Macedonia remembers the extermination of its Jewish community 75 years ago

dan oryan jewish macedonia bitola
Israeli Ambassador Dan Oryan with Maria Geras Doceska (Mima) and Rachel Levi Drummer (Shelli) after the opening of the Jerusalem Path at the old Jewish cemetery in Bitola yesterday.

Bitola, March 10 (Tirana Echo) — Macedonia has marked the 75th anniversary of the deportation of almost all its Jewish population in the southern city of Bitola.

Representatives of Jewish families who perished during the war as well as public and civil society officials laid flowers at the Menorah Jewish Monument and marched through Bitola’s main streets

People marched through the same streets where Jewish families were forced 75 years ago to flee the city, packed into train carriages destined for Nazi concentration camp Treblinka in Poland where almost all Macedonia’s Jewish population were killed.

Bitola, then called Manastir, was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia which was occupied by Nazi forces during WW2, who later used their Bulgarian allies to run the area. Several Jews joined the communist partisans to fight the Germans and some others fled to neighboring Albania to find refuge.

Present day Macedonia numbers some 200 people of Jewish origin. Commemorative events continue today in Skopje.

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