Forms of remembrance - Jabuka

The memorial complex at the Jabuka killing site is the central place of public memory and commemoration of mass crimes of the occupier on the civilian population in Banat. The site of the mass shootings of Jews and Roma was built in 1981, the work of the architect Nebojša Delja. The ceremonies are held twice a year - on the official memorial days for Jewish and Roma victims. The Roma memorial day, on December 16th, was in 2018 organized by a government board "Odbor Vlade Republike Srbije za negovanje tradicija oslobodilačkih ratova Srbije" (Board of the Government of Republic of Serbia for the nurturing of the traditions of liberation wars of Serbia) - unofficial translation. and the Municipal Assembly of Pančevo, with participation of the representatives of the Army of the Republic of Serbia, military attaches of several European countries and "National Council of Roma National Minority". The protocol has invited those present to give their respect to the victims by a minute of silence, after which the anthems "Bože pravde" and "Đelem Đelem" were performed. These were followed by an address of the representatives of the government, the municipality and Roma National Council. Also, a short drama programme was performed.    

More on Jabuka killing site and its history at:


The politics of public memory in Serbia is directly linked to the work and attitudes of specialized offices and committees prescribing the protocol at public ceremonies. The protocol of the memorial manifestations has not changed significantly since the socialist era, even as narrative content was adapted to political needs. Traditionally, the dominant tone is militaristic-national, with an overbearing accent on a state-historical interpretation of the narrative of suffering and remembering as dominantly Serbian, and only after that, also related to the minorities. This also holds true for the sites like Jabuka, which is mainly tied to the period of October 1941, when in Belgrade and its vicinity, the victims were almost exclusively - the Jews and the Roma. The militarization of remembrance is reinforced by protocol inviting the military attaches, instead of civilian diplomatic representatives. In a system of sovereign projection of majority national narrative, the historical actors, the historical event, the victims' communities, even as they are part of the commemoration, do not have a significant role in forming the way of marking the public memory of their own history. Part of the minority voice is still being heard in the speech of the local, municipal representatives who are better acquainted with the people and events. We believe that public dialogue and joint commissions for commemorative events could contribute to form new ways to publicly commemorate a tragic history that is common to all.     

Komemoracija u Jabuci - TV Pančevo

News coverage on the commemoration, TV Pančevo

Wreaths on the killing site for Roma, Serbs, Jews

December 16, 2018.

On the occasion of the International Day of Remembrance of Roma, World War II, the memorial of "Stratište" on the road to Jabuka wreaths were placed by the Mayor of Pančevo Saša Pavlov, the President of the National Roma Council of Serbia, Dalibor Nakić and the State Secretary at the Ministry of Labor and Employment Zoran Antić.

On Dec. 19, 1942, Heinrich Himmler issued an order for the systematic destruction of Roma and sending them to the concentration camps for their extermination. In 1943, the mass deportation of Roma to Aušvic had begun, and, during the Second World War 20,000 Roma were murdered. At the memorial site "Stratište", the largest number of civilians in the Second World War was killed, and the people who were horribly victimized and persecuted were the Roma. At the ceremony held at the Memorial, Saša Pavlov, the Mayor of Pančevo, pointed out that the greatest genocide in the World War II was carried out on this site.

Our duty is to keep the memory from forgetting and not to allow such suffering to re-emerge, because the ideology of fascism has left a deep mark on mankind. We have a task to fight against injustice and disrespect, by teaching our children in the spirit of upholding the true values. We can not allow or tolerate any form of racial discrimination, violence and intolerance. Pančevo is a city of multiculturalism, in which 26 national communities live in peace, harmony, and tolerance.

This is one of the worst Roma casualties, besides them, a great number of Jews and Serbs have been killed.

"We must be aware of this terrible crime and constantly warn the humanity that such horrors would never again be to any nation or human being. History is a lifelong teacher who has been bitterly taught us how important respect is, regardless of racial, religious nationality and any other difference - said Dalibor Nakić, president of the National Council of Roma Minority.

The Second World War has produced the two largest monstrous diseases of the human race - fascism, and Nazism. The killing sites are places where Roma was killed, and who managed to survive the concentration camp Aušvic by some miracle.

Those who did not end their lives in the camps were brought to this place where they were murdered. By the end of 1941, only 5,500 Jews, 1,500 Roma from Belgrade and Banat were killed in the Topovske šume. It is estimated that 12,000 people were killed on this site, so Jasenovac Jabuka was one of the largest killing sites in the former Yugoslavia. They were persecuted because they were different by one man's decision - said Zoran Antić, State Secretary at the Ministry of Labor and Employment.

It is estimated that in the Second World War 500,000 Roma have lost their lives. On the occasion of the Day of Remembrance in the Second World War, a special art program was held and wreaths and flowers were placed on the memorial "Stratište".

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