Memorial in Deliblatska peščara

The representatives of the Jewish community of Pančevo - David Montias, Mira Kon Panić, Ruth Lichtenthal and Darko Derikarava - visited the renovated monument in Deliblatska peščara.

On this site on October 9, 1941, 430 Jews, prisoners of the Banjica Concentration Camp, were executed. In June 1944, the remains of victims were burned to destroy the traces of this crime.

In 1955, the monument was erected by the Federation of Association of Veterans of the National Liberation War from Kovin.

Reconstruction of memorials in Deliblatska peščara and Jabuka

After many years of appeals which the Jewish community of Pančevo referred to the state institutions and media, the state funds are finally provided for the reconstruction of the monument Čardak in the Deliblatska Peščara and for the memorial complex Stratište near Jabuka village. Other contributing factors were screening the film about places of suffering produced by JCP, and the joint efforts with the Cultural Monument Protection Institute to protect the places of suffering on the territory of the Southern Banat. The reconstruction of memorial in Deliblatska Peščara was completed in March 2018, while the works on reconstruction the memorial in Jabuka, worth 14 million dinars, are in progress.

David Montijas, president of the JCP

January 27 - International Holocaust Day

The Delegation of the Jewish Community of Pančevo, the Pančevo Anti-Fascist Union and the Pančevo Fighters Union laid a wreath on the Memorial  Stratište, near the city of Pančevo, on the occasion of the International Holocaust Day. The speakers recalled the crimes committed by the Nazi when more than 6.000.000 Jews were killed, and spoke about terrible suffering placed at Stratište in autumn 1941 where most of the Banat Jews perished, even more than 92%.


The tribune on the occasion of the liberation of Pančevo

At the invitation of the Association of antifascists Pančevo and his president Miladin Stanimirović, representatives of the Jewish community of Pančevo, David Montijas, Miroslav Kon Panić and Biljana Weil, took part at the "Resistance to Fascism" tribune. The panel was held in the City Library in Pančevo on October 6, 2017, on the occasion of marking the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Pančevo in the WWII. The speakers were the president of the Association of antifascists of Novi Sad Stanko Šušnjar, historian Srđan Božović (National Museum of Pančevo), historian Milan Micić (Novi Sad) and conservator historian Slobodanka Perovič (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments Pančevo).
The Association of antifascists of Novi Sad is engaged in national liberation war in the period from 1941 to 1945. For several years now, they are organizers of conferences on this topic, primarily concentrated on Vojvodina, in which, as pointed out, the only resistance movement was the Partisan movement. The first meeting of the Association was held in 2016 and was dedicated to the 1941 war year. This year's gathering was dedicated to the year 1942.
The book "1941 u Vojvodini OTPOR FAŠIZMU" was presented at the tribune. It is a collection of research papers on the events and circumstances in which the people in Srem, Banat and Bačka found themselves at the beginning of the war.

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Commemoration in Pančevo - August 15, 2017.

The Jewish community of Pančevo marked the day of arrest of Jews from Pančevo and surroundings by laying a wreath at the memorial plaque, placed on the wall of the former concentration camp Svilara. On that occasion the article by Dr. Teodor Kovač, referring to the suffering and killing of Jews from Pančevo and Banat, was read.

On the night between August 14 and August 15, 1941, nearly 4000 Jews from Banat were arrested, and after a few days they were transported to the concentration camps in Belgrade. Men, from the age of 14, were sent to the Topovske šupe concentration camp, and killed by the end of October at the spot near Pančevo, known as Jabuka killing site. The arrested women and children were accommodated in the houses of Belgrade ′s Jews up to their transferring to the Staro Sajmište concentration camp in December 1941. Until May 1942 all of them were killed, i.e. gassed in a special van, nicknamed Dušegupka (soul killer).

An excerpt from the text of  Dr. Teodor Kovač "Banat Germans and Jews", Zbornik 9, Jewish Historical Museum, 2009.

In Pancevo Aleksandar Hacker was shot on April 22, while Jakob Cadik was hanged, Jene Weiss, a teacher, was killed in Kovacica, Dr. Hinko Has in Alibunar. The deads came to see native Germans, including pregnant women and women with children, at the graveyard, they were doing genuine orgies, ripped hair from dead bodies, put cigarettes in their mouths and cylinders on their heads.

What were the perceptions of the Germans herecan be seen from the statement of Dr Simon Bartman, attorney, on October 30, 1944: "On the day of the entry of the German army into Banat, I was called by the new Mayor, Christoph Hild, who told me that I could not take part in payed jobs, because I was a freelancer. He also told me that a captain of the German army had told them, probably the commander of the place, that the Germans in Pancevo had the opportunity to earn and be rewarded. " This happened on the first day of occupation, which proves that the personal enrichment of the Germans in Pancevo, headed by its Mayor, was at the first place.

In Vršac the main word in the abuses was given by prominent members of Kulturbund Kurt Kirchner and Eder Gerhard. They were also cruel towards the Serbs, they chanted them in various ways, and in the White Church, for some time, the Serbs were forbidden to walk the sidewalk, and the Germans there looked at them as if they were some lower beings.

It was not harmless for the Jews to go along the street, because already small children, indoctrinated by anti-Semitism, were spitting and cursing them. Thus, Dr. Lila Stejic was attacked , shouting at her "dirty Jewish sow". If the Jews accidentally went wrong and walked through the sidewalk, and not on the driveway, they were beaten up by their German fellow citizens, as it happened in Vrsac and Bela Crkva. Earlier friendly relations were no obstacle for domestic Germans not only to avoid every encounter with the Jews, but to file complaints against them. And the smallest reason was enough to act, for example, for a slightly longer use of time, when they were allowed to move around the city for the purpose of shopping, was a trigger for applications. It happened very frequently that the German population fell into the apartments of the Jews for the robbery, not only in Pančevo, but also in other places of southern Banat, Vršac, Bela Crkva, Alibunar. They were particularly hateful when the Jews were going for forced labor when they were saying "it's good, good, just force for work with those bastards". Jewish cemeteries were demolished, gravestone monuments destroyed, tombstones broken, the cemetery in Pančevo turned into a mortuary. In order to establish a whorehouse in Pancevo, intended for the army, they were ordered to personally pass through the city, in the middle of a day, within a few hours, all that was needed for the "institution", so that the Jews transferred laurels, buckets, irrigators,ottomans, pillows, mirrors, etc., while they were mocked by the Germans .

Unlike the proceedings in Belgrade and in the interior of Serbia, where the Jews were immediately after the entry of the Germans arrested individually and in a relatively small number, arrests in Banat were higher, in Pancevo during the first days twenty people were arrested. Walthy, seen person were first to be arrested. After being scandalized and humiliated, they were released and arrested again. The rabbi was forced to pray in Hebrew while cleaning and washing the cars, all the time being beaten. Afterwards, they particularly arrested persons against whom there was some kind of delivery by the members of the Kulturbund. The arrests happened  everyday. The suspects were detained in a former silk factory, hence the prison is called "Svilara". During the day forced labor they were humiliated and abused. In addition, the regular phenomenon was swearing, spitting, blasphemy. There were no exceptions to slapping and pimping. They were forcibly used, especially the intellectuals, traders, rabbis, to clean their toilets and contaminated rooms with bare hands (the signatory of these pages had to clean the toilets in another Banat place) to wash the windows, rooms, corridors with their robes and clothes, and even with the beards. They hooked them in cars and coaches instead of horses and forced them with the whip to transport timber and other things to some Germans or German institutions in the city, or to do so in the courtyard of the prison. They forced them to cut the wood with completely blunt saw,  then beat them for "laziness," and so on. The rabbis were forbidden to hold worships, the synagogues were turned into prisons or warehouses.

In the evening, the guards in the prison often organized various "events" to which the members of Kulturbund  had free access and, their wives and children. The main points of the "program" were carried out by Jewish prisoners. The events began with various antisemitic songs, in which they were threatened with persecution, beatings, slaughter, while glorifying the German people and his heroism. After the songs, there were other "fun" points. The elderly Jews had to go on all fours, to climb over the heads, to rid one another, and so on. One of the favorite points was the "Duet Dajch-Darchas" duo, according to the names of the performers, two prominent Jews from Pancevo: it was performed in such a way that these two had to move on the floor of the hall with quadruple fast movements, and Darchas occasionally had to crawl and stretch under the belly of his partner, which was very hard, so they often fell down and rolled over each other. In that case, the "director," Franz Keller, the infamous Jolie, commanded a "break", which consisted in the fact that Darchas had to sit on the belly of his partner. "The events" ended with a "game" in which German guards also took part. Josif Daich, a shipowner from Pancevo, but also other Jews were ordered to take off the clothes and dance waltz, regiment and fokstrot with the guards who stepped the legs of the Jews with their heavy boots full of nails, so the legs of Jews were stained with blood, in the middle of the hall, in the presence of soldiers and domestic Germans.  This point caused the great joy of the present, because the victims were bending, grunting and yelled out of severe pains. Dr. Ernest Darvas, a lawyer from Pancevo, exhausted and burdened had to sing the rude songs...

...In all Jewish shops, companies, factories, almost exclusively Germans were placed as commissioners. Using the opportunities available to them, in a short time they became rich by the robbery of goods and money, found in the appropriated houses. For example, in Pancevo, in the Fleissig electrotechnical shop, the commissioner was Lenz, and in the Daich leather shop the commissioner was also the German, Bruno Rudolf, both former employees in those shops; after a few months, they opened new shops, filled with goods, robbed from Fleissig or the Daich shop. The same case was with Oskar Fischgrund, where in the shop and on his property was appointed as a commissioner Franz Wild, the bookkeeper of that store, the German from Pancevo, and on the property of Ludwig Jaraus and Michael Reiser, the Germans from nearby Kraljevićevo.

Always abused, in uncertainty, encouraged, or, on the contrary, afraid of various rumors of the future that awaited them, they lived all the time from today to tomorrow, until the deportation. In the South Banat Counties Pančevo, Vršac, Bela Crkva, Kovin, Kovačica, Alibunar, only 9% of Jews survived.



Commemoration in Kikinda - August 14, 2017

On the occasion of the seventy-sixth anniversary, the delegation of the Jewish Community of Pančevo attended the commemoration of the Jewish victims, and laid a wreath at the monument of innocent victims. At first, in 1941, Jews from Kikinda had been arrested and sent to the camp in Novi Bečej, and then they were transported to Belgrade concentration camps Topovske Šupe and Staro sajmište. Over 90% of Jews from Banat were killed or otherwise ended their lives caused by the consequences of disease, hunger, exhaustion. After the Holocaust, the Jewish community of Kikinda almost no longer existed.

66 students from France visited Pančevo

Jewish Community of Pančevo, on Tuesday, 2 February, 2016, hosted a group of 66 students and 6 teachers from Coutances (France). The visit was part of a ten-day program, which includes a trip through Central and Eastern Europe, with a goal for participants to visit the most important places of Jews and Roma execution during World War II. Guests from France, together with 20 students and teachers from Užice, first visited the Memorial "Stratište" near the village of Jabuka. Later, in the Great Hall of the municipality of Pančevo, Milan Jakšić, director of the Historical Archives, gave a lecture about the crimes against Jews and Roma in the village of Jabuka. As a courtesy of Touristic organization of Pančevo, guests from Užice and France organized visit to the National Museum with expert guidance of the curator. At the end the guests visited the camp "Svilara" where  Montijas David, president of JC Pančevo explained events that occurred at the site during the Second World War.

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day

The members of the Jewish Community of Pančevo, on  27 January, 2016, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, laid a wreath at the monument "furrows" on the place known as Scaffold. On the same day, attended the memorial service, which was organized at the state level at the monument within the former concentration camp Staro Sajmište and laid a wreath at the memorial Topovske šupe.


Yom Hashoah Commemoration, April 2015

On the occasion of Yom Hashoa, the Jewish Community, in cooperation with Historical Archive in Pančevo, organized the exhibition “One day has 52 lives” by Gabriela Nikolić. In several exposed large format graphics, the artist wanted to revive a memory on the fifty two members of her family, killed in a single day in 1942, and to commemorate millions of innocent Holocaust victims.

The opening of the exhibition on April 16th was attended by the Canadian Ambassador in Serbia H.E. Philip Pinnington and Mrs. Pinnington, the members of the Community and many citizens. The exhibition was opened by Milan Jakšić, director of the Historical Archive.

On the same day, at the site of the mass execution of Jews in 1941, known as Stratište, located on the road between Pančevo and Jabuka village, a Kadish service and wreath-lying ceremony were held by delegation of the Jewish Community Pančevo at the monument, erected in 1986. Today, the monument is so devastated and there is no markings left on it. On the basis of a Nazi report, it is assumed that more than 10,000 Serbs, Jews and Roma were killed at the Jabuka execution site.


International Holocaust Rememberance Day, January 2015

Jewish Community of Pancevo marked January 27, the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust, laying a wreath at the tomb of Alexander Haker at Jewish cemetery in Pancevo. Alexander Haker was the first Jewish victim died at the beginning of World War II, on April 22, 1941. He was killed in an independent police action together with other citizens of Pancevo. David Montijas and Miroslava Kon Panic, the president and vice president, in a brief speech reminded the present members of the Community about outbreaking of anti-Semitsm. The tragic events that followed led to the almost total destruction of the Jews of Banat, already as soon as the autumn of 1941.


International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism, November 2014


Desecrated Memorial at Jabuka execution site