WWII

Macedonia Visit

The area once known as Yugoslavia entered WWII on 6th April 1941.

Background information

on the 24th March 1941, Prince Paul of Yugoslavia fearing an invasion from the axis powers signed the Tripartite Pact, pledging cooperation with the axis forces.  However, on 27th March 1941 he was overthrown by a military coup d’etat with support from the British.

Peter II, then only 17 years old was deemed old enough to rule and was placed in power.  As a direct result of this Yugoslavia withdrew it’s support of the axis powers and as a consequence on 6th April 1941 Germany and the axis forces invaded Yugoslavia.

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Italian soldiers entering Ohrid April 1941
Italian soldiers entering Ohrid April 1941

The area was broken up with Bulgarian forces controlling central and eastern areas, western areas were occupied and controlled by Italian forces.

Italian and Bulgarian soldiers on the Albanian border
Italian and Bulgarian troops on the Albanian border

On 11th October 1941 the People’s Liberation Army along with the Yugoslavian Partisan movement started a  political and military campaign, their main objective was to resist the occupation of Macedonia by Bulgarian, German, Italian and Albanian forces.

Yugoslav POWs supervised by Bulgarian soldiers with a German armored car
Yugoslav POW’s supervised by Bulgarian soldiers with a German armoured car
Ohrid, Bulgarian occupation zone refugees from Albania
Ohrid, Bulgarian occupation zone refugees from Albania

 Ohrid today

Following in the footsteps of all those involved in this campaign this is my visit to Ohrid, the town today is a beautiful place to visit, full of great architecture with inviting people and cafe’s to sit and watch the world go by.

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for all the pictures from Ohrid see the picture gallery. here . Like all the other towns, cities I have visited it’s hard to imagine how it was back during WWII.

As part of my visit to this wonderful country I had to go to Bitola, it is the oldest city in the country.  In the ancient world it was known as (Heraclea Lyncestis) founded by Phillip II ( father of Alexander the great).

With this in mind it is a must for all those travelling to Macedonia…

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Heraclea with old ruins below

 

See all the pictures from Bitola in the picture gallery. here

Skopje City

Skopje was seized by the German army on the 8th April 1941 and they left he Bulgarian army in control of the region.  The city was liberated by partisans on 13th November 1944 by Yugoslav, National Liberation Army and the newly allied Bulgarian people’s army.. The Bulgarian army having switched sides in September 1944…

Partisans marching through liberated Skopje Nove 1944
Partisans march through Skopje after liberation

Macedonia and the surrounding regions were not left out of the German’s final solution, many jew’s and other’s were transported out to concentration camps.

Skopje today

Today the city is thriving, there is so many things to see and do there.  However my visit was really about going to see the holocaust museum.

Skopje Holocaust museum
Skopje Holocaust Museum

This museum is a must, open Tuesday to Friday 09.00  –  19.00 and Saturday and Sunday 09.00  –  15.00.  entrance is free but there is a charge for guided tours.

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for all pictures see the gallery, here

There was almost 24,000 deaths or casualties during the occupation of this area, this is broken down as follows:

7,000 Jews, 6,726 ethnic Macedonians, 6,000 Serbs and 4,000 Albanians.

 

 

 

 

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