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Put do “srpskog Yad Vashema”: Manipulacije povijesti logora Sajmište i Jasenovac [The Road to a ‘Serbian Yad Vashem’: Manipulation of the history of Sajmište and Jasenovac]

Byford, Jovan (2018). Put do “srpskog Yad Vashema”: Manipulacije povijesti logora Sajmište i Jasenovac [The Road to a ‘Serbian Yad Vashem’: Manipulation of the history of Sajmište and Jasenovac]. In: Benčić, Andriana; Odak, Stipe and Lucić, Danijela eds. Jasenovac: manipulacije, kontroverze i povijesni revizionizam [Jasenovac: Manipulations, Controversies and Historical Revisionism]. Jasenovac: Javna ustanova Spomen područje Jasenovac, pp. 87–110.

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The article analyses the longstanding ambition of the nationalist elite in Serbia to have the site of the former Nazi concentration camp Sajmište in Belgrade transformed into a ‘Serbian Yad Vashem’, i.e. a memorial to Serbian victims of genocide in the Independent State of Croatia and the suffering of Serbs in the Ustasha-run concentration camp Jasenovac in Croatia. By deconstructing various assumptions about the historical link between Sajmište and Jasenovac which have been used to justify this initiative, the chapter draws attention to the tradition of manipulation of the history of the two camps in Serbia. It also shows that the origins of the contentious interpretation of the history of Sajmište, lie, in part, in the ‘memory wars’ between Serbian and Croatian nationalists who, in the 1990s, skilfully manipulated the history of both Sajmište and Jasenovac, all in the context of mutual accusations of ‘genocidal tendencies’, complicity in the Holocaust and antisemitism. Therefore, debates about Sajmište and its links with Jasenovac should be seen as yet another example of the interdependence between Serbian and Croatian nationalist discourses, which, over the past three decades have resisted attempts to forge a historically grounded culture of remembrance of the victims of the Second World War in Yugoslavia. Also, through the story of the memorialisation of Sajmište, the chapter points to the lasting effect which events of the 1990s have had on historical memory in Serbia, especially in relation to the Holocaust, and other crimes perpetrated in Yugoslavia between 1941 and 1945.

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright Holders: 2018 Javna ustanova Spomen područje Jasenovac, Jasenovac
ISBN: 953-7895-10-6, 978-953-7895-10-5
Keywords: Jasenovac, Holocaust, Memory, Independent State of Croatia, Semlin, Serbia, Croatia
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Psychology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 54292
Depositing User: Jovan Byford
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2018 13:38
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2018 05:33
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