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The Liquidation of Jewish Properties in Bitola: Plunder by Decree during the Bulgarian Occupation (1943)

Abstract

A few years ago, former partisan Žamila Kolonomos recalled her impressions as she, together with some fellow partisans, returned to the Jewish quarters of Bitola following the end of the war: “One day, we decided to visit the Jewish quarters, los Kurtilos (the courtyards), la Kaleja (the street), the Male, the Tabane, the Bumba, the synagogues, the schools, the cemetery, the stores, the shops of the secondhand dealers and the tinsmiths, il ken (the clubhouse), where the members of the Hashomer Hatsair gathered and the other places where our people lived and worked (…). What did we see, houses abandoned, destroyed or rundown. At the windows and doors were strange people. The Ladino language was not heard, nor the voices of mothers calling their children, nor the sounds of disputes and curses, nor the singing of romansas (ballads). We didn’t meet a known person and no one invited us to enter a house.” The reading of these lines prompted my desire to return to these houses and try to investigate the fate of the properties that Bitola’s Jews, arrested by Bulgarian authorities in March 1943 and later deported to Treblinka, had left behind them. Within the framework of this talk, I would like to focus on three issues in particular: the organization of the liquidation of Jewish properties, the competitive relations between the institutions and social actors in charge of this action, and the looting of Jewish houses.
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Dates and versions

hal-03398669 , version 1 (23-10-2021)

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Nadège Ragaru. The Liquidation of Jewish Properties in Bitola: Plunder by Decree during the Bulgarian Occupation (1943). Berta Romano Nikolikj. Jews in Macedonia. History, Tradition, Culture, Language and Religion, Jewish Community in the Republic of Macedonia, pp.249 - 262, 2015, 9786086552954. ⟨hal-03398669⟩
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