Macedonian Jews Demand Apology, Return of Property From Bulgaria

SKOPJE, Macedonia - An organization representing Macedonia's Jewish communisty is demanding that Bulgaria officially apologize for its role in deporting Jews to Nazi death camps during World War II, a newspaper reported Friday.

The group, the Macedonian Holocaust Fund, is also demanding that Bulgaria return property confiscated from the Jews, the daily Dnevnik reported.

"Macedonia's Jews are asking Bulgaria to apologize for the death of 7,200 people who perished in Treblinka's crematoria," Samuel Sadikario, the head of fund said, referring to one of the death camps.

Sadikario said that the head of Macedonia's Jewish community, Viktor Mizrahi, had met Bulgaria's foreign minister, Solomon Pasi, and proposed the two governments work out the return of the Jewish property.

His group estimates the value of the confiscated property at around $16.5 million.

Bulgaria, which was allied with Nazi Germany during World War II, occupied the area now forming Macedonia. Bulgarian soldiers allegedly supervised the deportation of Jews to the Nazi concentration camps.

The Macedonian fund was established by the Skopje government last year and plans to build a memorial to the Jews murdered during the Holocaust.

Around 98 per cent of the country's pre-World War II Jewish community was killed in the camps. The community today numbers only a few hundred.