The President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, sent a message on the occasion of October 11th – National Uprising Day.
Please find below the integral text of President Pendarovski’s message.
The character of a nation is valued according to its behavior in turning historical periods. During World War II, when most of Europe was occupied and millions of people were oppressed, fascism, at the peak of its power, seemed terrifying. It was in those dark times that the Macedonian citizens had the courage to face the greatest evil of the 20th century.
On October 11, 1941, the Macedonian partisans marked the beginning of the national liberation struggle. We became part of the anti-fascist coalition and, together with the other righteous, we chose the right side of history.
The partisan-led struggle was popular and supra-ideological. Men and women from different ethnic, religious, social and ideological backgrounds were united in the National Liberation Front. Macedonians, Albanians, Turks, Vlachs, Serbs, Roma, Bosniaks, Christians, Muslims, Jews, atheists. Together they fought for a free Macedonian state that would equally belong to all its citizens.
Even today, in extraordinary conditions due to the pandemic, we celebrate October 11 with a sense of responsibility and huge gratitude. We are grateful to the heroes for their sacrifice, but we also have a responsibility to continue building the Republic of North Macedonia according to the concept they left us as a vow. Because the preservation of freedom is as important as the act of liberation itself.
Although defeated then, fascism, unfortunately, has not yet been completely eradicated. This ideology, which excludes diversity, remains the greatest enemy of the freedom of the people and the innate dignity of man. Yet we must fight today, every individual, regardless of his or her affiliation, to be safe and respected. Because equally valuable aspects of our humanity are not only our similarities but also our differences.
Anti-fascism is a civilization gain; the foundations of the Macedonian state are also anti-fascist. As successors of the glorious military generation, and as part of the NATO alliance today with a clear European perspective, we have a responsibility to counter the growing racism, discrimination and neo-fascism. And this is done in only one way: by building a democratic state, in which citizens are equal before the law, and there are no untouchable for justice. It is therefore necessary to immediately reconcile and unite in building a solidarity society in which the right to a dignified life of every Macedonian citizen will be respected. By doing so, we will contribute to the progressive, global movement for human rights and freedoms, for social justice and equality.
Congratulations on the National Uprising Day!