• Memorial Park »October of Kragujevac«
A memorial park and the »October 21« memorial site in Kragujevac, one of the largest cities in Serbia, honour the approximately 2,300 civilians who were shot by the German Wehrmacht on October 21, 1941.
Image: Kragujevac, undated, Historical town view, Stiftung Denkmal
Kragujevac, undated, Historical town view, Stiftung Denkmal

Image: Kragujevac, 2008, Exterior of the museum building, Dejan Kovačević
Kragujevac, 2008, Exterior of the museum building, Dejan Kovačević
In April 1941, the German Wehrmacht and its allies invaded Yugoslavia. The country was divided
: German troops took the largest part of what is today Serbia. A resistance movement against the occupiers soon formed; numerous partisan groups fought against the Wehrmacht. The commanding general in Serbia, Franz Böhme, issued an order on October 10, 1941, by which civilians were to be »punished« for attacks on German soldiers. From then on, one hundred civilians were shot for every killed German; every injured soldier prompted the killing of fifty civilians. In mid-October 1941, partisan units attacked a German battalion near Kragujevac, killing ten soldiers, injuring 26 more. The attacked battalion returned to Kragujevac on October 18, 1941. »Reprisal measures« were immediately set in motion by the battalion and the troops of infantry regiment 724 under the Major Paul König: the Wehrmacht arrested all those suspected of being communists and all Jewish men, a total of 66 people. Members of infantry regiments 724 and 749 subsequently burned down several villages in the area of Kragujevac, killing 422 men. On October 20, the troops returned to the city. In order to meet Böhme's demands of 2,300 killed civilians, Wehrmacht soldiers began to arbitrarily arrest Serbian men. The soldiers also broke into schools and rounded up the pupils and teachers. About 3,000 of those arrested were held in the barracks courtyard. On the morning of October 21, 1941, the soldiers started shooting men and young boys on the city outskirts, stopping only once the number of victims reached 2,300.
Image: Kragujevac, undated, Historical town view, Stiftung Denkmal
Kragujevac, undated, Historical town view, Stiftung Denkmal

Image: Kragujevac, 2008, Exterior of the museum building, Dejan Kovačević
Kragujevac, 2008, Exterior of the museum building, Dejan Kovačević
Wehrmacht soldiers shot about 2,000 residents of Kragujevac. Among the victims were many children and youths aged between 12 and 18. About 200 Roma, who happened to be in Kragujevac at the time of the shooting, were also killed.
Image: Kragujevac, 1941, German soldiers take residents of Kragujevac to be executed, USHMM
Kragujevac, 1941, German soldiers take residents of Kragujevac to be executed, USHMM

Image: Kragujevac, 2008, Monument in the memorial park, Dejan Kovačević
Kragujevac, 2008, Monument in the memorial park, Dejan Kovačević
The memorial park »October of Kragujevac« was set up in 1953. Architects Mihailo Mitrović and Radivoje Tomić laid out a six-kilometre-long circular path along which numerous monuments by well-known artists have been erected. The most prominent monument is the memorial to the executed pupils and teachers, also known as the »Broken Wing« monument. In 1976, the »October 21« memorial and museum, designed by architects Ivan Antić and Ivanka Raspopović, was opened. The windowless red brick building comprises 33 towers of different heights and houses an exhibition. The ground plan of the building is in the form of a Christian cross.
Image: Kragujevac, 2008, »Broken wing« memorial, Dejan Kovačević
Kragujevac, 2008, »Broken wing« memorial, Dejan Kovačević

Image: Kragujevac, 2009, Monument in the memorial park, M. Nestor
Kragujevac, 2009, Monument in the memorial park, M. Nestor
Name
Memorial Park »Kragujevački Oktobar«
Address
Desankin venac b.b.
34000 Kragujevac
Phone
+381 (0) 34 332 089
Web
http://www.spomenpark.com/
Open
Daily 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
May, June, September and October longer opening times: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Possibilities
Permanent exhibition, archive, library