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Germans escorting people from Kragujevac and its surrounding area to be executed.
The Kragujevac massacre was the massacre of 2,300 to 5,000 civilians—mostly Serbs and Roma, women and schoolchildren—in Kragujevacmarker, Serbia by Nazi soldiers between 20–21 October 1941. It was one of the worst massacres during the German military occupation of Serbia.

Staniša Brkić, curator of The Museum of 21 October, published a book in 2007 where he listed names and personal data of 2,796 victims.


Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel issued an order applying to all Europe to kill 50 communists for every wounded German soldier and 100 for each killed on 16 September 1941. German soldiers were attacked in early October by the Communist Partisans near Gornji Milanovacmarker, and the massacre was a direct reprisal for the German losses in that battle.

Arrests and the massacre

Germans rounding up civilians
On the morning of 19 October, the whole city was raided. Around 10,000 civilians, aged 16–60, were arrested. A whole generation of high school children was taken directly from their classes. The executions started at 6 PM on the following day. People were shot in groups of 400. The shootings continued into the next day, at a lesser pace. The remaining prisoners were not released, but were held as hostages for further reprisals. It is worthy to mention the act of German soldier Joseph Schultz who refused to shoot civilians, accepting his own death as a consequence of his moral action.

Monument and commemoration

"Broken Wings" - a monument to those who were killed
To commemorate the victims of the massacre, the whole of Ĺ umarice, where the killings took place, was turned into a memorial park. There are several monuments there: the monument to killed schoolchildren and their teachers, the "Broken Wings" monument, the monument of pain and defiance, the monument "One hundred for one", the monument resistance and freedom.

Desanka Maksimović wrote about the massacre in the poem "Krvava Bajka" ("A Bloody fairy tale").


  3. Blic Online | Srbija | „Engleska krvava bajka“ u Kragujevcu
  4. Cohen, Philip J. Serbia's secret war: propaganda and the deceit of history, Texas A&M University Press, 1996

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