THE MUSEUM OF THE BANJICA CONCENTRATION CAMP

WHERE IS IT?

It is located at 33 Pavla Jurišića Šturma Street in Banjica district in Belgrade.

HISTORY OF THE MUSEUM

The Museum of the Banjica Camp, which is today part of the Museum of the City of Belgrade, preserves the memory of the detainees and victims of the Nazi concentration camp from the Second World War. After the end of the Second World War, the buildings of the former camp were handed over for use Yugoslav People's Army. The Military Academy was opened in it, and in 1969, the exhibition space of the Museum of the Camp was arranged in a part of the building. The new installation was set in 1983 on approximately 450 m2. Due to the new research results in 2001, an amended exhibition of the Museum of the Banjica Camp was presented.

INTERIOR OF THE MUSEUM

Inside the building that was the concentration camp, there is an extensive museological material consisting of: posters, photographs, personal items, drawings, handicrafts of the camp inmates. 400 exhibits were presented to the visitors in this area. In the large entrance hall there is a large model of the complex. Within the memorial hall, the ambience of the concentration camp room was reconstructed. 400 exhibits were presented to the visitors in this area.

HISTORY OF THE BANJICA CONCENTRATION CAMP

The concentration camp in Banjica was founded on July 5, 1941, in the building of the barracks of the former 18th Infantry Regiment in Voždovac. The decision on the formation of the camp was made by the German administration and the Gestapo, and it was realized by the head of the Serbian state security, Dragomir Dragi Jovanović, who was also appointed the manager of the city of Belgrade. It was the second concentration camp opened in occupied Serbia, after the Pancevo silk factory which was named Svilar, in June 1941. The first detainees were brought on July 9.
The administration of the Banjica camp was one-third under the jurisdiction of the Belgrade City Administration and Nedic's government's interior ministry, while the rest was controlled by the Gestapo.
Representatives of the Special Police were allowed to arrest and bring prisoners on their own initiative, but not to decide for themselves on possible releases from the camp. Such was the case with a group of 152 intellectuals who were accused and imprisoned as Freemasons in November 1941. Among them were Aleksandar Belic, Aleksandar Deroko, Milos Djuric, Mihailo Ilic, Petar Kolendic, Viktor Novak, Veljko Petrovic, Vasa Cubrilovic, Jovan Erdeljanovic, Risto Stijovic, Aleksandar Leko, Nikola Vulic, Ivan Djaja, Tihomir Djordjevic. Fearing the negative effects of imprisoning such a large number of intellectuals, the German authorities allowed their release from the concentration camp in the next two months.

Drawing by Aleksandar Derok Room of a hostage, architect and professor at the University of Belgrade, Museum of the Banjica Camp.

During the four years of the war, over 30,000 detainees of different nationalities, different religious affiliations, occupations, and education passed through it. The prisoners belonged to all generations, and some of them to different political affiliations, and the shocking fact is that there were 22 children under the age of 7, 26 children between the ages of 7 and 14, and 76 children between the ages of 14 and 17 in the camp.
To date, 4,200 executed detainees have been reliably identified. To that list should be added the thousands of detainees who were deported from here across Europe. The camp was disbanded 4/5. October 1944.

Written by Teodora Danilovic