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Published on 24 April 2020

Yom Hashoah - A time for remembrance

Once a year, in Israel and all around the world, we commemorate "Yom Hashoah" : one day to remember the 6 millions Jews murdered during the Holocaust. This year (on Tuesday, April 21) because of the critical sanitary situation, was really special. In addition to the official commemorative ceremonies, many initiatives have been organized around the world.

"The days are all alike and it is not easy to count them." wrote Primo Levi in ​​Si c'est un homme about life in the camp. On Tuesday, April 21, we marked a pause to remember all these days, and all these human beings victims of Nazi barbarism.

Tuesday morning, as every year for Yom Hashoah, the Israelis froze for two minutes, in memory of all the victims of the Holocaust.

This Israeli national commemoration, established since 1951, is made of an alarm that sounds throughout the country for two minutes during which everyone freezes, stopping what he is doing. Motorists get out of their vehicles, public transport users get out and stand up, hurried passersby stop their morning run, even planes - it seems - froze in the Israeli sky.

A time to remember and never forget. Never forget the 6 million Jews murdered during the greatest tragedy of humanity. Never forget fear, dread, suffering and pain. Never forget where you come from and what you belong to either.

This year, facing an exceptional health crisis, Yom Hashoah had to reinvent itself. By lighting a remembrance candle, by listening to the alarm from your balcony and live on TV, or by posting a photo, a name, a memory of a former deportee of the Holocaust.

In Israel, the official ceremony was held at the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem and was broadcast live on the website.

Dozens of citizen initiatives have also taken place across the country, including virtual "Zikaron BaSalon" (memory in the living room) to listen to a testimony from a Holocaust survivor.

In France, Jewish institutions also offered cultural and memorial events on the occasion of Yom Hashoah. For instance, the Shoah Memorial in Paris streamed a names lecture on its website for 24 hours.

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