One of the saddest days for Serbs in World War II commemorated today

Today, Serbia marks the Day of Remembrance of the victims of World War II and the 81st anniversary of the mass shooting of civilians, including pupils and teachers, in the Šumarice Memorial Park in Kragujevac.

Nazis carried out the massacre on 19, 20 and 21 October 1941, with 2,264 people in Kragujevac killed on 21 October alone, among them 300 high school students and dozens of children. The youngest among them was an 11-year-old Roma shoeshine boy.

The central event marking this tragic event called ‘Veliki školski čas’, will be held today, 21 October, near the monument to the victims in Kragujevac, at 11 am.

After the prayer, actors Nebojša Dugalić, Rifat Rifatović, Miloš Krstović, Isidora Rajković, Avram Cvetković and Voin Vasojević will recite Enes Halilović’s poem ‘Zemlja’, accompanied by the two high school choirs from Kragujevac, with  Jelena Magleševa as the conductor.

The shooting was in retaliation for the killing of 10 German soldiers and 26 wounded on the road between Kragujevac and Gornji Milanovac. An order was issued to shoot 100 people for each German soldier killed and 50 for each wounded. The shooting began in the villages and later continued in Kragujevac. After arrests and raids, carried out indiscriminately, the population was taken in groups to be shot.

There are different data on the number of people killed. Staniša Brkić published the names and personal details of 2,796 victims of the shooting in Kragujevac in the 2007 book “Name and Number” (“Ime i Broj”).

(Telegraf, 21.10.2022)

Photo credits: Mateja Beljan

This post is also available in: Italiano

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