The 68th anniversary of the deportation of the Macedonian Jews was marked by a number of activities. On March 8 and 9, 2011, delegations of Jewish Community members went to Bitola and Stip, and there attended exhibitions in the Museums of Bitola and Stip on the occasion of the Dedication Ceremony of the Holocaust Memorial Center. Accompanied by the mayors and numerous citizens and friends of the Jewish Community, the delegations laid wreaths in front of theMonument of the Jews – victims of the fascist terror in Stip, and in front of the statue of the Jewess and national hero Estreja Mara Ovadija and the Monument of the Jews in Bitola.
In Skopje, on March 11, respect was paid to the victims by laying wreaths in front of the monument in Monopol and the Butel Jewish Cemetery. Rabbi Lucijano Prelevic recited the kaddish at the Jewish cemetery, and the president of the JCRM, Bjanka Subotikj, gave a speech in which she emphasized:
Today is March 11, a day just like any other day; however, that is not the case with us. This is a day that deeply imprints memories and leaves scars in the hearts of hundreds of Macedonian Jews, a day on which many of us here today lost their loved ones, their mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles, or entire families. What happened in March 1943 when Skopje, Bitola and Stip sank in agony and silence, when in only one night so many Jews disappeared, Jews that until then had been part of the rich environment that filled the cosmopolitan content of the ancient cities on both banks of the Vardar, Dragor, Otinja?
Many mothers did not prepare the meal. On that day a plague swept through the streets, a merciless whirlwind that took away 7 200 children, boys and girls, men and women, old people that only a few hours before enjoyed life. Nothing remained. Just a monument, a silent witness of what once was, here at the Jewish Cemetery. For many years the citizens of Skopje have gathered on March 11 to recall what happened in that distant 1943 – to recall and not to forget the tragedy of the Macedonian Jews, for oblivion leads man to new crimes and historical atrocity, so that man never again experiences the moral decadence as in the times of the Holocaust.
The guests also attended a reception organized by the mayor of Skopje, Koce Trajanovski, in the Skopje City Hall.
Government representatives, diplomats, representatives of the neighboring Jewish communities, the Assembly of the National Liberation Movement Fighters and friends of the Community also took part in the commemoration.