Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Forgetting a crime is a crime

The Holocaust must not be forgotten, because it is a crime to forget the crime, said Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic at the central ceremony marking the Holocaust Remembrance.

- And some would like us to; to surrender Holocaust to oblivion or even worse, to remember it superficially and incorrectly, Nikolic said after laying of wreaths at the monument to the victims of genocide in World War II, which is located within the complex of the former concentration camp at the Old Fair in Belgrade.

For memory and thought of The Holocaust, the Serbian President said, we need permanent visible signs of about which we can think.

- Through the knowledge of history in all its brutality, we must be constantly reminded so that history would not repeat itself, in another place or in a new light. Only then will the Holocaust be in the minds of all nations, Nikolic said, adding that on 27th of Nisan (the first Hebrew month), together with Jews from around the world, we mark the Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust, the tragedy that befell the Jewish people, and in which other nations took part, willingly or unwillingly.

Nikolic said that Serbia was not spared the monstrous plan of the Final Solution, and that the Jews and all those who opposed the Nazi idea were targeted for persecution.

In such circumstances, the Serbian President said, it was brave to save someone who was a Jew, and people who did not bow to the occupier expressed great courage in those days.

- Across Serbia, citizens were helping persecuted Jews. Today, when, unfortunately, there is a phenomenon of the negation of the Holocaust, we need a new way to acquaint new generations with the suffering of Jews, Serbs, Roma and other nationalities and all the deleterious aspects of Nazi ideology, said Nikolic.

He stated that the Holocaust must be displayed exactly as it was without inserting trivial, "but easily digestible facts", without marginalization to negation of both the gruesome history and truth.

- The world is changing and we must be aware that we contribute to shaping the future. The way we do it, whether by doing or not doing, in a positive or negative way, will reflect on the future. It is therefore important to invest maximum effort for the future generations to live in peace and harmony without fear of conflict and war, said the President of Serbia.

Nikolic headed the central state commemorative ceremony honouring the marking of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust.

Respects to the victims were also paid by President of the Serbian Assembly Maja Gojkovic, and on behalf of the Government of Serbia by Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs Aleksandar Vulin and Minister of Interior Nebojsa Stefanovic.

The ceremony was also attended by Holocaust survivors, relatives of the victims, former death camps prisoners in World War II, representatives of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Serbia, President of the National Council of the Roma National Minority, ministers of the Government of Serbia, representatives of the Assembly of Serbia, the Serbian Armed Forces, the Mayor of Belgrade, members of the diplomatic corps, associations and citizens.