|In this April 12, 2012 photo, holocaust survivor Helen Handler rests her head and cries on the wall of a rail car that will go in the Holocaust & Tolerance Museum, in Phoenix. The railcar was brought 11,000 miles from Macedonia to Arizona. The last time Handler saw her family together was on a similar car on the way to Auschwitz. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Pat Shannahan)|
In gatherings across Israel, the names of the dead were read out in emotion-filled ceremonies and sirens wailed to honor the 6 million Jews who perished at the hands of the Nazis.
In Poland, youth from around the world marched between Auschwitz and Birkenau - the two parts of Nazi Germany's most notorious death complex - in remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust.
From Macedonia to Moldova to Israel and beyond, Holocaust Remembrance Day evoked painful memories of individuals and entire communities wiped out by the Nazi killing machine.
At a ceremony known as "Every Person Has a Name" at Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, 87-year-old survivor Zvi Shefet carried a list of 48 names, including those of his parents, sister, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins.
"These people have no grave, no tombstone. Their names are written nowhere," said Shefet, who was the lone survivor of his family in a Polish village.
"When I go to Yad Vashem, it is like I am going to the cemetery, to remember my family but also my community - all those who died and have no one left behind to even remember or commemorate them."
Aleksandar Sumkovski, an 88-year old Macedonian Jew, lights candles in memory of victims of the Holocaust, in the Holocaust Memorial center of the Jews of Macedonia in the country's capital Skopje, on Thursday, April 19, 2012. Sumkovski's mother was among the 7,144 Macedonian Jews who were killed in the Nazi extermination camp of Treblinka. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
Members of Warsaw's Jewish community, and city officials and others gather to mark the 69th anniversary of the doomed Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday, April 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
Moldovans are seen through a Star of David as they wait to place flowers at the Holocaust remembrance memorial in Chisinau, Moldova, Thursday April 19, 2012. March 19 marks the day of remembrance for the lives of 6 million Jews claimed in the Holocaust during World War II. (AP Photo/John McConnico)
World War II veterans lay a wreath during the annual ceremony in memory of six million Jews who perished in the Nazi holocaust, on Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem,Thursday, April 19, 2012. Israel is marking its annual remembrance day for the six million Jews killed by the Nazis in World War II. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, Pool)