Concentration Camp Site in Serbia Capital of Belgrade Eyed for Balkans Megamall

Warehouse District Was Stop on Death Road for Jews

Place of Grief: A woman mourns at the site of a Nazi concentration camp in Belgrade.
historical archive of belgrade
Place of Grief: A woman mourns at the site of a Nazi concentration camp in Belgrade.

By Reuters

Published August 15, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 3)

“Serbs traditionally perceive themselves as the victims,” said historian Jovan Byford.

“They’d be very willing to talk about the Holocaust if you ask them about the Holocaust in Croatia, because the dominant narrative there is that Serbs perished in Jasenovac with Jews,” he told Reuters, referring to the Jasenovac concentration camp in Croatia where thousands of Serbs were killed.

“But if you ask them about Serbia, it is a remnant of how things were seen in the communist era, in which there was no recognition,” he said.

Serbia hopes to start talks on joining the European Union in January next year, a process that will require more work in resolving regional tensions two decades since Yugoslavia’s descended into war. But, Byford said, it may also bring pressure on Serbia to confront the fate of thousands of Yugoslav Jews.

“There will be pressure to construct a Holocaust memorial and to include the Holocaust in school curricula,” he said.

Serbia is a signatory to the non-binding 2009 Terezin declaration, committing to return property to the families of Holocaust victims and to ensure mass graves are identified and protected. But implementation has been stalled.

Serbia lags behind several of its neighbours in recognising the crimes committed against Jews on its soil. Neighbouring Hungary, Croatia and Macedonia each have museums dedicated to the Holocaust. A small museum in Serbia, founded in the 1960s, looks at the general history of Jews in Yugoslavia.

To its opponents, the shopping mall is all the more galling given who stands behind it. Miroslav Miskovic, head of the Delta empire behind the project, is one of the richest men in the Balkans and a symbol for many Serbs of the murky nexus of politics and business that has dogged the country since the days of strongman Slobodan Milosevic during the 1990s.

Miskovic made a fortune during Yugoslavia’s collapse despite international sanctions on Serbia and a permanent state of crisis. He thrived further under the democrats who replaced Milosevic in 2000.

Then in December last year, police arrested Miskovic on suspicion of fraud. He posted a record $16 million bail in July pending trial. Delta and Miskovic have denied any wrongdoing.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.