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Israeli highway comes to a halt to remember Holocaust [Video]

April 19, 2012 |  3:37 pm

In Israel, sirens wailed for two minutes across the country to commemorate the Holocaust on Thursday, a day devoted annually to remembering the Nazi genocide that killed 6 million Jewish people and millions more of other backgrounds.

In the video above, traffic on one highway comes to a halt as Israelis pull over or simply stop, get out of their cars, and listen to the siren, their heads bowed. In Israel and elsewhere, people remembered the genocide by reading the names of victims, recounting their stories and praying.

This year, Israeli leaders invoked another threat as they recalled the Holocaust -- the idea of a nuclear Iran. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argued that "those who dismiss the Iranian threat as a whim or an exaggeration haven't learned a thing from the Holocaust,” a comparison he has made before.

His remarks stirred up controversy in Israel and worldwide as people gathered from Texas to Moldova to mark the somber day. Holocaust survivor and famous author Elie Wiesel argued it was unacceptable to compare anything to the Holocaust.

"Iran is a danger, but to claim that it is creating a second Auschwitz? I compare nothing to the Holocaust," Wiesel told the Jewish Post.


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-- Emily Alpert in Los Angeles