Israel marks Holocaust Remembrance Day with solemn ceremony

Israel is commemorating its Holocaust Remembrance Day in memory of the 6 million Jews systematically killed by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II.

The solemn day began Wednesday evening with the main ceremony at Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.

It is one of the most melancholy days on Israel's calendar.

Places of entertainment and cafes closed down. TV and radio stations broadcast documentaries about the Holocaust and interviews with survivors or somber music until sundown the next day.

Israelis come to a mournful, two-minute standstill to remember the dead Thursday morning when a siren wails across the country. Pedestrians stop in their tracks. Cars pull over on highways and roads and many people exit their vehicles to stand still in contemplation.

The names of Holocaust victims are read out in parliament.