Fond na Holokaustot na Evreite od Makedonija: … During the night of March 11th, 1943, around 7200 Jews from Macedonia (from Skopje, Bitola and Stip) or more than 98% of the total Jewish population in …

Fond na Holokaustot na Evreite od Makedonija
During the night of March 11th, 1943, around 7200 Jews from Macedonia (from Skopje, Bitola and Stip) or more than 98% of the total Jewish population in

The Jewish Quarters in Skopje, settled far back in the 15th century, was located on the left side of the River Vardar, between the Stone Bridge and the Fortress (‘Kale’). Until the deportation of its residents, on that disastrous day of 11 March 1943, it was a vital settlement participating significantly in the economic, educational and cultural life of Skopje.
Therefore, locating the structure of the Memorial Holocaust Center of the Jews from Macedonia in the core of the former Jewish Quarters has an outstanding symbolism not only for the holocaust victims, on the property of which it will be spread, but also for Skopje and Macedonia, which by building this Center shall pay an everlasting respect to their deported fellow citizens from Bitola and Stip, as well.

The idea for such a memorial for the holocaust in Macedonia arises from the great erudite, scientist and humanist, Academy-member Ivan Dejanov, former president of the first Macedonian-Israeli Association of Friendship. This idea received big support and it has evolved conceptually. The concept of the Memorial Center began to become reality after the Law on Denationalization was enacted, which is the legal basis for the Holocaust Fund of the Jews from Macedonia, established on 23 April 2002 by a Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia.

The Fund exists as a unique legal solution in Europe for protection of property rights of deported Jews who have no living heirs. In parallel with material memory, the Memorial Center shall carry out a long-term mission in presenting, educating and researching multiethnic societies, freeing them from any kind of danger from intolerance, chauvinism, anti-Semitism, aiming to build a society in which ethnic and religious diversity will present a civilization asset and a basis for further prosperity.

Neither hatred, nor oblivion! Nobel Prize recipient Eli Vizel, with his idea: “Hatred brings nothing good, and oblivion is treachery and ungratefulness towards those who paid with their lives”, reflects the essence of the activememory of the destruction of human behavior, from which the future mission of the Memorial Center has been derived.

Location and project program of Memorial Center
The urban matrix of Skopje, more precisely that of the Jewish Quarters, was destroyed completely by the 1963 earthquake and also by the urbanization of the left coast of the River Vardar, in the subsequent process of reconstruction of Skopje. The new Detailed Urban Plan creates a new urban matrix on our location, with new contents in the form of a complex composed of a building for culture, a business facility and a hotel, in the vicinity of the St. Dimitrija Church. On the opposite side, along the Vardar Quay, the Urban Plan anticipates locations for a theatre and a business facility (building).

The building of culture has acquired the role of the Memorial Holocaust Home of the Jews from Macedonia whereas the Business facility shall be a multi-purpose art-center with exhibition space.

 Out of the old matrix, the toponyms which are deeply impressed in the memory of the city population, such as David Street and the Synagogue, are part of the story, integrated into the general staging of the Memorial Center project.

The Memorial Center is divided into 4 (four) functional units reflecting theevents preceding the disastrous night of the deportation of the Jewsfrom Macedonia to concentration camp Treblinka.
Part I: Main entrance with multipurpose hall and permanent exhibition, asan introduction to the events, followed by documentary materials andthe names of the victims.
Part II: Connecting the memory of the toponym of David Street in peacetime,then painful expectations, the disastrous night and the silence;short stay at the Skopje Tobacco factory and transport to the camp ofdeath! In this part, the history and culture of the Jews from Macedoniawill be presented as an exhibition, through archaeological, ethnologicaland other kinds of museum exhibits.
Part III: People is an indestructible category! Survivors of the JewishCommunity with great optimism and strong will involved themselvesinto the resistance movement until evil was conquered. The third part,placed at the third level, is a space for research, scientific analysis andeducation.
Part IV: Office entrance with premises for administration and commonuse, through the three levels of the building (from the South).


Treblinka was a camp for extermination of people by Nazi Germany in the occupied Poland, during the Second World War. More than 750,000 Jews, Roma and other victims of the Holocaust were murdered in Treblinka between July 1942 and October 1943. The camp was located 100 km north-east from Warsaw, 2.5 km away from the location Treblinka. The camp was organized in two parts: Treblinka I and Treblinka II.

Treblinka was one of the people extermination camps, created within the frames of the Operation Reinhard, meant for a complete extermination of the Jews in Poland. The other three camps in that operation were Belzec, Sobibor and Majdanek. The operation was directly managed by Heinrich Himmler. Before the Operation Reinhard, the Jews were collected in ghettos and were murdered, mostly by SS units. However, it became clear that the plan for a complete extermination of the Jews could not be executed in that manner. That is why the Operation Reinhard was invented and 4 camps for extermination of the Jews from the ghettos were founded. Treblinka was ready on July 24th 1945. In only two months, since its opening until October 3rd, 1942, more than 310,000 Jews were brought to Treblinka from the Warsaw ghetto.

slika1On March 22nd, 1943, the Jews from Macedonia, about 7200 of them, were violently taken by the Bulgarian occupation forces from their homes and collected at the Skopje Monopoly. They were taken to Treblinka from there, and all of them were killed. In August 1943, the prisoners in Treblinka complained, reached the guards’ weapons and burned the camp. The Germans frustrated the riot bloodily: out of 1500 prisoners, only 40 remained alive. Soon the camp stopped functioning, and until then, its mission was accomplished: almost all Jews from Poland and throughout Europe were murdered. The Operation Reinhard ended and all four camps were closed in October 1943


Bitola is a city in the south western part of Macedonia. Bitola is an administrative, cultural, economic, industrial, educational, scientific as well as a diplomatic centre, as a result of which it is known as the city of consuls. Bitola is the second largest city in the Republic of Macedonia according to the number of inhabitants, while it is the third according to its surface. During the time of Yugoslavia, it was one of the cultural centres, both during the time of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the time of SFR Yugoslavia. The father of the Turkish nation Kemal Ata Turk graduated from the Officer School in Bitola. Some of his belongings are now preserved at the Bitola Peoples Museum.

Bitola was inhabited by Jews, who escaped from Spain during the Church inquisition by the Queen Isabella of Castile. The majority of those Jews moved to the Balkan, to the cities with greater significance and developed trade, among others to Bitola. Here they assisted the development of the city with good trade relations. On March 11th, 1943, the entire Jewish population from Bitola (3,011 Jews) was deported to the Treblinka camp in Poland by the Bulgarian fascists.


slika1Rafael Mose Kamhi is a Macedonia Jew from Bitola, a distinguished activist of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (VMRO). He was a participant at the Founding Congress of TMORO in 1896 in Thessaloniki, as well as in the negotiations about the ransom of the kidnapped American missionary Miss Stone. Under the name of Duke Skenderbeg, he participated at the Ilinden uprising. He was a close collaborator of Gorce Petrov, Dame Gruev, Goce Delcev and Dimo Hadzi Dimov. He supported the left wing of the Macedonian National Liberation Movement. He is a witness of the great sufferings of the Jews from Thessaloniki. A precious chronicle writer of his time.
Rafael Mose Kamhi was born in Bitola, on December 15th, 1870. He was a descendant of a famous Jewish family of the Sefard line, who inhabited the Balkan after the expelling of the Jews from Spain, near the end of the 15th century. His ancestors were some of the most famous members of the society, traders, bank workers and ship owners in the Ottoman Empire. His father Mose Solomon Kamhi was a bank worker, entrepreneur and supplier of the Turkish army. His mother Roza Vatino, originated from a famous civilian family from Ioannina. At the age of nine he lost his father, and ten years later his mother died. He was educated at a Jewish school in Bitola, where he studied French, Turkish and Greek language. As a result of the frequently asked question why they studied in Greek at their school, supported by the Principal Nahmijas, they were both expelled from the school. During the school years, in that constant fight between the Greek and Bulgarian exarchate teachers in Bitola, the revolutionary spirit of rebellion of the young Rafael began to develop. And here, in Bitola, the Macedonian national liberation movement had already been strongly fortified. Lambro Popov was the Principal, and the teachers were Gorce Petrov, Dame Gruev, Gorgi Strezov and Stefan Zografov. Meeting Damjan Gruev, through Damjan’s brother Fidan, was crucial for his determination to the Macedonian revolutionary deed. In 1894, when the firs Central Committee of the Revolutionary organization was formed, the President of which was Hristo Tatarcev and the Secretary was Dame Gruev, Rafael met Dame Gruev and accepted his proposal to make a special hiding place in the house he renovated, where the weapons of the Organization were kept. His acquaintance with Gorce Petrov, Hristo Matov and Pere Tosev dates from those days.
At the same time, his house was used for illegal accommodation of the Macedonian National Liberation Movement activists during their stay in Bitola, among which, on several occasions, were: Goce Delcev, Gorce Petrov, Pere Tosev and Hristo Matov. This strengthened the Organization’s trust in him and Rafael devoted his actions to it more and more. At a meeting of Goce Delcev, Gorce Petrov and Boris Serafov in Tessaloniki in 1896 when Rafael had an important delivery task, he was officially accepted and baptised at the Revolutionary Organization. Although certain direct participants and historians do not register that, according to Rafael Kamhi’s words, he participated at the first congress of TMORO in 1896 in Thessaloniki, as a delegate from Bitola, replacing Dame Gruev, who allegedly did not obtain a travelling permission. The documents kept and the official historic data register the presence of Dame Gruev at this Congress. However, according to the validity of the memories expressed by Rafael Kamhi, he obviously participated at the Congress or he was well introduced to its work. It is a fact that after this Congress, Rafael Kamhi got a very important and significant task: an organizer of the financial activities for supporting the Organization, its special delivery person and a connection between the Central committee from Thessaloniki, the County Committee from Bitola and the across-the-border representative body of the Organization in Sofia. Such activities, his brother Mentesh was also involved in, could not remain uncovered by the Turkish authorities. “During the night of May 17th 1903, the Turkish patrol entered the houses of two Jewish families in the Bitola neighbourhood Ali Caus and took the brothers Rafael and Mentes Kamhi. After a six-day detain at the prison in Bitola, without being taken to court, only on the basis of a Police report from May 21st 1903, and an official letter 133, they were deported to Debar. Because of the corruptive character and slowness of the Turkish administration, Rafael moved freely in Debar, got connected with the organization in the town and under the name of Skenderbeg, he participated in the Debar fire of the Ilinden uprising, and later on in Malesia. Regardless of the dilemma where exactly Rafael Kamhi acted during the Ilinden uprising, his participation is evident; his detailed sayings for the course of the uprising, with a language and knowledge of the immediate events, witness that fact. After the bloody frustration of the Ilinden uprising, Rafael Kamhi stayed in Bitola for a certain period of time, where the most severe consequences of the Turkish terror were felt: villages and cities on fire, cattle and food were stolen, household furniture damaged and stolen, general uncertainty for more than tens of thousands of people, whose bare existence was in question. On November 11th, 1903, Gorce Petrov came to Bitola and directed himself to Rafael, giving him a task: to leave to Sofia immediately, in order to convey to the authorities there the real picture of Macedonia and to engage him self in providing material help. Judging by his sayings, he had several dramatic meetings in Sofia with the Ministers of the Government of Bulgaria, to whom he conveyed the difficult destiny of the Macedonian people by concrete facts. An especially important was the meeting with the Prince Ferdinand, at which Rafael Kamhi expressed serious accusations towards the cheating attitude of Bulgaria towards the Ilinden uprising: “I told the Knez Ferdinand in details about the complete history of the uprising, for all the battles and the expected assistance from Bulgaria to declare a war to Turkey. If that had happened, the catastrophe would not have happened to us. We would have won. However, unfortunately, we were cheated by you, since you did not keep the promises given.”- said Rafael to His Royal Highness Prince Ferdinand, who threatened Rafael that he deserved the most severe punishment for such words.
After that Rafael left to Thessaloniki where he got engaged in helping the Macedonian people who had suffered. He participated in organizing pro-Macedonian charity actions abroad, and he alone gave his personal financial means and other equipment. There is a testimony by a teacher from Bitola, Zaharija Sumljanska, that “the Jew Kanhi gave us perhaps up to 10 000 levs, fabrics, blankets and clothing for our Orphanage House. Here, generally, the Jews demonstrated preparedness to bear material sacrifices.” Rafael Kamhi, at the same time, was active in the efforts to renovate the Internal Revolutionary Organization, devastated after the unsuccessful uprising; he was a witness and a participant at dramatic arguments about the reasons and responsible persons for the failure of the uprising. He accepted with difficulties the arguments among distinguished revolutionary activists and their accusations. He was engaged in the preparation of the Rila Congress of VMORO (in 1905), for which he left important notes from an interesting and dramatic discussion before the Congress between Gorce Petrov, Dame Gruev and Pere Tosev, about further directions of the Organization activities, the responsible persons for the failure of the uprising and building a mutual approach at the Congress.
During the discord and divisions which followed in the frames of VMORO, Rafael Kamhi remained consistent to his determinations for the Macedonian cause and a bitter opponent to the Vrhovist idea. He maintained close relations with the activists from the left wing of the Macedonian Liberation Movement, with Gorce Petrov, Dimo Hadzhi Dimov and others. He openly opposed the politics of the followers of Aleksandar Protogerov and Todor Aleksandrov. However, immediately afterwards, deeply disappointed by the divisions of Macedonia and the solutions from the Paris Conference in 1919, Rafael Kamhi moved from Sofia to Thessaloniki, where more than 100 thousand Jews lived at that time and Thessaloniki was the largest Jewish center on the Balkan. Soon afterwards, one disappointment followed another, a bitterer one! Thessaloniki was also influenced by anti-Semitic pogroms and the treatment of the Jewish people like “on the last level”. By the arrival of the German fascistic occupation in Greece, Rafael Kamhi suffered the destiny of his fellow men. He underwent examinations and torture by the Nazi and Greek collaborators. He was imprisoned in 1943 and waited to be taken, by the trains of death, to Poland. However, thanks to the engagement of the Macedonian National Institute, the Ilinden Organization and the National Committee of Macedonian brotherhoods from Sofia and the involvement of the Bulgarian Government, a special treatment for Rafael Kamhi was obtained for being a “Bulgarian of merit”. He was liberated and left to Sofia. There, after the liberation, in Bulgaria Fatherland Front and later in the PR Bulgaria, he joined, with special honour the Bulgarian VMRO: “as an appreciated collaborator of Goce Delcev, Damjan Gruev, Gorgi Sugarev, Gorgi Curanoc, Gorce Petrov, Dimo Hadzi Dimov and all leading persons of the Revolutionary Organization”, as it was conveyed by the leadership of VMRO to the Manager of the Jewish Institute in Sofia, Eli Eshkenazi, with whom Rafael Kamhi maintained intensive relations and to whom he gave important materials about the history of the Macedonian revolutionary movement.
By insisting of the Macedonian Scientific Institute in Sofia, Rafael worked on his memories, which would be completed after his return from Israel, in 1950. Even from there, from Tel Aviv, the cooperation with Eli Eskenazi and the Macedonian Scientific Institute from Sofia continued, as well as with the professor Boris Janovski, on the basis of which the book “Me, the Duke, Skenderbeg” appeared, which in 2000 was published in Sofia by the PH “Sineva” and PH ”Salom”. The publishers appoint pro-Bulgarian mark, calling Rafael Kamhi “a worthy son of the Bulgarian and the Jewish people”. At the age of 100, Rafael Kamhi in 1970, in Tel Aviv, ended his rich and dramatic revolutionary life, mostly devoted to the Macedonian Revolutionary movement, which is testified by the published memories and his manuscripts, preserved by Roza (Kamhi) Ruso’s family and the archive of the Institute of National History of Macedonia.
Generally, Rafael Mose Kamhi represents a significant figure in the Macedonian National revolutionary movement, where he left important traces by his revolutionary activities and his authentic memories and recordings. He equally belonged to his Jewish people, for whose liberal and equal position within the state, which should have been achieved as autonomous Macedonia, he wholeheartedly supported; however, at the same time he represents an honest son of the Macedonian people, who realized that the motherland the people live in together, must be purely and loyally loved, and the people should fight for its freedom. Hence, there is a debt of our history for further clarification of his person and activities, as an important value of the Jewish and Macedonian people and their mutually connected destiny, mutual fight and life.

Zoran Milosevski
Position: Executive director
Contact: 070/399-377

Viktorija Sarkisjan
Position: Administrative officer – secretary
Contact: 071/399-008

Blagoja Jovanov
Position: Administrative officer
Contact: 071/399-007

Liljnana Lazarevska
Position: Administrative technical officer
Contact: 071/399-011

Dusko Veskovski
Position: Administrative officer – Analyst
Contact: 071/399-009

Biljana Trninik
Position: Administrative technical officer – cashier
Contact: 071/399-012

Mimoza Sumkovska Veljanovska
Position: Manager of the construction department
Contact: 071/399-013

Dimitar Anev
Position: Civil Engineer
Contact: 071/399-010

Ana Kulevanova
Position: International contacts

Zora Boseska
Position: Executive of the department for accounting and finances




ul."Samoilova" 2
1000 Skopje
Republic of Macedonia

+389 (0)2 3122697
+390 (0)2 3122697
E-mail :

Memorial Holocaust Center: From an idea to implementation

slika1The idea for such a memorial for the holocaust in Macedonia arises from the great erudite, scientist and humanist, Academy-member Ivan Dejanov, former president of the first Macedonian-Israeli Association of Friendship. This idea received big support and it has evolved conceptually. The concept of the Memorial Center began to become reality after the Law on Denationalization was enacted, which is the legal basis for the Holocaust Fund of the Jews from Macedonia, established on 23 April 2002 by a Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia.

Honoring of Yom Kippur in Macedonia, October 9th, 2008

Yom Kippur is the tenth day of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Just like Rosh Hashanah, which is celebrated in a modest manner, without tree decorations and New Year presents, Yom Kippur is celebrated without big festivities. The first ten days of the Jewish New Year are days of Repentance, and this is the day to repent and forgive and it is celebrated by prayers and fasting – explained Rabbi Kozma. “There are five prohibitions which are basic and important for Yom Kippur. One does not eat and drink, does not wear leather clothes, does not anoint oneself with cream on the hands, does not have a bath and restrains from physical intercourse. “ Yom Kippur Begins at sunset and lasts for 24 hours. The Jewish family goes together to the synagogue, since it is a day for prayer at the synagogue. It is typical that each person prays for oneself, but one also prays for everybody else, not only for the closest people, but also for the surrounding, the hole nation and for other peoples.

7200 trees planted to commemorate the deported Jews. March 12th, 2008
advocate for: [Gawad Kalinga, tagalog for "to give care"]

About rictandag @rictandag @LVHelpGro Returned U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, Tandag, Surigao del Sur, Republic of the Philippines 1979-1980; Financial Management training Program [FMP], G.E., Appliance Park, Louisville, Kentucky 1981-1982 Champion [two days] Jeopardy 1986 Attorney, Los Angeles, CA 1989-1995 Disabiility Rights Attorney,, Las Vegas 1998-1999 Immigration Asylum Attorney, throughout the State of Kansas 1999-2001 Supply Logistics Specialist, UPS Las Vegas, 2006- present [business] advocate for: [Gawad Kalinga, tagalog for "to give care"]
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