Kindergarten in former Nazi camp in Serbia upsets country's Jews

Kindergarten in former Nazi camp in Serbia upsets country's Jews

Kindergarten in former Nazi camp in Serbia upsets country's  Jews Izvor: N1

Instead of a Holocaust memorial, as Serbiaćs Government has promised, a building at the location of WW II Nazi camp in Belgrade will reportedly become a kindergarten, The Guardian reported.

That angered Serbia’s Jewish population and Robert Sabados, the President of Jewish Communities in Serbia, told the Guardian that “a kindergarten was inappropriate when you knew what had been happening there.”

“A greater scandal was,” he added “that there had been restaurants for years and even decades,” including “a night club.”

“That site was a place of misery and suffering, and that can’t be allowed to be forgotten,” Sabados said.

The owner of the building rejected the accusation of desecrating the location, adding he spent 20 years investing in the building, taking care of it and maintaining it.

Miodrag Krsmanovic said he didn’t know about the history of the place and that he bought it legally but would be glad if the state would repurchase it from him.

The Guardian reminded its audience that the location of Staro Sajmiste was not the only one in Belgrade that was a place of horror but turned into a commercial property.

“In 2005, the land that houses the ruins of the Topovske Supe camp was bought by the local property developer Delta Holding. The company intends to move the ruins, brick by brick, to an adjacent plot of land so it can build what it says will be the biggest mall in the Balkans. This plan has provoked a backlash from the local Jewish community,” the Guardian wrote.

Sabatos told the newspaper’s website that “the people (who operate businesses at Staro Sajmiste) aren’t to blame for the failure to build something on that site. Three-quarters of them probably don’t even know what unfolded there. That’s a symptom of a failure of our collective memory.”

The Guardian added that “in socialist Yugoslavia, the genocidal campaign against Serbia’s Jews was widely interpreted as part of the Nazi’s general reign of terror,” adding that “many Serbians still see the Holocaust as something that happened in faraway places, such as Auschwitz, not a short walk from downtown Belgrade.”

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