Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Victims of Fascism commemorated in Jajinci

Commemoration ceremony for the camp inmates executed in the period from 1941 to the liberation of Belgrade in October 1944 was held in the Memorial Park "Jajinci" near Belgrade. With the highest state and military honours, at the former place of execution, where for three years of war, more than 60,000 people, mostly Serbs, Roma and Jews were killed in different ways, wreaths were laid by the Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, representatives of the diplomatic corps, the city of Belgrade and the Municipality of Vozdovac , the concentration camps survivors and their descendants, representatives of associations of Roma and Jews and veterans' organizations.

Commemoration ceremony for the Victims of Fascism, shot in Jajinci, was attended by the President of the National Assembly of Serbia Nebojsa Stefanovic, ministers in the Serbian Government, the Serbian Armed Forces Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Ljubisa Dikovic, church dignitaries and descendants of camp inmates and numerous citizens.

Addressing the gathering, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said, among other things, that on this day in 1944, the decision of the German occupation authorities in Belgrade was made to dismantle Banjica camp, which stopped heinous crimes against innocent people in Belgrade camps.

At this place of the Serbian tragedy at the place of execution in Jajinci the greatest number of people killed all over the Nazi-occupied Serbia. We will forever remember the victims of the occupation of Serbia and Belgrade. More than 60, more than 80 thousand people, were shot to death there; it is hard when you cannot count how much you have lost, the Serbian President said, recalling that the victims of crime in Jajinci were patriots of all nationalities, mostly Serbs, Jews and Roma.

Suffering of the innocent citizens of Serbia, whether they belonged to the liberation movement or not, oblige us to never forget that hatred and evil and violence resulting from them are the works that must not be repeated. We must not allow to forget the victims of crimes and, for the life of man, his physical and mental integrity, is his inalienable right. The commemoration of the victims is not only respect for the past, it is our obligation to the future. Remembering the victims we have to find the strength to forgive and pray for forgiveness for those to whom some of us are guilty. Only then can we move on, just such an act puts us among democratic and civilized nations where the intrinsic values are founded deep in the hearts and define their behavior, President Nikolic said and added:

Serbia is a democratic country, committed to fostering history, tradition and legacy left to us by our glorious ancestors, but it is also oriented to the future, reconciliation, the strengthening of co-existence with all nations, with those from whom we have suffered and those who died from individuals among our people. The criminals must be held accountable, no matter what nationality they are. Serbia expects that others also think this way; we do not accept any longer to be treated as people who do not deserve their freedom in their own country. We fulfill all obligations but we are looking to others to fulfill their obligations towards us. No war, violence, crime of any kind did not made good, either to criminal or victim. So the place of execution in Jajinci should always be remembered. Never again there must not happen anything like that again. There is no excuse for the crime, there is no justification for the aggression, every problem can and must be solved by compromise and talks. Violence breeds violence, and it's a vicious circle, full of bitterness and evil. That is why we want reconciliation, stability and a better life for all citizens of Serbia, the region and the world. We can do it, we sincerely wish that the crimes never happen again, and to educate our offspring value and to provide peace and acceptance of others, regardless of their religious, ethnic, gender, cultural and other differences. At the place of the largest tomb in the place of execution, there is a white dove by sculptor Vojin Stojic; it is a monument that sends the right message from this tragic place, one of those by which Serbia is recognized. We suffered the most, and we offer the hand of reconciliation, unity and love among people. Let us worship the spirits of those who thought of us, and not of themselves. It is time that some of us stop to think only of themselves and begin to think of others, so that Serbia, our mother, could once again be proud of her children, President Tomislav Nikolic said at the commemoration ceremony for the victims of fascist crimes in Jajinci.

The gathering was also addressed by the camp survivor Dusica Milacic, retired teacher from Jagodina, who was born in the camp in Banjica, on 21 May 1942. By its harrowing testimony Dušica Milacic, among other things, thanked to her rescuers, all the people who have devoted their lives to freedom and life in freedom.

In the valley of Lipovica stream in Jajinci, the place of the military training ground before the Second World War, from 1941 to 1944, the German occupiers shot from 60,000 to 80,000 people, the highest number in one place in Serbia..

Many of them were detained at Banjica camp. On the occasion of marking the 20th anniversary of the liberation of the Serbian capital, a great memorial park with a monument was erected at the largest tomb on the site of execution. At the top of the monument there is a white dove as a symbol of peace. Today, the former shooting range was renovated in a Memorial Park visited by both domestic and foreign visitors.

The commemorative ceremony in Jajinci was finished by stage recital choreographed by Jovan Ristic, with the famous champions of the Belgrade Theatre who took part in it.