The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia
welcomes the legislation on turning the once Staro sajmište
concentration camp – established in the WWII with a view to
eliminate the local Jewish community – into a memorial in Belgrade.
However, the draft law on the memorial Serbia’s government has put
forward to the parliament contradicts historical facts, minimizes
the massive destruction of the Jewish community in the WWII and is
in the function of the regime’s short-term policies.
The governmental draft insists on the fact that
the said concentration camp was in the territory of the then
Independent State of Croatia – which is formally true – but neglects
the fact that the occupation authorities had run it till 1944.
Besides, according to it, Jews were among the victims, although they
had been practically the only and primary prisoners till May 1992.
The governmental draft avoids mentioning the name and the role of
Nazi “collaborators and aids” – and the latter, in Serbia, was the
cabinet of Milan Nedić whose police had been capturing Jews in the
first place and then handing them over to Germans. It also says
nothing about anti-Jewish and racist decrees the Nedić cabinet has
passed to serve Holocaust.
The draft law perfectly mirrors the decades-long
revisionism of the WWII in Serbia.
The Helsinki Committee demands immediate
withdrawal of the draft law as such from parliamentary procedure;
the draft should undergo all the amendments necessary so as to
incorporate indisputable historical facts.