BELGRADE – Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said late on Saturday that Serbia is proud of its antifascist tradition and contribution to crushing Nazism and fascism in World War II and it rejects any attempts to revise history and relativize the committed crimes.
“The memory of the innocent victims of the Holocaust, the protection of the places of suffering and the acquisition of new knowledge about the terrible regression of the human kind is not only our obligation towards each of the victims but also one of the basic requirements for creating society based on respect for the individual, their rights, freedoms and differences,” Dacic said.
Delivering a speech on the occasion of International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism at the Ilija Kolarac Foundation in Belgrade, Dacic pointed out that the “remembrance is there to help us never to forget history so it does not repeat itself.”
International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism was observed across the world on Saturday, and the German ‘Crystal Night’, this huge pogrom against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on November 9–10, 1938, was commemorated in Serbia with a central event and a concert at the Ilija Kolarac Foundation in Belgrade.
Dacic said that World War II took the lives of six million Jews detained in concentration camps in Auschwitz, Dachau, Jasenovac, Sajmiste, Jajinci, Crveni Krst camp in Nis.
During the four years of World War II in Serbia, the Serbian people directly experienced the Holocaust themselves, the prime minister said.
“The tragic numbers of the Holocaust show that about 90 percent of the approximately 15,000 Jews who lived in our country before April 1941 did not survive World War II,” Dacic said.
Dacic added that the Serbian government has launched and implemented a number of programs in the field of Holocaust education and research and Holocaust remembrance, believing that it was its civil and moral obligation to do so.