“We share a commitment to throw light on the still obscured shadows of the Holocaust.”
-- Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust
The exhibition Portraits and Memories - The Jewish Community in Serbia before the Holocaust opened on Sunday 10th May at the former-German pavilion at Staro sajmište, marking Holocaust Remembrance Day in Belgrade.
The exhibition is open until the 17 May. The exhibition, which presents over 1000 pre-Holocaust era photographs, collected from the family albums of Holocaust survivors and the archive of the Jewish Historical Museum in Belgrade, was opened by Ambassador Michael Davenport. Joining other guests were many Holocaust survivors.
The extraordinary images shown in the exhibition are being presented together for the first time in public. They illustrate an incredible diversity of people, situations and places.
In the spring of 1942, approximately 7,000 Jewish women, children and elderly were murdered at Staro sajmiste, the site of the Semlin Judenlager. Inmates of the camp were gassed using a mobile ‘gas van’ and their bodies buried in mass graves at Jajinci on the outskirts of Belgrade. On the 10th of May 1942, 74 years ago, the last Jewish inmates in the camp were killed.
The exhibition will also be presented in Šabac, (04.06–21.06), Nišu i Kragujevcu (tokom septembra i oktobra), and return to Belgrade in November at the Progres gallery (09.11-22.11).
The photographs presented in the exhibition have been collected as part of an initiative by the Federation of Jewish Communities in Serbia to create a digital archive of pre-holocaust era photographs of the Jewish community in Serbia and record, for posterity, the memories of Holocaust survivors about the lives of the Jewish community in Serbia before the Holocaust. The initiative is supported by the EU Delegation to Serbia, the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, and the Conference on Material Claims Against Germany.