Liturgical remembrance on New Martyrs of Kragujevac

Priest Zoran Vrbaski

Seven decades ago Kragujevac and area were the scene of one of the bloodiest crimes in the Second World War. Fascist soldiers in retaliation in a few days shot many thousands of innocent civilians including a number of children.

The motive for the shooting were German losses in fighting with partisan units on October 16 on the road Kragujevac – Gornji Milanovac. In that fighting they had 10 dead and 26 wounded soldiers. During the execution the draconian provision was consistently implemented of the order issued by General Franz Böhme of 10 October, which prescribed the execution of 100 Serbs for one killed and 50 for one wounded German soldier or Volksdeutsche. The action of the retiliation performed on October 19 in nearby villages of Marsic, Ilicevo and Grosnica, and on October 20-21 in Kragujevac.

On that occasion this year also was the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy was served on the plateau in front of the church Holy New Martyrs of Kragujevac in Sumarice. The Holy Liturgy and public prayer service to the New Martyrs were served on behalf of the host His Grace Bishop Jovan of Sumadija, who was absent because of the official duties, His Grace Vicar Bishop Jovan (Culibrk) of Lipljan, with the concelebration of priests and monks of the Diocese of Sumadija.

His Grace Vicar Bishop Jovan of Lipljan held a sermon of this occasion, and following the intonation of the hymn ” Boze pravde”, President of Serbia Boris Tadic held a speech.

Wreaths near the monument of the shot pupils and professors were laid by representatives of the First Kragujevac grammar school, President of Serbia Boris Tadic, President of the National Assembly Slavica Djukic Dejanovic, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, Vice President of the Government Verica Kalanovic, Ministers Ivica Dacic, Vuk Jeremic, Zarko Obradovic, Predrag Markovic and Rasim Ljajic, mayor of Kragujevac Veroljub Stevanovic and president of the City Assembly Sasa Mileusnic, representatives of the embassies, twin and friend cities, Universities in Kragujevac, Police Department, Red Cross, political parties and many others.