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Israel remembers the Holocaust

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On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israel’s prime minister said Israel should recognize survivors’ contributions to the nation.

Ehud Olmert noted that while Israel, which celebrates its 60th Independence Day next week, does not owe its founding to the horrors of the Holocaust, it should recognize the contributions survivors have made to the state.

Israelis observed their annual two-minute silence Thursday in honor of the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis during World War II.

As every year, Holocaust Remembrance Day was marked with solemn gatherings at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and other memorial sites. Israeli radio and television stations broadcast interviews with survivors, documentaries on the Nazi genocide and films with Holocaust themes. Restaurants and other entertainment venues closed as a sign of respect.

“Today the 60-year-old State of Israel promises the millions of Jews who disappeared into the eternal silence that we will forever uphold the memory of the events of the Holocaust,” Olmert said in a speech. “The rebirth of the state, its blossoming and its prosperity, and the Holocaust survivors living lives of dignity here – these are the best way to remember and move forward.”

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