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Absolving Nazi Collaborator Milan Nedić Of War Crimes

“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 the city centre, to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Milan Nedić − the quisling prime minister during the Nazi occupation of Serbia.

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Prior to the gathering the organizers promoted the event on social media as an “anti-communist event” and a response 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 through the city, as the organizers did not have the required legal permits.

One of the intentions of Holocaust distortion in Serbia is to denounce any participation of any Serbs or their 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. A typical narrative in this context is the misinterpretation of facts about the concentration camp Judenlager Semlin, also known as the camp at Staro Sajmište. Run by the German SS, its sole purpose was to destroy the Jews in the territory of Serbia under German occupation, with full cooperation of Milan Nedić’s puppet government and police.

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. 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.

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

References

https://bit.ly/3AsRDD9 (“Police ban extreme right-wingers from going to anti-fascist rally, previously celebrating Milan Nedic,” published on February 4, 2021, on the independent news portal 021.rs)

https://bit.ly/2XtCxij (“Extreme right-wingers are organizing a rally against anti-fascists in Novi Sad,” published on February 2, 2021, on the independent news portal 021.rs)

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