Part or chapter of a book
The madding clocks of local persecution. Anti-Jewish policies in Bitola under Bulgarian occupation (1941–1943)
Local Dimensions of the Second World War in Southeastern Europe
161 - 195 p.
Southeastern Europe, Second World War, Bitola, Anti-Jewish policies, Bulgarian occupation
At dawn, on 11 March 1943, 3,264 Jews from the southern city of Bitola in Bulgarian-held Macedonia were rounded up. In the middle of the night, the Jewish quarter of the city, where all the Jews had been relocated in the fall of 1942, was sealed by the army and the police. At five in the morning, twenty groups, each comprising a police officer, rank and file police, soldiers and a teacher, started touring the houses, telling the Jews they had one hour to collect their things. Each household was allowed 30 kilograms of luggage. In the freezing cold, the Jews were walked under guard to the train station located on the other side of the river Dragor which carves the town in two halves. After a body search and several hours of waiting in the snowy winter, the Jews of Bitola were transferred to a temporary detention camp in Skopje. By the end of March, the detainees had been transported to Treblinka and exterminated. An estimated 116 Jews managed to escape the deportations.