1941 – 70 Years later

1941

Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine opened today an exhibition “1941 – 70 YEARS LATER” at the White Palace. Exhibition is launched on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, and was organized in collaboration with the Institute for Modern History and with the support of the Archive of Yugoslavia.

At the official opening ceremony speeches were delivered by HRH Crown Prince Alexander, Mr. Dusan Babac, member of the Privy Council and Prof. Dr. Momcilo Pavlovic, Director of the Institute for Modern History.

The Crown Prince emphasized: “Tonight we are opening here at the White Palace a small exhibition. Small in size but huge in theme and meaning. We would like to remember the people, documents, testimonies and the period marked by the events from the beginning of 1941, as from the signing of the Tripartite Pact, the feverish efforts to avoid joining the war which had been raging through Europe and the whole world for a couple of years, up to the beginning of the invasion and break up of the territory and people of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In brief, the theme of this exhibition is the disappearance of an era and the emergence of the new society and the world which has been following and managing our lives for over 70 years. Almost everyone have their own truth about those events, their own notion, understanding and interpretation”.

Guests were the addressed by Mr. Dusan Babac, who pointed out: “For the first time in our country the uniform of free Yugoslavs officers, which were part of Allied forces, will be shown at this exhibition. Free Yugoslav soldiers had fought side by side next to units of free Dutch, Belgians, French, Polish, Czechoslovak and others, who were then under occupation. From today’s point of view, the situation in Yugoslavia was not all that different then in all above mentioned states, where the heads of state went to Britain, at that time the only country in Europe that resisted the German military forces. What then happened was not fundamentally different compared to suffering through Albania in World War One. The only thing different was the significantly different circumstances, the method of warfare and the layout of the map of Europe, because it was only possible to evacuate a much smaller military force”.

Earlier today, a discussion panel and press conference took place followed by, His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia who served a memorial for the victims of the tragic events took place in 1941 at the Royal Chapel St Andrew the First Called.

This exhibition wouldn’t be possible without the help of Institute for Modern History, Archive of Yugoslavia, Historical Museum of Serbia, Military Museum of Belgrade, Museum of Yugoslav aircrafts, Belgrade City Library, National Library, Filmske Novosti Archive, Oplenac Foundation and Modelling Club Belgrade.