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Every monument has its own story

Categories: Monuments speak

MEMORIAL PARK SREMSKI FRONT, Municipality Sid, Serbia

MEMORIAL PARK SREMSKI FRONT, Municipality Sid, Serbia

The Memorial Park Sremski Front, is located near municipality Šid in the province of Vojvodina, Serbia. This monumental Memorial complex all in red bricks, long alleys (Alleys of Honour) lined with trees and stones ending with the museum, fits perfectly into the lowland landscape of the Pannonian plane. The Monument was opened in 1988 and is dedicated to the last and one of the largest front operations on the territory of Yugoslavia in WW2, which took place between October 1944 and April 1945., as the final battle just one month before the liberation. This battle is also known as the biggest one engaging more than 200.000 soldiers and almost 30.000 mostly young people killed. There are 15,500 plaques with the names of those who fell in this plain in the Sremski Front, while the memorial park covers an area of some ​​30 hectares with a Museum in its central part. Together, they form a long corridor in the direction of the breakthrough of the Sremski Front with harmoniously blended wholes. Entire architectural composition comprising long alleys lined with red brick walls and trees ending with a modest museum building make you stop and reflect in absolute absence of any sound apart from the sound of the wind. This is exactly what the monument evokes: the silence after the battle that ended after several months of heavy bloodshed, thundering of the weaponry which resulted in the breakthrough of the frontline and the final victory against the fascists.

This fascinating architectural project was designed by a team of renowned architects and sculptors from Novi Sad - Mirko Krstonošić (1928), Milan Sapundžić (1925 – 2006), Jovan Soldatovic (1920 – 2005). Entire design comprises a photographic - like series of three distinguishing units: the first one consists of a gathering place of 70 vertical sub-walls, where there are plaques with the names of all units that took part in the fighting. Three reliefs can also be found at the same place, showing the layout of military units at the front. The gathering place symbolizes the moment of summing up the units before the final assault on the breakthrough of enemy front lines. At the same time, the author points to the last gathering before the attack which finally defeated Nazism and fascism in Europe. There is also a memorial plaque with the text of Josip Broz Tito, which is dedicated to the battles on the Sremski front. The circular plateau is framed by 18 lime trees from Fruška Gora. The path from the Gathering leads through the Alley of Honor. The second unit is the Alley of Honor with the names of some 15,000 fallen soldiers of the Yugoslav, Red and Bulgarian armies. It is interspersed with red brick walls, symbolizing the lines of the German-Ustasha attacks that the path breaks through. The third unit is a museum exhibition symbolizing the parents looking for their teenage children who were recruited in the Partisan units   - the work of the famous sculptor Jovan Soldatović.

The Sremski Front Memorial park is one of those places which builds a new perspective in the culture of remembrance of the WW2, not that much with its monumental design but rather with the huge space it covers.  Thus the impression of height and monumentality is replaced by the impression of huge tranquil space to highlight the great sacrifices.

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