held as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laid wreaths at the National Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem.
In New York, a unique and heartfelt commemoration brought together those who lived through the Holocaust with those who are now learning about it.
At an exhibit and gathering at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Lower Manhattan, more than 400 Jewish students met in groups with Holocaust survivors from Austria, Germany and Poland who now live in the New York area.
“Wanted to survive, we want our story to be told,” said survivor Ray Kaner. “What they did to us for no reason because we were Jewish.”
Kaner was a young girl when he she was taken to Auschwitz.
“You couldn’t imagine the enormity of the suffering we had,” Kaner said.
She recounted her struggle to the students, who were mesmerized and astonished, CBS2’s Scott Rapaport reported.
“I think about how something so immoral could happen to people, how humanity could go so low,” said student Maor Shazo.
“Just hearing such horrific stories makes me angry at how often people can say this didn’t happen,” said student Hannah Slager.
By telling the stories, the students take part in the true meaning of Yom HaShoa and the message, “never forget.”
President Donald Trump also proclaimed April 12 through April 19 as the “Days of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust.”
“On Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, and during this week of remembrance, we reflect on one of the darkest periods in the history of the world and honor the victims of Nazi persecution,” the proclamation said. “We must ensure that the history of the Holocaust remains forever relevant and that no people suffer these tragedies ever again.”
To read the full proclamation, click here.