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Macedonia commemorates Holocaust victims

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Macedonia on Monday marked the 70th anniversary of the World War II deportation of more than 7,000 Jews to a Nazi death camp in Poland where almost its entire Jewish community was wiped out.

"We must always mourn this black day when 7,144 Jews were deported to Treblinka camp in Poland, never to return to their hometown," Skopje city official Irena Miseva said.

Only about 50 of the deported Jews survived the camp, Culture Minister Elizabeta Milevska said, adding that the Nazis "almost eradicated" the country's Jewish population.

Today, Macedonia, which has a population of about 2.2 million, is home to around 250 Jews.

In 2000, Macedonia passed a heirless property restitution law after some 1,700 properties were identified as once having belonged to its Jewish citizens.

In 2011, it also opened a memorial museum in Skopje devoted to Macedonian Jews who fell victim to the Holocaust.

Macedonia, which proclaimed independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, was under Bulgarian occupation during World War II.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130311/macedonia-commemorates-holocaust-victims