The Killing Sites - The First Stage of the Holocaust in Serbia and Croatia project is aimed at mapping the locations in which mass shootings of Jews in Serbia and Croatia took place during the early stage of the Holocaust. Through the online presentation of historical documents, photographs and interviews with witnesses, historians and other experts, the project team wants to offer a permanent educational platform to stimulate research and critical thinking about the Holocaust, the genocide against the Roma and other crimes against humanity. It would also serve as a permanent form of commemoration, cherishing the culture of remembrance, offering the possibility for local government representatives to launch new educational and commemorative initiatives related to the killing sites located in their territory.
By organizing an international seminar in Belgrade with participation of experts from the region and beyond, the project has contributed to scientific research and scientific debate about the importance of the first stage of the Holocaust and about the contextualization of the events in Serbia and Croatia during 1941 within the framework of the genocide committed by the Nazis in Europe.
The goals, activities and results have been promoted by means of a press conference and two round tables, in Rijeka and Belgrade, in which participants also discussed the application of newly acquired knowledge and the development of similar activities in the region.
The project in this regard addressed the general, but also the expert public of historians, activists, cultural professionals, students and especially local authorities.
The project has been implemented by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Serbia, the Center for Holocaust Research and Education and the University of Rijeka Faculty of Philosophy Department of Cultural Studies. It has received support from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Belgrade and Memorial de la Shoah.
The Project Partners
Founded in late 2014, the center is seeking to actively contribute to the factual interpretation of the Holocaust in Serbia as well as the ways its legacy still influences society in Serbia and the region. The center aims to serve as the platform for independent research of historical sources, encompassing the entire scope of factors influencing the victims' communities, the German occupation, Serbian state and society, in all their defining aspects – economy, military, ideological, religious and cultural. We believe that our primary topics – the killing sites, forced labor, the pre-war de-legitimization of Jewish and Roma communities, collaborationist government participation in Holocaust, can only become effective educational content, in a way that is relevant for the formation and strengthening of a democratic, civil society, in an engaging, informed, and open environment
Federation is a joint organization consisting of ten Jewish communities in different cities in Serbia which lawfully represents them in front of the authorities, in the national and international organizations. Federation is coordinating and supporting the religious, social, cultural and educational activities of the particular communities, distributing the international financial assistance for those activities and the assistance to the Holocaust survivors. FJCS is the primary body serving in commemorative and anti-defamatory role, as well as taking the lead on the issue of restitution in Serbia. FJCS is dedicating significant part of its work to commemorating the Holocaust, maintaining the monuments and cemeteries and providing the sound basis for the future education on Holocaust in Serbia.
The Department of Cultural Studies was founded in 2004, thus becoming the first study of such kind in Croatia.What distinguishes Cultural Studies from other clearly bounded academic disciplines is the ability of crossing the boundaries by applying critical and often anti-disciplinary approach in order to actively engage in the broad areas of culture.
Cultural Studies in Rijeka represent a theoretical amalgam derived from specific knowledge and insights from the fields of anthropology, film and media studies, cultural history, sociology and literary theory, which the students acquire at the undergraduate level. At the graduate level, the students can choose to specialise in one of the modules offered: mediology and interdisciplinary cultural theory. Currently, a third graduate module is being developed, which is to focus on the issues of Central Europe, the Mediterranean and the Balkans.