HANNAH1

Absolving Nazi collaborator Milan Nedić of responsibility for the crimes

Example narrative (What do they say or do?)

Milan Nedić and his puppet government bare no responsibility for the Holocaust in
Serbia.”

On February 4, 2021, about fifty members of the extreme right-wing organization “Traditionalists” gathered in front of the Serbian Orthodox Assumption Church in Novi Sad, one of the main churches in central Novi Sad, to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Milan Nedić – the quisling prime minister during the Nazi occupation in Serbia. The organizers promoted the event on social networks as an “anti-communist event,” and an answer to an anti-fascist rally organized in Novi Sad the same day. They lit candles and sang nationalist songs. Many wore facial masks with the so-called “Celtic cross,” known as a neo-nazi symbol. Police were present in large numbers, and prohibited the group from marching

Antisemitic context explained (What does this actually mean?)

One of the typical intentions of Holocaust distortion in Serbia is to denounce any participation of any Serbs or responsibility for the Holocaust and other crimes committed in collaboration with the Germans. In particular, it focuses on the role of Milan Nedić and his puppet government during the German occupation. One of the typical narratives in this context is misinterpretations of the facts about the concentration camp Judenlager Semlin, also known as the camp at Staro Sajmište. The German SS ran the camp. Its sole purpose was to destroy all the Jews in the territory of Serbia under German occupation, with full cooperation by Milan Nedić’s puppet government and police.

Consequences (Why is this harmful?)

Holocaust denial and distortion both damage the memory of the Holocaust and are an insult to its victims and survivors. Holocaust distortion always reinforces antisemitism and related biases. Holocaust denial is an effort to excuse or minimize the Holocaust or its elements, including the roles played by collaborators.

Personalize (How does it impact a Jewish person or a community)

Denying or falsifying the facts of the Holocaust means disrespecting and dismissing the victims of the Holocaust. It is hurtful, disturbing, and humiliating for the survivors, the families, and the descendants of the victims. Manipulation and falsification of the
Holocaust history raise concern, fear, and anxiety among Jewish individuals, families, and the whole community.

Social impact (Why is this harmful for the society?)

Any celebration and glorification of Milan Nedić is antisemitic and serve to promote a falsified history. It opens the door to outright Holocaust denial or other forms of pernicious, dangerous, and violent antisemitism.

Debunking response (What to do? How to react? Options)

  • Rapport the incident to the relevant authorities,
  • React, counter the narrative, stand against it,
  • Engage in discussion and explain why this is wrong,
  • Education about Holocaust denial and distortion
  • Education about antisemitism
  • Legislation and prosecution