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Macedonia remembers tiny Jewish community

SKOPJE, Macedonia – Macedonia on Monday marked the 70th anniversary of the deportation of nearly its entire Jewish community to a Nazi death camp during World War II, while a U.S.-based diaspora group called on neighbor Bulgaria to apologize for its role in the Holocaust.

Culture Minister Elizabeta Milevska led the memorial to honor the 7,144 people who were deported. Only about 50 of them survived.

Macedonia was part of Yugoslavia until its independence in 1991, and most of its territory was occupied during the war by Bulgaria.

The Washington, D.C., based group Macedonian United Diaspora on Monday called on Bulgaria to make a public apology for the country’s role in the slaying of Macedonian Jews, who were sent by train to the Treblinka concentration camp in occupied Poland.

There was no immediate reaction from officials in Bulgaria. But the country’s parliament acknowledged Friday that 11,343 Jews had been deported to Nazi concentration camps from areas under Bulgarian wartime control – in Greece and Yugoslavia.

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