Israelis have come to a mournful, two-minute standstill as sirens pierced the air in remembrance of the 6 million Jews killed in the Nazi Holocaust during World War II.

Israel's annual Holocaust memorial day, marked Thursday, is one of the most solemn on the nation's calendar.

As the siren sounded, cars and buses pulled over on the side of highways and roads. Motorists stepped out of their cars and pedestrians stopped in their tracks, bowing their heads as they remembered those who perished.

Melancholic music and interviews with Holocaust survivors are filling the airwaves while TV stations show documentaries about the genocide.

Ceremonies are held around the country. Names of those killed are read out at parliament later in the day.