Starting on Friday, October 2, 2020, the NMZ Salon Exhibition “DEATH TO FASCISM!” is to be on display in the Salon of the National Museum of Zrenjanin. October 2, 2020 marks the day of the liberation of Zrenjanin in the Second World War. This exhibition was realized with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of victory over fascism in the Second World War. Petrovgrad (Zrenjanin) was liberated on October 2, 1944, so this year marks the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the city. The creator is Vladislava Ignjatov, curator – historian.
The “DEATH TO FASCISM!” exhibition is presented in 2 manifestations. The first covers the history of the liberation struggle in Petrovgrad from 1941 to 1944 (marching demonstrations, German entry into the city and their terror, uprisings, and the ultimately successful People’s Struggle for Liberation), with an emphasis on the liberation of the city – October 2, 1944, presented in short texts and photographs alongside various objects and documents – all kept by the National Museum in Zrenjanin. The second segment of the exhibition consists of photographs of monuments throughout central Banat, as well as in the city itself, which, as silent witnesses, represent a contribution to the culture and a memorial to one of the most tragic, yet ultimately triumphant, periods of Yugoslav and Serbian history – the period of the fight against fascism.
EXCERPTS FROM THE TEXT OF THE EXHIBITION
After the warring in April, Vojvodina was divided. Bačka and Baranja belonged to Horthy’s Hungary, Srem to the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), and Banat as a separate area became part of Nedić’s Serbia, but the power was actually in the hands of the local German minority – the Volksdeutscher. * The struggle of the Serbs, as well as members of other nationalities, in then Northern Banat was an integral part of the overall liberation struggle against the Nazi regime in occupied Yugoslavia and much of Europe. Banat, as well as the whole of Vojvodina, with the exception of Fruška Gora, was unsuitable for partisan warfare due to its geographical position and landscape, so the emphasis of the liberation struggle in this area was on sabotage and quick actions and avoiding frontal conflicts with a far superior enemy. There was no fratricidal struggle or civil war in Banat, which is an exceptional feature of the anti-Nazi liberation struggle in this part of Vojvodina and Serbia. * In today’s Central Banat District, which geographically belonged to northern Banat, i.e., to its administrative seat, the town of Zrenjanin – formerly known as Veliki Bečkerek and Petrovgrad – played a significant role in the liberation struggle in the period from the first uprising in July 1941 until the liberation on October 2, 1944. * The war took numerous victims from the ranks of Serbs and other nationalities. A large number of the inhabitants of this area survived the hard life of the camp, which was located in the city itself, while others suffered in German camps, formed in the occupied European countries throughout the Third Reich. * “Units of the People’s Liberation Army of Yugoslavia (NOVJ – Jedinice Narodnooslobodilačke vojske Jugoslavije) and the Red Army entered Petrovgrad on October 2, 1944. Former illegals, who had fought in all possible ways in the occupied city for four years, also took part in the final operations to liberate the city. The city was spared heavy destruction. After the liberation of Banat, many Banat people continued to fight in Vojvodina and other units of the NOVJ, until the final victory in 1945.” Vladislava Ignjatov, curator – historian