Commemoration of the Jewish Community of Monastir, Macedonia

Uploaded by YadVashem on 08.03.2010

In the village to where we returned,
some from Albania, some from the partisans,
everyone in total were 36 people.
Interviewer: "What happened to your family?"
My brother and I who were in the partisans survived.
Interviewer: And then you began to understand what happened to your family?
On the first day, I already knew.
When we came, the Russian writer Ilya Ehrenburg,
who had gone around the camps, he came to our village.
We heard about him. I knew he was Jewish.
I had read his books before the war.
We went to find out. He said:
"The Jews of Macedonia didn’t manage to see the camp.
"In the camp there was a revolt.
"The Jews of Macedonia, right when they arrived, they were taken straight to the crematoria.
"They were murdered right away. "
Memorial ceremonies took place
in the synagogue on Tachkemoni Street.
My sister-in-law lived right next door.
There were other Jews who came in the 30s who ran the synagogue,
that’s where we would have the memorial ceremony.
People would come from all of Israel on that day for the ceremony. We would get together.
Slowly this dwindled. I don’t know why.
Perhaps because they just didn’t come anymore, perhaps because many passed away.
Here there is a Jewish star. It is very difficult to read what is written.
I am filming the entranceway to the cemetery in Monastir.
Jewish stars are all along the massive, thick gate of the cemetery.
It is called the "House of Life". 5257 - 5689
Moise takes us to the Jewish quarter,
to the school where he had studied.
The former Macedonian caretaker opens up the gate to the school
to show the first Jew who has come from Israel a stone engraving that he preserved for 50 years.
“This is the house of Aroesti”, the well-known Aroesti family.
"This sanctuary is holy to God, Donated by the generous Chaim Aroesti. “
He saves it all this time, waiting for someone to come and see it.
The stone tablet returns to be a table until another Jew will come
to the Jewish quarter of Monastir that is no longer.
"Do you still see yourself as a Jew?"
"Of course, I’m Jewish."