During the First World War, on the area of the Macedonian Front the German army had more than 30,000 soldiers and officers.
In 1920s the German state showed interest in collecting the remains of their soldiers, and their burial in a common grave or memorial ossuary whose form should be based on the cult traditions of German history.
According to archival documents preserved, since May 1930 the German government demanded land in Bitola shaping the memorial ossuary of dead German soldiers during the First World War in this area.
German military cemetery in Bitola are built on hill of 1050 meters above sea level on the northwest part of Bitola.
The cemetery is known by different names: Totenborg (City of the Dead), the German fortress of the dead in Bitola, German honorary monument in Bitola, while among the citizens most used term is “German cemetery” and the area around the cemetery got the same toponym.
The Totenborg was built more than a year, and it is an architectural work of the famous German architect Robert Tischler. Construction was under the direct supervision of the German People’s Union for care of military cemeteries.
A description and a model of the Totenborg were first published in “Neue Baupläne des Volksbundes,” 83-85. They clearly attest to the authorship of the architect Robert Tischler and confirm the early planning date (1929/30). According to the material in the Volksbund archive in Kassel, the building activities started in 1934; the inauguration took place on 25 October 1936. Several comprehensive articles on Bitola. which became one of the Vorzeigeobjekte of the Volksbund, followed the dedication. See. e.g., F. Hallbaum, “Die Totenburg deutscher Helden in Bitolj, Jugoslawien,” Mitteilungen und Berichte vom Volks bund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge 16 (1936), 3-13; idem, “Ehrenmale um Deutschland.” Zentralbatt der Bauverwaltung vereinigt mit der Zeitschrift für Bauwesen 57 (1937), 49-53.
The French WW1 cemetery in Bitola (Bitola Cimetière Militaire Français) were raised by the French state in memory to the fallen French soldiers during the First World War in the area of city of Bitola (Monastir) on the Macedonian Front.
French military cemetery in Bitola is the largest of its kind in Republic of Macedonia. The idea for its creation comes immediately after the war and in France. Central Committee was formed in Paris which was obliged to organize and implement the collection of the remains of French soldiers and establishing military cemetery location on the area where the French army acted.
Special difficulty was the process of finding and identifying the remains of those killed.
Especially valuable was the information of the local population, and the precise French military documentation.
In practice, the collection of remains was conducted as follows: first the local population was questioned about locations of graves of French soldiers, and then the remains were excavated and the soldiers were identified.
The remains were collected in bags, specially impregnated for that purpose. They were placed in separate wooden boxes and moved into prepared graves in the cemetery alley, located north-east of Bitola in the so-called Novaci road.
In the memorial cemetery above every grave was placed metal cross with French tricolor, with embossed cross and basic data of the soldier: Name, number of the unit, place of birth and when he was killed.
Above the graves of the Muslim soldiers (mobilized from colonial countries of France), an Islamic religious symbol – was placed as a marking of the grave.
Today the memorial French military cemetery in Bitola is resting place for 6128 identified and more than 7000 unidentified remains of French soldiers.
The ceremony of the official opening of the cemetery was held September 15, 1923. It was a reminder of the day and month, when in 1918 on the locality Dobro Pole began the offensive in which the French and other Allied forces broke through the line on the Macedonian front and rout the armies of the Central Powers.
Here are located metal tombstones with same shape and size as well as common monument – ossuary, of fallen soldiers from 1912-1918 (Balkan Wars and First World War).
Within the cemetery are located 1321 metal crosses with numbers that mark the burial place. However, it is important to emphasize that under the crosses there are no buried soldiers, but they are stored in bags, behind a wall, in the ossuary under the central monument.
The common – central monument is in the form of a cross. The Ossuary is located below the surface of the monument natural plateau. The entrance of the ossuary is from the back of the monument.
Building of the memorial ossuary began in 1926, according to the plan of the architect Momir Korunovik.
The museum exhibition devoted to the Jewish ethnic entity is housed in one of the rooms of the Portal of the Jewish cemetery in Bitola.
With the opening of this exhibition, Bitola Museum contributed to the general marking of the 500 years since the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Portugal (1492) and their migration to the Balkans and Bitola.
The exhibition content is based on photographic documents, copies and other written documents, representing the Jewish ethnic entity that lived some 500 years together with the Macedonian population.
The majority of the exhibited items originate from the end of the XIX c. and the beginning of the XX c. Many family photos of distinguished Jewish families are presented as well as their folk associations, sport societies, rabbis, craftsmen, their participation in Second World War and the genocide of 11 March 1943 by the fascist military forces.