From June 15 to June 20 a group of the Serbian scholars in organization of Ministry of culture of the Republic of Serbia visited Yad Vashem and held research workshop at the International Research Institute.
The group was led by Ms. Silvana Hadži-Đokić from the Ministry of culture and former ambassador of Serbia and Montenegro in Israel Ms. Krinka Vidaković-Petrov, and included Jovan Mirković, Dragan Cvetković and Nenad Antonijević from Belgrade Museum of Genocide Victims, Srđa Trifković from the Rockford Institute (Chicago), Milan Ristović from the University of Belgrade, Milan Koljanin from the Institute for contemporary history, same as the crew of TV Logos that covered the visit. Mr. Dušan Krstić of Svetlopisno odeljenje from Belgrade joined the group on Thursday.

Upon arrival on June 14 the group met with His Beatitude Teophilos III, the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, who welcomed historians cordially. On Friday the group visited Bethlehem, Monasteries of St. Sava and St. Theodosios, same as Shepard’s Field, and on Saturday June 17 the group traveled to Galilee and on Thursday June 22 to Massada, Dead Sea and Qumran.

On Thursday 15 David Bankier, the Head of the International Research Institute opened the event, and new ambassador of Serbia Mr. Miodrag Isakov greeted the participants, same as Ms. Hadži-Đokić. The ambassadors of Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iztok Jarc and Nedeljko Masleša attended as well as a representative of Croatian embassy, while former ambassador of the State of Israel in Belgrade Mr. Yoram Shani was in public as well. The lecture of Mr. Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Directorate of Yad Vashem followed.

After the tour of new History Museum, workshop [Program] began at the Institute by lectures of Mr. Srđa Trifković and Prof. Dan Michman. In the Friday morning participants greeted Yehuda Bauer who delivered first lecture and announced Prof. Ristović and Ms. Hadži-Đokić. At the beginning of this session Mr. Mario Jareb from the Croation Institute for History arrived from Zagreb. Sunday June 18 had four sessions, first with Nikola Koljanin and Kiril Fefferman, second about Jasenovac concentration and death camp with Jovan Mirković, Mirjam Rajner and Dragan Cvetković as lecturers and Krinka Vidaković-Petrov as respodent. First afternoon session was devoted to issue of Italians in Balkans, and Nenad Antonijević and Iael Nidam-Orvietto held lectures. Finally, Prof. Bankier summarized and concluded researcher’s part in late afternoon. Discussions followed each session.

On Monday and Tuesday, the Serbian delegation visited different departments within Yad Vashem, beginning with Archive, where hosts were Noemi Halpern, Sara Pećanac and Miriam Steiner-Aviezer. The delegation handed over to Ms. Halpern copy of the order issued by general Mihailović instructing his commanders and troops about the treatment of the Jews, one of highly ethical documents of the Second World War. Then, delegation met with director of the Hall of Names Mr. Alexander Avraham, which was followed by the meeting with Mr. Mordechai Paldiel, director of Righteous Among the Nations department and again with Miriam Steiner-Aviezer who gave insight into those from Serbia who rescued and helped the Jews in the Shoah. Day concluded visit to newly introduced Learning center.

Next day, Robert Rozett, Director of Library presented his department which was enriched at the spot with donations by participants and their respective institutions. Special interest of Dr. Rozett attracted a book from the edition of documents from the War. Eventually, he was promised that Military History Institute will provide Yad Vashem library with full collection of almost two hundred books. In the International School for Holocaust Studies, Doron Avraham and Richelle Budd-Caplan from the European department described philosophy, structure and projects of the School to the delegation. In afternoon delegation met with staff of Museums Division, Yehudit Inbar, Yehudit Shendar and Haviva Peled-Carmeli, and visited Visual center and met Liat Ben Habib there. There, part of the movie about Sajmište concentration camp (Judenlager Semlin) was screened.

Visit of the Serbian delegation to Yad Vashem concluded with wreath lying ceremony at the Hall of Remembrance (Ochel Yitzhor) on Tuesday afternoon [Video]. The Ministasr of science in the Government of the Republic of Serbia Mr. Aleksandar Popović reignited the eternal flame and two wreaths were laid, one on the central place and next one at the place where name of Jasenovac death and contrentation camp is inscribed. Serbian military attaché Col. Predrag Stanković, Ms. Hadži-Đokić and Mr. Jovan Mirković, former director of the Memorial area Jasenovac, participated too.

Eva Lutkiewicz and Eliot Nidam were instrumental in organization and hosts of the delegation during whole stay at Yad Vashem.

On Wednesday 21, delegation went to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where the Center of Jewish Art was visited first. There, Mr. Ivan Čerešnješ gave a talk about the plight of the Holocaust monuments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and possibilities of establishing Sajmište as memorial area were discussed. Then, Serbian delegation had a cordial meeting at the Vidal Sassoon Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism, with participation of Robert Wistrich, Simon Epstein and Leon Volovici. Visit to the Archive of the Jewish community from former Yugoslavia headed by Mr. Zvi Loker, was next station. In the evening, Mr. Ephraim Zuroff of the Jerusalem office of Simon Wiesenthal Center joined group for a dinner at Tmol Shilshom, where he debriefed delegation about Operation: Last Chance [Video] and a new wave of Croatian Anti-Semitism, since few hours before he arrived from Zagreb.

Yad Vashem Quarterly Magazine:Academic Exchange with Serbian Researchers
The Program of the Academic Exchange and of the Visit to Yad Vashem
Wreaths Laying Ceremony
Ephraim Zuroff: Operation Last Chance





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