February 4, 2017, Oslo, Norway

OSLO, April 2 /SRNA/ – The Prebilovci Exhibition, dedicated to the suffering of the residents of Prebilovci village in Herzegovina, where the Ustashas killed 820 Serbs in the summer of 1941, has opened in the Parish House of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Oslo.

In a single day, on August 6, 1941, between 550 and 600 women and children were killed by being thrown alive into the Surmanacka pit near Medjugorje. Lives of 57 families were extinguished. Only 170 Prebilovci residents had survived the Ilindan massacre, mostly men, who remarried afterwards and had children they named after those who had lost their lives. This is how life in the village was renewed.

Because of this tragedy, the Prebilovci village is ranked fourth village in the world that suffered the most during the World War II.

President of the Prebilovci Serb National Society, Milenko Jahura, opened the exhibition on Saturday evening, and President of the Jadovno 1941 Association of Citizens, Dusan Bastasic from Banjaluka, who was an initiator and project leader along with the Novi Sad Cultural Centre, addressed the attendees.

Jahura has addressed the large number of participants talking about the origins, implementation and extents of genocide against Serbs and the current developments in which Prebilovci has been attacked again by land confiscation.

“At the opening ceremony, I talked about our culture of oblivion instead of the culture of remembrance,” Jahura told SRNA.

Bastasic handed in “Jadovno Benefactor” charters to the Ecclesiastical municipality of Oslo and its secretary, Bojan Rakonjac.

He in his SRNA interview stressed that he spoke of Serb social and institutional attitude to the culture of remembrance, which, he said, unfortunately looked more and more like the culture of oblivion.

Bastasic recalled the words of academician Matija Beckovic who said that “of all the pits which the Serbs were thrown into during the existence of the Independent State of Croatia, the largest and deepest one is the pit of oblivion that gaped at us, the pit into which we have cast and disposed for decades our memory of the suffering of our loved ones”.

The Prebilovac House Memorial Centre Project, whose initiator is the Jadovno Association, was presented at the opening of the exhibition.

“The idea is to build the Prebilovci House memorial centre in Prebilovci, in one of the estate that used to belong to a massacre victim. It would be the first memorial that the Serbs constructed in the area of all Serb lands as a sign of adequate memory and a responsible attitude towards the suffering of their ancestors”, stressed Bastasic.

Secretary of the Ecclesiastical municipality of Oslo, Bojan Rakonjac, assisted in opening the My Jadovno Exhibition two years ago in the capital of Norway.

A significant number of Serbs originating from Srpska, Serbia and the countries of the former Yugoslavia live in Norway.

Visitors of the Prebilovci Exhibition in Oslo have had an opportunity to witness ordinary life stories that testify to the suffering.

Prebilovci is the old Serb village in Herzegovina located at the periphery of the Neretva valley, five kilometers away from Capljina. By 1941, for the Herzegovinian conditions, Prebilovci was a large and economically well developed village where approximately a thousand residents used to live. /end/vos