By: Una Zabunov
Belgrade, Aug.28 ,2009 (Serbia Today)- The Serbian people have a long and turbulent history. Many patriots have shed their blood and lost their lives for their homeland. For example, the Kingdom of Serbia lost 450,000 soldiers and 650,000 citizens in the Second World War. A large number of monuments were erected in Belgrade to commemorate the historic events, and fallen heroes. However, the Government has forgotten them. Some of the monuments are in very bad condition and falling apart.
The Cemetery of the Liberators of Belgrade from 1944, which is located in Mija Kovačević street, across the New Cemetery, is not maintained. In it are buried 2944 fighters of the National Liberation Army of Yugoslavia and 961 Soldiers of Soviet Red Army. This historical monument is covered in wild grass.
The names of the monuments are faded. The boards are broken. Young people use this cemetery as a park. They sit on the benches, walk their pets and often don’t clean after them. The flowers are destroyed, and the wild grass is growing. Protective fence of the cemetery is broken.
A sign on the Monument erected to the victims of the camp “ Sajmište” is stolen, so tourists who walk down on the Sava’s river bank can see this monument, but can not know why it was built. In the camp “Sajmište” more than forty thousand people were tortured and died, and this monument is the only reminder of these black days. Yet, for the past three years, the memorial plate does not exist any more. It is obvious that it doesn’t bother anyone.
After the First World War, local residents found a large number of Serbian graves of soldiers killed in the war, including the tomb of an Unknown Serbian soldiers. At the top of the mountain Avala, there is a monument to the Unknown Hero. At first sight, this monument of granite looks preserved. However, the truth is a little different. Lighting on the way to the monument is broken. This work by Ivan Mestrovic is damaged on all sides and some parts of the granite monument fell to the ground. In the vicinity of the monument, there is an open coal-pit.
Many tourist places in the world are made in an artificial way, because of the poor history of that country. If some tourist wishes to visit all the historic sights of Belgrade, he will be very tired because we have a large number of historic monuments. However, these markings are not representative. It is obvious that they are not taken care of, and something needs to be done fast.