Educational Trip on Holocaust, Nazi war crimes and politics of remembrance in Serbia

20-26 October 2024

Serbia was the first country in the Second World War in which the Nazi occupiers claimed to have achieved their goal of a „final solution to the Jewish question“. At the same time, mass shootings of the Serbian civilian population took place under the guise of „fighting gangs“. In Germany and Austria, however, there is only a marginal debate about the Nazi crimes in the Balkans; to this day, they remain in the shadow of the Nazi war of extermination in Central and Eastern Europe when it comes to public remembrance.

On a six-day trip to Belgrade, Kragujevac and Novi Sad, we will focus on the history of Nazi occupation policy in Serbia and the various forms of commemoration after the Second World War. How was remembrance carried out in socialist Yugoslavia and how was the past reinterpreted during the nationalist mobilisation of the 1990s? How do the events of the Second World War continue to have an impact today? What conflicts exist over the interpretation of history?

The Yugoslavian politics of remembrance after the Second World War focussed primarily on the heroic struggle of the partisans against the Nazi occupiers. No distinction was made between victim groups, so that the memory of the Holocaust was marginalised. At the end of the 1980s, events during the Second World War were further ideologizedthroughout Yugoslavia for national mobilisation, the latter ultimately leading to the Yugoslav Wars. In Serbia, it was the royalist Četniks whose role was re-evaluated: They were now seen as the true patriots and their involvement in Nazi crimes was relativised. In contrast, the memory of partisans was marginalised.

The participation fee for the six-day trip is €840. This includes the costs for seminar management, six nights‘ hotel accommodation in a double room with breakfast (single room supplement: €110), the programme with various guided tours, lectures and museum visits, a PDF reader for preparation, four joint lunches or dinners (see programme), public transport in Belgrade to the individual programme points and the bus or train journey from Belgrade to Kragujevac and Novi Sad.

Arrival and departure to and from Belgrade must be organised independently. The working language in the tour group is German. The lectures will be held in German, English or Serbian (in this case with translation).

Organisation and tour guide: Kathrin Jurkat (historian), Hannah Marquardt (cultural manager) and Dirk Auer (journalist).

Registration deadline is 15 July 2024. In Berlin, the trip can be applied for as educational leave. We are happy to organise this for other federal states on request.

Pdf-Downloads: Preliminary program (as of 8th of dec 2023) und registration form (German).