Friday, September 9, 2011

SKYWATCH--One reminder, one monument

The title might seem redundant, since monuments do remind us of the past. One year ago last May I gave you this other shot of a monument standing on the site of a former WWII concentration camp for the extermination of Jews and Rom (gypsies), located on what was the the Old Belgrade Fairgrounds. Sadly, in this image, you can see that vandals have destroyed the plaque.

More importantly in the background rises the Fairgrounds' tower, which was used by the Nazis as a surveillance tower. Today the buildings, largely in ruin, of the Old Fairgrounds are occupied by refugees from the wars of the 90's over the territories of the former Yugoslavia, and several Rom families.

Sunny sky in this photo, but figuratively skies were anything but that back then.

See more skies at SKYWATCH.

14 comments:

Olivier said...

il n'y a plus de respect, mais il reste un monument important pour l'histoire

Luis Gomez said...

Thank you for this one Bibi! Excellent.

StoryTeller said...

you know as a serb, i never quite understood our national monuments/sculptures properly... there are several in belgrade (and even one in Thessaloniki) which are oddly similiar - shaped like a flower (or as my friend describes them, and i don't mean to sound rude, like an a-hole)...

http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/hex3PGtXwrA/0.jpg

anyway, nice blog, keep up the good work

Vladimir Krzalic said...

What is by far the saddest part of that vandalism is that majority of WWII monuments gets vandalized by the gypsies who steal the parts only to sell them to melting-houses. Isn't it strange? You vandalize the monument built in memory of your own ancestors?

It happened before with the "Cukur Cesma" monument and a lot of others too.

Alexa said...

Found myself basically speechless—fortunately, Olivier said it for me—as did you, with both words and photo.

Thérèse said...

Whhat counts is honoring victims!
Such a powerful monument.

Indrani said...

Interesting scene from your country. Thanks for the info.

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Unfortunately vandalism of monuments, especially those of WWII can be seen in many parts of the former Yugoslavia, not only in Belgrade.
Very good photo.

Greetings from Macedonia

Anonymous said...

Sad picture! Too many monuments in Serbia are vandalized, many of them because poor people are collecting metals and selling them. Other monuments are vandalized by young drunk people that are not having respect for anything. Really sad!

Your information about the Sajmiste is not showing true picture. Some people can stat to believe that vandalism is something about anti-Semitism. You described it as “concentration camp for extermination of Jews and Rom (gypsies)”, and forgot to mention that most of the victims where Serbs. Out of around 47 000 victims of the camp around 7000-8000 where Jews. Most of the other victims where Serbs (at least over 32 000). It is not OK if you don’t mention the biggest group of the victims. Check at Yad Vashem http://www1.yadvashem.org/odot_pdf/Microsoft%20Word%20-%205988.pdf

Bibi said...

Dear Anonymous, When I said that this monument had been vandalaized, this in no way indicated that it was the object of anti-semitism. Many, many monuments in Belgrade (and as one reader said) elsewhere have been vandalized by whomever for whatever reason. It is also true that this camp was set up to eliminate Serbian Jews and Rom (gypsies). I honestly don't think it matters who got eliminated more; the fact is that such places were set up to eradicate groups as a whole.

Dzoli said...

There are not only gypsyies that do this horrible things.Also the ones that denie aprt of tehir history can be blamed.Whichever way very sad...

Anonymous said...

I must say I don't agree with this post, picture is as usually stunning but the story is not totally right.

In the beginning it the conc.camp was set for Jews, but later it became open for Roma and for everyone who opposed NDH (independent state of Croatia) and Germany.

Until 1944. 32000 Serbs and 8000 Jews were killed in that camp and Jajinci.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (same as first but not the second one): I understand what you are saying Bibi. I deeply respect your work on this blog and know that you have best intentions.

Only thing that I want to say is that you forgot to write something and that some people can get wrong impressions without some additional information. It is specially important because there where a lot of manipulations of political kind about Sajmiste. Thank you for the pictures and the blog!

Bibi said...

Hello, readers! There seems to be some misinterprettion of what I said happened to the plaque. I said it had been 'vandalized,' nothing more. I don't know who did it. All I remember that it had been first spray-painted over, staying that way for a long time, and then it disappeared. I seem to remember, but am not even sure, that it was not a metal plaque (to be melted down, if stolen, but a stone/granite one which had been smashed.