On 27 January 2020, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia, in cooperation with the Academy of Science and Art and the Holocaust Memorial Center, organized a Commemorative Academy to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day in the Academy of Science and Art.
Addresses were held by the President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, Mr Oliver Spasovski, the President of the Jewish Community, Mrs Berta Romano-Nikolik, the President of the Academy, Mr Ljupcho Kocarev, and the ambassadors of the Kingdom of Sweden, Mrs K. Forsgren Bengtsson and of the Republic of Poland, Mr W. Kucinski.
In his address, Prime Minister Spasovski underlined that the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camp and the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Stockholm Declaration is an opportunity to remember and pay respects to all Holocaust victims including the 7,144 Macedonian Jews deported and killed in the death camp Treblinka in 1943, but also to all those who risked their lives to save and protect the persecuted Jews - the Righteous among the Nations and to the survivors and their invaluable testimonies:
"It is our political and moral duty to never forget the Holocaust victims, to pass the memories to future generations and to teach and educate young generations about the Holocaust. In parallel we must combat antisemitism, Holocaust denial and distortion, hate speech, discrimination and all other human rights abuses, rapidly expanding primarily on social media. North Macedonia was among the first countries to adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism, and we also plan to adopt the IHRA working definition on Holocaust denial and distortion, as well as to translate the IHRA “Recommendations for Teaching and Learning about the Holocaust”."
North Macedonia, in its new status as an IHRA Liaison country, welcomed and subscribed itself to the 2020 IHRA Ministerial Declaration that was translated and is available on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
The second part of the event was devoted to the opening of an exhibition of graphic designs made by students of the respective faculties in North Macedonia on the theme “Memory of the Holocaust – Never Again” in the Art Gallery of the Academy. The exhibition was organized in accordance with the Government's aim to put the focus on the young generation. The main idea was to encourage the young generation to learn more about the Holocaust and to reflect on this tragic event. The exhibition was opened by the Ambassador of the United Kingdom, Mrs R. Galloway, as one of the main supporters, and the best five works were awarded prizes. The exhibition will also be displayed in the Holocaust Memorial Center and in several cities in North Macedonia.
The Commemorative Academy was attended by members of the Jewish community, representatives of the Assembly and Government, the diplomatic core, academics, students and their professors, media, and civil society.
In addition to the central commemorative event, the documentary movie “Trawniki. Scholl for executioners” was screened in the Holocaust Memorial Center on 28 January 2020.