Sirens wail in Israel as people stand silently to remember six million Jews killed by Nazis during World War II. But, as the nation marks Holocaust Remembrance Day, academics say anti-semitic attacks in 2006 were the most numerous than in the past six years.
The Steven Roth Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism said there were about six hundred cases of violence and vandalism worldwide, nearly two hundred more than the previous year. The Institute’s Professor Dina Porat said the majority of assaults were random and opportunistic, and took place mostly at the work place, in school and near Jewish institutions. “The most troubling data is that people, including children and youngsters, are being detected on the streets in schools, coming in and out of Jewish institutes and this constitutes most of the cases,” Professor Porat said.
Thousands of people gathered for the so-called “March of the Living” at Auschwitz. The walk stretches from the gates of the Nazi death camp to the ruins of the gas chambers of Birkenau. Organisers say marchers mourn the dead and also “bear witness to the undying spirit of the Jewish people”. The march started in 1988 as part of efforts to fight holocaust denial.