The Republic of Macedonia held a commemoration ceremony this week marking the 70th anniversary of the deportation of some 7,000 Jews from its territory to the Nazi death camps.
At ceremonies across the country this week organized by the Macedonian Jewish community the country remembered the deportations begun in March 1943 which continued over a two-month period.
The European Jewish Congress was represented by its Executive Vice-President Raya Kalenova who addressed the gathering.
Initial ceremonies began at the Holocaust Memorial Centre of the Jews from Macedonia in the capital Skopje on Sunday where a new exhibition entitled “New Witnesses to the Holocaust was formerly opened.
The president of Macedonia, Gjorgje Ivanov attended the event.
Macedonian territory was occupied by German-ally Bulgaria, whose fascist-government troops assisted the Nazis in the round-ups of Jews from Macedonia and Thrace.
Wreath-laying ceremonies at the Monument to 7,144 Macedonian Jews in Skopje and at the city’s Jewish cemetery and at city hall were also held.
Apart from commemoration events in the capital, other ceremonies took place in Stip and in Bitola with receptions at their respective city halls in the presence of politicians, religious leaders and city officials.
In all, some 98 percent of Macedonia’s wartime Jewish population of some 7,000 Jews were deported to the Nazi death camps.Friday, March 15, 2013