Belgrade – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today urged the Serbian authorities to establish a memorial research and educational complex on the site of the Staro Sajmiste concentration camp in Belgrade. In a meeting this morning with Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic, the Center’s chief Nazi hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, asked the Serbian head of state to make available the necessary funds to create a center to commemorate victims of the Holocaust as well as those of the genocide of Serbs during WWII on the site of the camp where tens of thousands of innocent civilians were murdered by the Nazis. Staro Sajmiste was among the places where the Nazis used gas vans to murder innocent civilians, in this case Jewish women and children from all over Serbia in 1941-42, as well as a group of Zionist pioneers whose boat was stranded on the Danube, and whose women and children were eventually sent there to be murdered. After the annihilation of the Jews it was used for prisoners of the partisan war as well as Serbs who would be later sent for forced labor in Germany and surplus prisoners from the Jasenovac concentration camp.
Prime Minister Dacic also expressed support for the forthcoming launch of Operation Last Chance in Serbia, which is scheduled to begin in March 2014, with the assistance of Serbian NGOs such as Serbian Code and the Jasenovac Committee of the Orthodox Church. Operation Last Chance is a campaign to bring remaining Nazi war criminals to justice by offering financial rewards for information leading to their arrest and conviction.