Xhaferi: We preserve the memories of the Holocaust from oblivion, so that one of the greatest evils of the humankind never happens again

The President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, Talat Xhaferi, addressed the event marking 81 years of the Holocaust of Macedonian Jews on the location of former Monopoly in Skopje, where, during WW2 the deportation of the Macedonian Jews to the nazi camp in Treblinka started. 

The delegation of the Government, led by PM Xhaferi paid respect and laid flowers on the monument of 7,144 deported Macedonian Jews. 

This event in Skopje was part of the three-day Commemorative programme 1943-2024 organized by the Jewish community in the country and the Fund of Holocaust of the Macedonian Jews. They organized the event under the title “Remembering 11th March, the Holocaust of the Macedonian Jews”. The President of the Republic of North Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski attended the event, as well as representatives of the Assembly and the Government, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps in the country. 

Distinguished Government representatives,

Distinguished President of the Jewish Community, Mr. Pepo Levi,

Distinguished Ambassador of the State of Israel, Your Excellency Simona Frankel,

Distinguished representatives of the diplomatic corps,

Distinguished members of press,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today's date is engraved in the collective memory with sadness, bitterness and immense pain caused by the deportation of Jews from our country to the Nazi camp in Treblinka, during the fascist occupation in World War II.

This is place where the deportation of 7,144 Jewish children, women and men from today's North Macedonia started. They are among the 6 million Jews who were criminally murdered in the Nazi camps around the world and this place is marked in red on the global historical map.

But we are not here today to open wounds from the painful and dark past, but rather to send a strong and unequivocal message - that we keep the memories of the Holocaust from oblivion - so that one of the greatest atrocities in the history of humanity never happens again. 

As generations of today, we are obliged to inspire hope, in the name of all lost lives, of the current generations, and most of all, in the name of the bright future - for the future generations. It is everyone's responsibility to build a world in peace, in which all citizens have an equal right to live in freedom. This is possible only if we build a common world of equal nations and countries, regardless of whether they are big or small, developed or developing, whose voice is equally heard and valued in the global order.

It seems difficult and impossible but is obvious every day from the current security context in the world. No one thought that a new war with weapons is possible even in this 21st century of progress and development of humanity, however, it is a reality that is increasing on daily basis.

However, we must not give up on seeking and finding ways to resolve situations peacefully, at the diplomatic table and with dialogue. However impossible it may seem it is still the only sane and civilized way.

So that we can all keep moving forward because that is the only acceptable way. The past is only useful as a lesson, not as a repetition. And that shows that going back is not a path, but rather a destruction.

That is why today, we are joining the loud NO raised by the democratic world to which we belong, the NO to any forms of intolerance, anti-Semitism, fascism. The big NO to all modern forms of aggression through exclusion and hate speech, motivated by national, ethnic, religious, or other motives of racism, denigration, xenophobia, and discrimination.

We must be loud, because only the loudness against the injustices in the past and today determines in what kind of world we and our children will live in in the future. It determines our common future in peace and tolerance.
The Republic of North Macedonia has always been on the right side of history. Even today, we stand side by side with our partners in NATO and with the member states of the European Union, in efforts to preserve and restore peace in war-torn parts of the world and on the European continent.

We have proven to be a successful, multi-ethnic, functioning democracy. We set an example to the region, Europe, and the world that diversity is an advantage, not an obstacle. And today we are needed, as a successful model for maintaining and promoting equality, peace and stability in Europe and the world.

That is our strength for continuing the democratic development, until full membership in the European Union, where we belong, because we already practice European values. We are building a society for everyone, with equal rights and responsibilities for all citizens.

In this regard, I want to emphasize the constructive role of the Jewish community in building of the modern and European Republic of North Macedonia and thank them for their contribution.

As a government and as a country, we will continue to protect and promote the rich Jewish tradition and culture, equally with the traditions and cultures of all other nations. And that, I believe, will be confirmed very soon with the formal inclusion of Jews in the Constitution of the Republic of North Macedonia.

As a Jewish community, I encourage you to continue to be an equal partner, in all strategic steps, towards the common good, in our native land.

Eternal respect for the lost lives and the terrible evil from the past must never repeat again to anyone!
Thank you for your attention.