Israel marked Holocaust Remembrance Day with a two-minute siren blast Tuesday morning that brought the entire nation to a standstill. A malfunction in Tel Aviv caused the sirens there to last an additional four minutes.
The sirens were followed by a day of solemn memorial ceremonies for the six million who perished in Nazi Germany's effort to exterminate the Jewish people. This year's Holocaust Remembrance Day focused on the 1.5 million Jewish children who died in Nazi death camps.
In a letter to lawmakers around the world, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin cautioned that with the rise of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the world was again being subjected to the kind of rhetoric, propaganda and beliefs that led to the Nazi Holocaust.
"Yesterday the world witnessed the return of Adolf Hitler," read Rivlin's letter, referring to Ahmadinejad's keynote address to the UN Human Rights Council anti-racism conference in Geneva, where he labeled Israel the source of all racism and violence in the world.
Rivlin went on to warn that Ahmadinejad, who is seeking nuclear weapons, may be directing most of his threats at Israel presently, but eventually, like Hitler, he will threaten the entire world.