Novi Sad: Anniversary of fascist raid that killed thousands
The anniversary of the Novi Sad Raid - during which several thousand citizens were murdered, their bodies thrown under the Danube ice - was marked on Friday.Source: Beta
The massacres were committed by the occupying Hungarian fascist forces from January 4 until January 29, 1942, targeting the local Serb, Jewish, and Roma population.
Novi Sad Mayor Milos Vucicevic spoke during the ceremony at a memorial site today to say that the anniversary was "an obligation to grieve for the innocent victims, condemn evil people, but also to live the human and civilizational values and to never forget what happened then."
"Today, we bow in front of the shadows of those killed in the Novi Sad Raid, who were without any guilt, but were subjected to the most horrible torture and suffering in this icy tomb. We do not want to be silent and forget this crime of Horthy's fascists. This is a sadness that our city forever carries with it, generations, an entire town, perished in our Danube," said Vucicevic.
A memorial service of the Serbian Orthodox Church was led by Bishop Jeronim, who said the victims' "guilt" was that they existed in that era, that they belonged to their people, and professed their faith.
"Today marks 74 years since the tragedy that struck Novi Sad and Sajkaska (region of northern Serbia) when Backa was trapped in horrific ice when Horthy's Hungarian fascists killed and threw under the ice several thousand Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. We must never forget," said the bishop.
The commemorative rite of the Jewish Community and the address was delivered by Chief Rabbi of Serbia Isak Asiel, who honored the Novi Sad victims, but also the vast number of other Jews who died in Europe during World War II.
"The victims of crimes must never be forgotten. Especially the children, who suffered in cramped cattle trucks, in front of the door to the gas chamber or in front of a hole in the ice on the Danube, where they queued to enter the icy hell," said Asiel.
Delegations of the city of Novi Sad, embassies of Israel and Hungary, the Jewish Community of Novi Sad, the Federation of Jewish Communities of Serbia, the Roma Matica (national foundation), and representatives and descendants of the victims today also laid wreaths at the Family memorial on the Danube banks, and into Danube, from a Serbian Army Flotilla boat.