Sixty years after the Holocaust. The heaviest crime – the extermination of 7.200 Macedonian Jews in the crematoria in Treblinka (March 11, 1943 – March 11th 2003) is marked. Manifestation of respect and a message that this awful ethnocide is never to be forgotten. The Holocaust Fund is promoted and the idea for construction of a Holocaust Museum in Skopje is supported. A request for moral apology of the Bulgarians for their participation in the Holocaust of the Macedonian Jews is put in and a claim for return of the treasure of the Jews amounting to 16,5 million dollars that was stolen by the Bulgarian fascist administration during the Second World War is submitted.
This unforgettable event as a warning against evil, hatred, violence and as a message for peace, co-existence and mutual trust.
Mrs. Jaffa Ben – Ari, ambassador of Israel.
Not to let the tragedy happen again
“As long as you live, you should not forget and you should communicate your testimonies to the generations to come that the Germans killed and destroyed us”.
It is my important obligation as an Israeli Jewess and daughter of a survivor of the Holocaust, the Majdanek death camp, to preserve the memory of 6 million Jews, men, women and children, who were killed during the Second World War. It is our obligation to communicate this to the generations to come!
Our holy mission is to do everything that we can not to let such a tragedy of entire nation happen again to us or any other nation. We, the entire mankind, have the obligation to be guardians, who will stop intolerance and hatred that lead to such incomprehensible, senseless and dreadful crime. The state of Israel is built upon the ashes of the Holocaust. The survivors of the large scale destruction succeeded in creating a successful country, a small country yet based on strong democratic values and high moral principles.
Today, unfortunately, Israel is facing a wave of hatred in the region. In addition, we are witnessing a new wave of anti-Semitism in Europe. We should not forget that hatred is like a disease – once it occurs, it becomes contageous and is not controlled.
Israeli people and Europeans, Jews, Muslims and Christians must be united in the fight for peace. Together we have the chance to overcome hatred and to learn how to accept the differences of others.
We, who have shared the tragedy, know better. There came the time for the World to be a better place for its inhabitants.
Viktor Mizrahi, President of the Jewish community in Macedonia
Refreshing of memories as a basis for co-existence
We, who are present here today and the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia are paying tribute to 7.200 Macedonian Jews, victims of an unseen crime in history, victims of the darkest period in the history of mankind – the fascism, the Nazism.
On this day, 60 years ago, children, women, hardworking and honest men, wise old men, our relatives, parents, brothers, sisters, your co-citizens, who lived with you for centuries in Shtip, Bitola, Skopje and other towns in Macedonia, without any guilt and court were detained in the temporary camp in the Monopol building in Skopje, loaded on three trains and sent to the death camp Treblinka from where none returned, only because they were Jews.
The small urn with ashes collected from the crematoria of the camp is all that remained of these people to be buried back home, in Macedonia, on the Jewish cemetery in order that their souls rest in peace. In that handful of human ashes is all our past, our memories of relatives whom we haven’t seen, those whose blood runs in our veins and those of whom none remained to mention their names.
Let our memory about them be the basis for the care and the self-sacrificing of each of us toward preservation of the centuries present, in these Macedonian areas, TRADITIONAL VALUES OF FRIENDLY RELATIONS, COMMUNAL SPIRIT AND UNDERSTANDING, centuries long national and confessional mutual trust and respect.
*Source: “Puls”, March 14th, 2003