The project „Producers, Consumers and Consequences of Forced Labour - Serbia 1941-1944“ aims to shed light on certain important aspects of the period 1941 - 1944, when German-occupied Serbia was both the producer and the user of forced labour. The research team believes that it is important and necessary to analyse this issue, especially in countries where the fall of the communist regime was marked by political, economic and social changes, coupled with a drastic revision of history in the spirit of nationalism, along with the rehabilitation of persons and movements directly responsible for the affirmation of nationalism in Serbia.

The research team conducted an independent research of archival records in Serbia and Germany on key historical actors, locations and narratives; the comparative review of materials was carried out due to the insufficient literature on the subject of forced labour. The result was the publication of a scientific document on the subject of forced labour in Serbia during the Second World War, consisting of seven authored papers, available in both Serbian and German language in printed form, and a digital version in English language.

The project team organized two public symposiums, one in Belgrade and another in Nuremberg, where historians from Serbia, Germany, Austria, and Sweden had the opportunity to exchange experiences, compare the current state of affairs in historiography, and establish new forms of cooperation.

Four study visits to the sites of forced labour were organized during the project, in Serbia (Bor, Sajmište - Belgrade), Croatia (Jasenovac) and Germany (Flossenbürg), with the intention to bring the subject closer to the public and analyse the state of remembrance and memorialization of victims of forced labour in Serbia and abroad.

The end result of the project is the first website focused on forced labour in Serbia during the Second World War, with English edition of the publication, educational materials for secondary school teachers in Serbian, as well as documentation produced through project activities, primarily the presentations of the participants at the two scientific symposiums and four study visits.

The project was implemented by the Centre for Holocaust Research and Education from Belgrade, in partnership with Humboldt University, Berlin, and supported by the Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" Germany (Stiftung „Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft“ ‒ EVZ).

Project team

Historian and Project Coordinator in Germany - Sanela Schmid, Humboldt University
Sanela Schmid earned her Ph.D. in 2012 from the University of Bern with thesis „German and Italian occupation in the Independent State of Croatia 1941‒1943/45“. From 2012 to 2016 she worked on the Volume 14 „Occupied South-eastern Europe and Italy“ as part of the edition „The Persecution and Murder of the European Jews by Nazi Germany, 1933–1945“. She is currently organizing a scientific network based at Humboldt-Universität (Department of German history in the 20th century) on the subject „The plunder of Jewish property in Yugoslavia from 1940 to 1945“. She authored numerous publications related to the Second World War and the Holocaust.

Historian, Serbia - Milovan Pisarri, CHRE
Milovan Pisarri earned his Ph.D. in history in 2011 at the University of Venice. His research work deals with areas such as the Holocaust, genocide of the Roma, antifascism, the issue of the civilian population under occupation. He publishes articles in international professional magazines and regularly participates in scientific debates in Serbia and abroad. He was a co-founder of the "Centre for Holocaust Research and Education", and is the founder of "Centre for Applied History". He is engaged in the capacity of an expert in the National Working Group on the project of creation of educational materials on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism in Serbia, which will be realized by the Anne Frank House from Amsterdam in cooperation with the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Serbia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Web-administrator, photographer, designer - Nikola Radić Lucati, CHRE
Nikola Radić Lucati is an artist, with post-graduate studies completed at academies in Belgrade and Jerusalem. Since 2000 he’s been teaching media art studies at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem and photography at Camera Obscura School of Art in Tel Aviv. His work is regularly exhibited, and many of his exhibitions use the theme of the rights of minorities to interpretation and representation of their own history. He actively writes and gives lectures on the issue of media representation of minorities. Regularly participates in conferences, discussions, workshops, and seminars dealing with the Holocaust, historical revisionism, the culture of memory, the genocide of the Roma and related subjects. He is a co-founder of the Centre for Holocaust Research and Education.

Project Coordinator in Serbia - Ružica Dević, CHRE
Ružica Dević graduated from the Department of Philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade. Over 10 years she was engaged first as an activist and later as a coordinator in the field of human rights, facing the past, minority and marginalized groups. Since 2007 she’s been engaged at the Youth Initiative for Human Rights in regional cooperation programs between Kosovo, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the period 2015-2016 she was engaged by the Federation of the Jewish Communities of Serbia as a researcher and coordinator on the program of creation of digital archives of the Jewish community in Serbia before Second World War. In 2017 she spent four months working at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust on a U.S Department of Education fellowship program. 

Assistant - Jasmina Lazović, CHRE
Jasmina Lazović is heading the Freemuse organization in Serbia. She has been employed at the Youth Initiative for Human Rights since October 2009, first in the outreach program, and later as a coordinator of the Transitional Justice Program. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences (Journalism and Communication Studies), where she is currently pursuing her Master’s degree. In May of 2008, at an open competition, she was selected together with a group of nine young people from Serbia to participate in an internship program of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague andWar Crimes Chamber of the Higher Court in Belgrade. Jasmina had coordinated numerous projects aimed at educating the youth on the recent history of the region, as well as projects aimed at the integration of minorities into the Serbian society. 

Editors of the scientific publication - Sanela Schmid and Milovan Pisarri