Stolpersteine contributes to commemoration, education and culture of remembrance
Considering the scope and intensity of mass atrocities and killings, genocide and Holocaust in occupied Serbia committed by German Nazis, other occupying forces of Axis Powers countries (Hungary, Italy, Bulgaria, NDH Croatia), their local alias and collaborators, and considering how Stolpersteine effectively contributes to commemoration and education, and further the culture of remembrance in general, we would like to propose the initiative to install Stolpersteine memorials in Serbia, too.
We already took steps, and hope to be able to lay first Stolpersteine stones in Serbia in 2021.
According to the research conducted by Serbian leading Holocaust historian Dr Milan Koljanin, taking into consideration the whole territory of Serbia, including the territory under the German occupation and parts of Serbia annexed by Hungary, the Independent State of Croatia, Bulgaria and Italy, out of 34,777 Jews (including 1,200 Jewish refugees from the Central Europe), total of 28,224 or 81.16% of the Jewish population were killed during the Holocaust.
While Serbia still do not have a national Holocaust memorial or a Holocaust museum, Stolpersteine – stumbling stones – could remind us of once vivid Jewish communities in Belgrade, Zemun, Pančevo, Novi Sad, Niš, Zrenjanin, Subotica, Šabac, and many other places around Serbia.
We hope that by preserving the remaining authentic buildings of Judenlager Semlin at Staro Sajmište, as well as of concentration camp Topovske Šupe, both in Belgrade, Serbia will create a “memorial web, centered in the future commemorative complex in Sajmište”, as Dr. Milan Koljanin, one of the most famous Serbian historians, put it.