Yad Vashem has designated the theme of this year’s events to be the commemoration of the onset of the mass murder of European Jewry by the Nazi regime after its invasion of the Soviet Union. Israel will once again commemorate the greatest calamity to befall the Jewish people in 2,000 years on Wednesday night and Thursday as the country marks Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Remembrance Day.  The official state opening ceremony for Holocaust Remembrance Day will take place on at 20:00 in Warsaw Ghetto Square at Yad Vashem on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem, and will be attended by President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Benjamin Netanyahu, Chief Rabbis Yitzhak Yosef and David Lau, and other dignitaries.  This year’s theme has been entitled “Until the Very Last Jew: Eighty Years Since the Onset of Mass Annihilation,” by Yad Vashem, marking the eightieth anniversary of Operation Barbarossa in which Nazi Germany staged a surprise attack against the Soviet Union in 1941 and occupied vast swathes of land in eastern Europe where millions of Jews lived. It was following this invasion that the mass shootings committed by the Einsatzgruppen, other German soldiers and police forces, along with local collaborators began across eastern Europe, and continued into 1943, in which some 1.5 million Jews were murdered. 

via jp: Holocaust Remembrance Day: Israel commemorates victims of Nazi genocide

Categories: holocaust