Massacre in Kragujevac

Article

December 3, 2021

For the monument, see Memorial Park “21. October ". The October October or Kragujevac Massacre (German: Massaker von Kragujevac) is a massacre committed against the civilian predominantly Serb population of Kragujevac and surrounding villages by the German occupation forces on October 19, 20 and 21, 1941 in the occupied part of Serbia. About 3,000 inhabitants of Kragujevac and surrounding places died in this crime, and among them were 300 students from Kragujevac and fifteen children aged between 8 and 15. After the Second World War, there was an opinion that 7,000 civilians died. According to the data of the historian and former curator of the museum in Šumarice, Staniša Brkić, 2,796 people were shot that day. The shooting was carried out in retaliation for 10 killed and 26 wounded German soldiers after clashes with partisans and Chetniks halfway between Bar and Ljuljak. On October 10, German commander Franz Boehme issued an order to shoot 100 people for one killed German soldier, and fifty for one wounded. According to that calculation, 2,300 people should have been killed in retaliation. The order was issued by the commander of the 749th Regiment, whose headquarters were in Kraljevo, Major Otto Desch, and he forwarded the order to the Commander of the 724th Regiment in Kragujevac, Major Paul Koenig. The crime was committed by units of the 1st Battalion of the 724th Infantry Regiment and the 3rd Battalion of the 749th Infantry Regiment. In memory of the victims of the shooting, the entire area of ​​Šumarica was turned into a memorial park. The memorial complex covers an area of ​​352 hectares, and around it there is a 7-kilometer-long circular road that goes to the valleys of Erdoglijski and Sušički streams, where the shootings took place. Within the complex, there are 10 monuments (although it was originally planned to have 30) erected on the mounds of the executed.

Causes

After the collapse of the April War and capitulation, Yugoslavia was divided among the Axis powers. Hitler characterized the Serbs as the main culprits for the war and divided Serbia into several occupation zones. Central Serbia and Banat belonged to Serbia under General Milan Nedic. However, Serbia was a German puppet and was a German occupation zone. Disorganized, smaller groups began to resist from the beginning of the occupation. Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, Chief of Staff of the Wehrmacht Supreme Command, by order of September 16, 1941, on behalf of Adolf Hitler ins

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