Kosovo unveiling Holocaust memorial


(JTA) — Kosovo is unveiling a plaque commemorating its Jews who perished in the Holocaust.

Prime Minister Hashim Thaci was scheduled to unveil the plaque on Thursday in Pristina at the site of the country’s last synagogue, across the street from the parliament.

“This is the place where the last Synagogue of Kosovo stood until 1963,” the plaque reads in Albanian, Hebrew, English and Serbian. “This plaque is raised in memory of Kosovo Jews that perished in Nazi camps during Holocaust. People of Kosovo will never forget them.”

Among the scheduled speakers at the event are Jason Steinbaum, the chief of staff for Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, who has been a champion of Kosovo independence. Also speaking will be an Israeli representative.

The unveiling takes place during a Week of Tolerance and Reconciliation in Kosovo that includes an interfaith conference with guests from the Serbian Orthodox Church in Serbia. The conference is taking place six weeks after Kosovo and Serbia initialed an agreement resolving many of the issues outstanding since Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia.

A U.S.-led alliance intervened on Kosovo’s behalf in 1999 after the late Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic escalated attacks on ethnic Albanians in the former Serbian province.

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