1st May 2024

National Library of Serbia Commemorates Day of Remembrance

On Friday, 5 April 2024, at the site of the former National Library of Serbia at Kosančićev Venac, the Day of Remembrance for the suffering of the National Library of Serbia on 6 April 1941 was commemorated.

Every year, the National Library of Serbia commemorates the Day of Remembrance of the bombing of the Library building on 6 April 1941. On that day, without declaring war, Germany bombed Belgrade and, on the first day of the war, aimed and succeeded in hitting the National Library building with incendiary bombs, which burned the Library to the ground. A book collection of half a million volumes, all periodicals, the collection of 1,424 Cyrillic manuscripts and charters from the 12th to the 17th century, the cartographic and graphic collection, incunabula, old printed books, as well as unique archival materials from the Ottoman period and the entire correspondence and libraries of important figures from the cultural and political history of Serbia and Yugoslavia were destroyed. After the Second World War, a great effort was made by the state, intellectuals, public figures, and citizens themselves to restore the Library’s holdings in a short period of time. Unfortunately, unique and precious materials such as medieval manuscripts and personal libraries were lost irretrievably, strengthening the awareness of the importance of remembering the destruction of national cultural heritage, but also the importance of the constant struggle against the politics of fascism.

Vladimir Pištalo, Director of the National Library of Serbia, Miodrag Ivanović, State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Her Excellency Anke Konrad, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, and Manuel Sarrazin, German Federal Government Special Representative for the Countries of the Western Balkans, together with a number of librarians and citizens, placed books and flowers at the remains of the Library building. Mr. Pištalo and Mr. Sarrazin addressed the attendees with speeches.

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Photos: (Bibi)

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