The unveiling and consecration of the first official monument to the victims of the communist regime was held today at the renovated “King’s Fountain” Memorial Park, in the Lisiciji potok in Belgrade. Mr. Predrag Markovic and Mr. Mirko Petrovic, members of the Crown Council, attended the event as envoys of HRH Crown Prince Alexander, and laid a wreath on His Royal Highness’ behalf.
The monument in the form of a cross with an inscription “To the innocent victims of communist terror” is the first one of this kind placed with the permission of the City of Belgrade. We can finally say that, now, after so many decades, the innocent victims of the communist regime in Belgrade and Serbia finally have a worthy place of remembrance. Memorial service was officiated by His Grace Bishop Aleksej of Hvostan, vicar of His Holiness the Patriarch of Serbia Porfirije.
The ceremony and commemoration were also attended by Mr. Aleksandar Sapic, Mayor of Belgrade, Mr. Dusan Kovacevic, Member of the Crown Council, priests of the Serbian Orthodox Church, members of the Association “In the name of the people – for free Serbia”, Kingdom of Serbia Association, which is under the patronage of HRH Crown Prince Alexander” and citizens of Belgrade.
The King’s Fountain, originally opened in 1936 in memory of King Alexander I, was the execution ground where the communist executioners, without trial, shot several thousand people in the autumn of 1944. The hard work and commitment of all the enthusiasts led by Dr. Srdjan Cvetkovic, who cleaned and arranged this place for about a decade, but also advocated for it to be arranged more permanently, finally bore fruit, when first the Memorial Park was opened on 9 October 2023, and now monument as well.
As Crown Prince Alexander stated earlier: “The King’s Fountain Memorial Park is indeed a holy ground, a place where thousands of innocent people fell as victims of dictatorship. For every decent person, it is hard to understand crimes like this – to kill somebody only for thinking differently and freely is beyond reason. The only “guilt” of the victims was that they were open-minded, and wanted to live in a free, democratic state. They were proclaimed to be guilty without trial, without even a chance to defend themselves. One could ask if there were even trials, would the outcome be any different?
So today, in front of the fountain dedicated to my grandfather, HM King Alexander I, where the souls of several thousands of these martyrs are still searching for eternal peace, we should all remember their sacrifice. Also, to send a strong message, that these crimes are not and never will never be forgotten. They did not receive justice, but they deserve to be remembered. That we always keep the memory of those dark times, so that crimes like this are never repeated.”
Lisičiji potok is the largest execution site in Belgrade after the Second World War. Today, almost everyone admits that there were innocent victims, and the courts rehabilitated about 5,000 people at the request of their descendants, including many whose fathers were killed right next to King’s Fountain. The state commission for secret graves of those killed after September 12, 1944, based on incomplete OZNA (communist secret police) documentation, listed the names of over 3,500 killed citizens of Belgrade. It is estimated that the number of people killed in Belgrade is almost twice as high.