Wiesenthal Center Harshly Criticizes Attempt to Rehabilitate Serbian Quisling World War II Prime Minister

December 15, 2015

Jerusalem-The Simon Wiesenthal Center today expressed grave concern about the recent attempt to rehabilitate Milan Nedić, the Prime Minister of a puppet regime established in Serbia by the Nazis during World War II.

In an op-ed published today on the front page of the Serbian daily Danas, the Center's director for Eastern European Affairs, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff harshly criticized the recent initiative to pardon Nedić, which he termed "a grave insult to the Nazis' victims in Serbia, as well as to the memory of those who bravely fought against the Nazi regime…"

According to Zuroff:

"If Nedić had any illusions that he could influence German policy regarding Serbia, and Serbian Jewry, he should have realized long before his Quisling government was disbanded, that he was virtually powerless and was merely a puppet of the Nazis and completely at their mercy. Thus during his tenure, 300,000 Serbs were murdered, including 80,000 in concentration camps, and the mass murder of the Jews of Serbia, as well as a group of 1,150 Jewish refugees who set out from Austria to Palestine and were stranded in Kladovo due to the freezing over of the Danube, was initiated with horrific results. From August 1941 until May 1942, 14,500 of the approximately 16,000 Jews living in Serbia were murdered, along with all the 1,150 Jewish refugees who had been stranded in Kladovo. About half of these victims were murdered in gas vans used at the Sajmiste concentration camp on the outskirts of Belgrade.

"Nedić's role as Prime Minister of a Quisling regime which served the interests of the Third Reich is sufficient reason to deny him rehabilitation. His failure to save Serbs and Jews is clear proof that for whatever reason, he made a terrible mistake by agreeing to head a puppet administration that failed the citizens of Serbia. He clearly does not deserve rehabilitation…"

For more information: Dr. Efraim Zuroff 972.50.721.4156 Twitter: @EZuroff
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).