Belgrade New cemetery
Is there a better synonym for a scary place than a cemetery? Some cemeteries represent world-class tourist attractions and are visited by thousands of people each year. The New Cemetery is the most famous cemetery in Belgrade and is an artistic masterpiece. It is one of the first architecturally and systematically planned cemeteries in Serbia. This cemetery represents a cultural monument of great importance and testifies to the rich Serbian history and the lives of prominent figures who are buried here. Since 2004 it is a member of the Association of Significant Cemeteries of Europe and since 2018 of the European Cemeteries Route.
It originated in the second half of the 19th century. It consists of a group of military graveyards, Jewish cemetery, Cemetery of Belgrade Liberators, Arcades, Alley of the Greats and Alley of Distinguished Citizens. It is an Open Air Museum because it boasts 900 sculptural monuments, authored by 80 prominent artists.
Interesting fact: Here is buried Ivo Andric, one of the best writers in the Balkan, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961.
This scary place is related to a very controversial history. It was the site where the first Belgrade Fair was built, as a significant economic and trade complex. After the outbreak of World War II, Nazi secret police The Gestapo put barbed wire around the complex and took over the Fairground. It became the concentration camp with about 30,000 Serbs, Jews and Roma. All pavilions had been converted into buildings where prisoners were tortured and killed.
Living conditions in this camp were so bad that about 10,000 people died of starvation, cold or infection. The detainees were brutally treated, beaten and humiliated by the guards. During the bombing of Belgrade in 1944, many prisoners were killed here.
This camp is especially known for using gas chambers as a method for killing the victims. Today, this area is close to the city center, easily accessible, while the former pavilions house poor Roma families.
Memorial Park Jajinci
Scary places are scary because of the events that took place on them and the stories that are told about them. During World War II, Belgrade was the only capital in Europe where concentration camps were formed on the urban territory. One of them was the Jajinci concentration camp and shooting range. Thousands of Serbs, Jews and Roma were tortured, starved and executed here. In this camp, almost the whole male Jewish population in Serbia was destroyed. It was the largest execution site on the territory of occupied Serbia in World War II.
The shooting range in Jajinci differs from the other places of casualties by the massive executions and the harsh systematic nature of the liquidation and concealment of crimes against the innocent population. Between November 1943 and April 1944, seeking to remove the traces of the mass crime, the Gestapo organized the exhumation and burning of the victims’ remains. There is an estimation that about 80,000 men, women and children were killed at this location.
One of the plaques in the complex is engraved with the words from the poem by Desanka Maksimovic, a well-known Serbian poet:
“If my hands are broken, I have wings and with them, like a bird, I embrace the horizon.”