Beno Ruso and Roza Kamhi: The years make their own

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Beno and Roza fell in love in the 1930s and were married in 1946. In between, the vast majority of Macedonia's Jews--more than 7,400--were deported to Treblinka. Not one returned alive. Beno and Roza, and several of their teenage friends, joined the partisans, grabbed rifles and fought back. When the war ended in 1945, Beno was 24-years-old. He was also a general. This story takes us all the way to 2011--through the death of Tito, the break-up of Yugoslavia, and the opening of the largest Holocaust Museum in southern Europe. That makes this a great film for teachers of Jewish history, Holocaust and contemporary history.

Beno Ruso and Roza Kamhi were interviewed for Centropa by Rachel Chanin in 2005. This film, based on those interviews, was commissioned by The Holocaust Memorial Center of the Jews from Macedonia in Skopje, where it is being shown in the new museum. The film was made in Macedonia by filmmakers Stojan Vujcic and Apostal Tnokovski, with two remarkable actors reading the parts of Beno and Roza. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Study Guides

LINKS TO GENERAL HISTORIES

Many countries in the Balkans offer wildly different narratives of the twentieth century. Centropa has therefore chosen links to articles on the region that are decidedly neutral.

Find here a timeline of the Balkans in the twentieth century provided by the BBC.

The CIA publishes fact books for over two hundred countries. Read about Macedonia here.

JEWISH LIFE IN MACEDONIA

A significant proportion of the Jewish community in Macedonia are descended from the Sephardic Jews who fled persecution in Spain and Portugal in the fifteenth century. Read about the history of the Macedonia Jewry here.

In the film, Roza talks about the Holocaust Memorial Centre for the Jews of Macedonia. Explore this page for more information.

BITOLA/MONASTIR

There has been a Jewish presence in Monastir since it was part of the Roman Empire, but the community grew in 1492 and 1496 following the expulsion of Spanish and Portuguese Jews. Learn more here.

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