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NEWS | 06.04.2017 23:00

DNA of Serbian Culture Almost Destroyed in Bombing of Library, Says Culture Minister

On April 6, the National Library of Serbia marked 76 years since its bombing in the April War of 1941, in which more than 300,000 books and other valuable manuscripts burned, while Minister of Culture Vladan Vukosavljevic said that it was "a tragedy with many expressions and faces."

"They tried and almost destroyed the DNA of Serbian culture, with the aim for one people, its memory, spirit and identity to be surrendered to oblivion," Vukosavljevic said on the occasion of the Day of Remembrance of the perishing of the National Library, and recollected that the fire, which had not been extinguished because of the shock of the population, "for three days devoured the most valuable things we possessed."

In his words, the enemy knew very well what he was doing on that April 6, and that the destruction of books was not a chance event.

The minister said this flame, in the metaphysical sense, merged with the flame that destroyed the relics of St. Sava in the Vracar quarter.

The manager of the National Library, Laslo Blaskovic, recalled that the Nazi bombing of Belgrade destroyed the building of the National Library and almost everything that had been kept there since its founding.

"There were 1,300 Cyrillic manuscripts, of which 100 handwritten books on parchment, 200 old printed books and incunables, charters, a collection of more recent manuscripts, an unstudied collection of Turkish documents on Serbia and Belgrade, a collection of letters that were important for politics, culture and literary history, a collection of old maps and paintings and around 300,000 copies of magazines and books," Blaskovic said.

In his words, complete sets of all Serbian magazines, almanacs and calendars and an exceptional collection of Serbian and foreign newspapers, also perished in that bombing.

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