I grew up with the holocaust. Born in 1946, I grew up with Ann Frank, pictures of survivors of concentration camps, and a sense of outrage. But it was all abstract. Living in Macedonia has made it more real.
Macedonia used to have a Jewish community. A lot of it was centered around Bitola in southern Macedonia which was the center of the area during the Ottoman Empire and until WWII. When Clark and I drove into town, Kate pointed out a large Jewish cemetery on a hill. She also told us that one night during the war, the Bulgarians came and rounded up all the Jews, even those in hospitals, and put them on trucks and trains and sent them to Trblinka. Few ever came back. Now there are no synagogues in Macedonia, just a Jewish Cultural Center in Skopje where Macedonian Jews and visitors go to meet and celebrate the Holy Days. With so few choices, many children and grandchildren of the survivors are marrying Orthodox Macedonian, and I wonder if eventually survivors descendants will be absorbed. Who then in Macedonia will remember?