European Jewish Congress
Serbian historian seeks to exonerate wartime government for role in deportation of Jews
Serbia
Serbian historian seeks to exonerate wartime government for role in deportation of Jews

Serbian historian Bojan Dimitrijevic told the Belgrade-based Higher Court on Monday that the Nazi backed WWII-era puppet government led by Nedic never physically murdered any Jews, as killings were only carried out by German occupation troops in the country at the time.

“The Jewish question was not within the competence of Nedic’s government, but rather the German forces. In implementing this policy, Nedic’s government merely made statistical records of the Jews in Serbia,” Dimitrijevic said.

“All the activities of arresting [people], putting [them] in concentration camps and killings were carried out exclusively by German forces,” he added.

Asked by the judge whether the Nedic government published antisemitic posters, Dimitrijevic admitted that it did use propaganda against Serbia’s Jewish community.

“There were some elements of that, but that is not the same as killing people,” Dimitrijevic said.

Nedic, who was prime minister from 1941 to 1944, was declared a war criminal by the Yugoslav Communist authorities after the Nazi occupation of the country ended, but his great-grandson and his allies are hoping that the court will posthumously clear his name.

Monday’s hearing again attracted both opponents and supporters of Nedic’s rehabilitation to protest outside the court.

Decades after his death, historians and the Serbian public remain split over his role during the Nazi occupation of the country. Some believe that he took the role of prime minister in a bid to ensure that he was in position to help people and prevent German reprisals in retaliation for an uprising in Serbia.

Others believe however that there is no excuse for a man who collaborated with the Nazi occupation forces in any way and presided over a regime that helped impose repressive rule over the country.

Click here to read the full article in Balkan Insight

Tuesday, May 24, 2016
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