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.Comment on this story
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."