Former Sajmište Concentration Camp

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Completed: 1937

Architects: Milivoje Tričković, Rajko Tatić, Dorde Lukić and Milorad Pantović

Former name: Belgrade Fair Exhibition Grounds (Central Tower)

Genre: Modernist architecture, former Yugoslavia

The site was originally developed by the Belgrade municipality as an exhibition centre to host trade fairs and help promote the economy of the then Kingdom of Yugoslavia. It functioned as such for a couple of years but this all changed when the German-led Axis Forces invaded and overran the kingdom in April 1941. The trade fair’s pavilions had not been badly damaged during the German onslaught, plus the area was close to a railway station so it was decided that the location would be used to detain the city’s Jewish and Roma population. As the war in the Balkans progressed, captured partisans were also sent to the camp and, in order to make space for them, other inmates were deceived into thinking they were being transferred to a better camp but instead were taken in gas vans to mass graves near the base of Mount Avala. The Allies bombed Sajmište in April 1944, creating yet more deaths, and the camp was finally liberated in July of the same year.

Nowadays, although some of the buildings on the site are abandoned, others are used to house low-income residents. More information about the former Sajmište Concentration Camp.

Former Sajmište Concentration Camp (Belgrade Fair Exhibition Grounds) in Belgrade, Serbia | Modernist architecture | former Yugoslavia

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