INTERNATIONAL: Thousands at Auschwitz for yearly Holocaust memorial event

People look at an exhibit as they tour the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.

The White House released the proclamation on Monday, which marked Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, ahead of Trump's planned speech at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The day will culminate with a memorial service at 5:30 p.m. followed by a special program featuring Holocaust survivor Mary Wygodski and her daughter Charlene Wygodski.

Pedestrians stood heads-bowed where they stopped and traffic pulled over on streets and major highways.

Almost two weeks after being vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti, the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia commemorated Holocaust Remembrance Day by remembering victims Sunday. Other ceremonies, prayers and musical performances took place in schools, community centers and army bases around the country. Restaurants, cafes and places of entertainment shut down, and radio and TV programs were dedicated nearly exclusively to documentaries about the Holocaust, interviews with survivors and somber music.

The Holocaust wiped out a third of world Jewry. "The older generation, the survivors, together with the younger generation say to those who sought our destruction, "You failed - we are here and we stand together with our friends, united in a cause for peace".

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Educating the world about societal failures that made the Holocaust possible is critical to preventing history from repeating itself.

Netanyahu said world powers knew by 1942 of the mass killings of Jews, and that if allies would have intervened by bombing the death camps, millions of people could have been saved.

Like Netanyahu, President Rivlin also focused on three lessons from the inferno of World War II: self-defense, a shared Jewish destiny, and the knowledge that man was created in God's image.

"We must stamp out prejudice and anti-Semitism everywhere it is found", he said.

Though Rivlin didn't mention Le Pen by name, he was one of the first Israeli government officials to respond to her winning 21 percent of the vote in the first round of France's presidential election on Sunday. He said although the Holocaust is "permanently branded in our flesh" it "is not the lens through which we should examine our past and our future".

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