I am very honored to be meeting you all here in Pristina today with the intention of promoting the booklet “Recommendations for teaching and learning about the Holocaust”. As you can see, this edition, made possible by the “Institute of Spiritual and Cultural Albanian Inheritance” has been published in 4 different languages, Albanian, Macedonian, Turkish and Serbian, in order for this material to be accessible by all ethnic communities in North Macedonia.
Dearest guests, it may not sound very modest, but considering your interest in the topic o the holocaust, I want to state that I represent the only scientific institution in our region that possesses a departament that for Educating and Researching in regard to the Holocaust, making our institution not only the epicenter of knowledge when it comes to this topic, but also the only institution who continuously is in search of all the families in our region that rescued and sheltered Jewish people during World War II. And I feel very honored to be able to say that these kinds of families were found all over our geography, in Skopje, in Ferizaj, in Tirana and Shkodra. I would even say that Kosovo at the time might have been similar to the road that returned jewish people from Egypt to the Promised Land. The jewish family – Alltarak, that came from Belgrade and through Kosovo they escaped towards the Rescue Land in Albania, and the Frances family that came from Skopje, who also through Kosovo managed to get to Albania, are two examples of the journey upon this land towards life. Therefore today it is my pleasure to state that we are exactly at the intersection of the road that jewish people of that time took towards their rescue.
Looking back at the booklet and its goal, I have to say that the opportunity of this booklet to be part of the curriculum taught in our schools, is an amazing opportunity not only to to recall this tragic event, but to also remember that in the moment when the history was being written, our ancestors were in the right side of it.
Seeing as our Institute is located in Skopje, it constantly receives governmental and institutional support and it has the goal of expanding this topic. This way we have built a model where all ethnic, religious and political groups come together. I believe that even after 7 decades, this model will be recognized and handy not only for Kosovo, but for the other as well, where the intrasocial cohesion regarding inclusive topics is beneficial for the strengthening of the country and for building diplomatic relations between countries.
Dear attendees, this booklet – prepared with the request of the government of North Macedonia,- a few days ago was promoted in Skopje, where except for the people who took part in its preparation and publishing, a speech was held by Prime Minister of North Macedonia, the Education and Science Minister, the Israeli ambassador in Skopje together with many other important figures, that not only made this event magical but also supported and its continuance.
Here let me thank my colleges Igor, Zeqirija, Teuta, Maja dhe Nora that helped this cause with their utmost commitment.
And when we are promoting this book in Prishtina, I cannot hide my satisfaction that this topic is gathering us here today too, where again the need for social awareness regarding this event and the right interpretation of it can be felt.
Before I finish, I want to especially thank “Kosovo Jewish Organization” and Miss Artina Hamitaga and Miss Blerta Ismajli, co-organizers in this event. I want to also thank the media covering this event, especially the editor in chief of RTK – Mr. Ridvan Berisha.
I thank you all for your attention and I am forever thankful that with your presence you honored this event and act.
Dr. Skender Asani
Director or ITSHKSH