March 10, 2011 – Toronto, Canada – The United Macedonian Diaspora (Canada) is pleased to inform you that Canadian Member of Parliament Irwin Cotler (MP for Mount Royal) extended his best wishes to the Holocaust Memorial Centre of Macedonia on the occasion of its opening ceremony today, and to Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, and to the government of the Republic of Macedonia, who passed the Law on Denationalization, which was the basis for the establishment of the Holocaust Fund of the Jews from Macedonia.
UMD (Canada) expresses its gratitude to Mr. Cotler for recognizing Macedonia, its government, and the Macedonian Jewish Community. In 1943, the Bulgarian Nazi Government and its forces rounded up 98% of Macedonia’s Jewish population, 7,148 Macedonian Jews and sent them to the Treblinka Extermination Camp in Poland. The Macedonian Jewish Community was restored in December 1944, from almost 50 survivors, most emigrating to Israel in 1948. Today, the community has slightly more than 200 members.
UMD’s President Metodija A. Koloski is attending today’s official opening ceremonies of the Holocaust Memorial Centre of Macedonia.
Please click HERE to read Mr. Cotler’s message. Mr. Cotler delivered remarks to the same effect before Parliament yesterday, March 9, 2011, please click HERE for text. Please click HERE to learn about the Holocaust Memorial Centre of Macedonia.
Mr. Cotler served as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada from 2003-2006 as part of the Liberal government. He is currently serving as Liberal Critic for Human Rights, is a member of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Human Rights, and Chair of the All-Party Save Darfur Parliamentary Coalition. A leading public advocate in and out of Parliament for the Human Rights Agenda, he headed the Canadian Delegation to the Stockholm International Forum on the Prevention of Genocide.
An international human rights lawyer, Professor Cotler served as Counsel to former prisoners of conscience in the former Soviet Union (Andrei Sakharov & Nathan Sharansky), South Africa (Nelson Mandela), Latin America (Jacobo Timmerman), and Asia (Trade Union Leader Muchtar Pakpahan).
Mr. Cotler is a member of the Order of Canada, and past president of the Canadian Jewish Congress.