In memory of the Holocaust of the Macedonian Jews in the Treblinka death camp on March 11, 1943, President Stevo Pendarovski planted a Macedonian oak tree today in the yard of the Cabinet. At the same time, on his behalf, and in cooperation with the Embassy of Israel, a tree was planted in Jerusalem, in the Peace Forest.
Emphasizing that the seedlings are an expression of respect for the small but extremely important Jewish community in North Macedonia, President Pendarovski said in his message that for centuries, the Jewish community has been a fruitful tree on the Macedonian soil.
“In the spirit of coexistence, the Jews lived with us, as one of us. Jews were accepted and respected as good house owners, loyal neighbors, and hardworking guilds. Our desire as a state and as a people is for the Jewish community to grow again into a fruitful tree. May their roots be fueled by memories, and let the branches bring hope for the future!”, President Pendarovski said.
More than six million Jews were killed during World War II. In the Treblinka camp alone, about 900,000 women, men and children were killed in about a year, including 7,144 Macedonian Jews from Skopje, Bitola and Stip, representing as much as 98% of the Macedonian Jewish community.
“The Holocaust is a logical consequence of the moral vacuum in which everything was allowed, including the devaluation of human life and its inherent dignity. This absolute evil must be condemned absolutely. We must not allow the truth about the Holocaust to be relativized and forgotten. It is our duty to remember so that it never happens again”, President Pendarovski said.
The Honorary Consul of the State of Israel in the Republic of North Macedonia, Gradimir Sumkovski, also attended the commemoration of the 78th anniversary of the Holocaust of the Macedonian Jews. Representatives of the Jewish National Fund, Jewish Impact, as well as a representative of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs addressed online from Jerusalem.
In memory of the Holocaust of 7,144 Macedonian Jews, a representative of the President’s Office laid flowers in front of the Monument to the Deported Macedonian Jews in Skopje.