With the membership of North Macedonia, NATO and the European Union are becoming stronger and thus our region safer, the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarvski, said at the opening of the exhibition “Struggle and Suffering: Polish Citizens during World War II”, which is going to be exhibited in the period 13-20 September at the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle for Independence in Skopje, organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, marking 80 years since the outbreak of the World War II.
Eighty years ago, the most destructive war in human history began, killing more than 60 million people in only six years. They were direct victims, not counting the victims of poverty and hunger, as mentioned by our host, two thirds of whom were civilians. Europe was left in ruins. And it all began on September 1st, 1939, when, without a declaration of war, Poland was insidiously attacked by Nazi Germany. Looking at the exhibition photos, one cannot remain indifferent to the suffering of the Polish people”, President Pendarovski said.
“Evil culminated in concentration camps in which the Nazis systematically destroyed millions of people simply because of their diversity. During the war, Poland alone lost almost 18% of its population. In one of those Nazi death camps – Treblinka – 98% of the Macedonian Jews were executed”, President Pendarovski said.
Although occupied and divided, deported and decimated, President Pendarovski said, Poland did not surrender, but did join a large coalition that fought against the evil of fascism and Nazism.
“In a slightly different context, the Macedonian people also saw World War II occupied and terrorized. The Macedonian like the Polish people got involved in the national liberation and anti-fascist struggle and with their own forces fought for the freedom of their state”, President Pendarovski said at the opening of the exhibition.
President Pendarovski said that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the formation of the North Atlantic Alliance and the 30th anniversary of the fall of the “Iron Curtain” and the block division, a change that came about, as the President said, thanks to the struggle of the freedom-loving nations against all forms of totalitarianism, adding that the Polish people were one of the leaders of that struggle.
“I believe that precisely driven by its tragic experience in World War II, today, Poland is one of the biggest supporters of North Macedonia’s membership in NATO and the European Union. It is similar to our German friends who are aware of their great and historic responsibility to take care of Europe and to complete the European project through the membership of North Macedonia and all other Western Balkan countries in the European Union. With the membership of North Macedonia, NATO and the European Union are becoming stronger and thus our region safer”, President Pendarovski said at the opening of the exhibition “Struggle and Suffering: Polish Citizens during World War II”, expressing gratitude to Ambassador Wojciech Tycinski and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland for organizing the exhibition.