Gatherings mark Anti-Fascism Day

BELGRADE -- The International Day against Fascism, Racism and Anti-Semitism was marked in Belgrade on Sunday.

A meeting at the Jewish Municipality premises, addressed by one of its officials Aleksandar Lebl, called for a ban on displays of fascist symbols.

"We are asking the state to prevent any appearance of xenophobia, fascism and anti-Semitism," he said.

Lebl added that the gathering today was organized to honor not only Jewish, but also Serb and Roma victims of Nazism and fascism.

Noting that Serbia has never been fascist, he wondered why legislation is not in place to outlaw the use of fascist insignia.

"Serbia has paid a big price in the Second World War and holds a significant place in the fight against Nazism and fascism," Lebl said, and reminded that the anniversary of the so-called Kristallnacht is also marked today.

On Nov. 9, 1938, Nazi-incited mass riots in Germany left more than 91 Jews dead, damaged more than 1,000 synagogues and left some 7,500 Jewish businesses ransacked and looted.

Jovan Ćulibrk also spoke at the gathering on behalf of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) to say that anti-fascism is Serbia's national tradition, and reminded of the joint struggle of the Serbs and Jews against this ideology.

At 19:00 CET, all the lights at the Belgrade synagogue will be lit, along with those in all the other Jewish temples around the world.

This will symbolize unity in remembrance of all the victims.