Balkan Fires Still Burning

Last semester, I spent some time traveling through Serbia with OGI (The Committee For Civic Initiative) learning about the way that community leaders are instilling a democratic consciousness in the war-torn country’s youth. After visiting with leaders in the Serb and Roma communities and hearing repeatedly about the rise of NPD-style skinhead culture in Belgrade, Nis and Novi Sad, I naturally inquired about the state of the Jewish community still living in Serbia. Needless to say, the Serbian Jewish community is a small, diverse group of secular and religious Jews. Their minyan potential is sporadic but exists, according to Davor Salom, a community member. The Jewish Museum in Belgrade is a must see.
On March 4th, 2005, The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia reported:

“The Serbian page of the US-based nazi website — which, apart from carrying anti-Semitic articles, publicized a list of Jews in Serbia — turned out to be an ideal vent for scores racists, anti-Semitists and fascists who have, so far, refrained from manifesting their feelings. Jews in Serbia — apart from having their graveyards desecrated, Holocaust memorials toppled, anti-Semitic graffiti and books stigmatizing them as major culprits for “everything that has befallen us” displayed all over — are now named names and subjected to overt threats.”

Read more…

One thought on “Balkan Fires Still Burning

  1. This is surprising. I would have expected more of it in Croatia. I was under the impression that the Serbs treated their Jews fairly well. It was my understanding that during the most recent Balkan wars in the 1990s, the Jews were not singled out at all – in part also because the communities strictly followed a policy of neutrality and attempted to assist members of all ethnic groups.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.