At the memorial cross near the Ponor pit, in the local community of Miljevina in Foča, a memorial service was held today for several thousand members of the Yugoslav Army in the Homeland who were killed by partisans in May 1945.
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It is estimated that in the area from Zelengora to Goražde, after the Battle of Zelengora between partisans and Chetniks, 7,000 soldiers of the Royal Yugoslav Army were killed, while about 2,000 were thrown into the Ponor pit, including a large number of beardless newly recruited young men from Serbia.
Vojo Matović, a 70-year-old resident of Budanj village, said that his father Vasilije witnessed the mass suffering of young soldiers of the Royal Yugoslav Army, His father has told him that while he was cultivating the land, he saw partisans bringing people all day.
“They tied them up there, killed them and threw them into the Ponor pit, after which they applauded”, said Matović.
He added that the partisans knew very well where the soldiers of the Royal Yugoslav Army were hiding and that they had caught them cheating.
“Ranković’s people threw leaflets and called on Draža’s soldiers to capitulate and that no one would do anything to them. They did not know that they would be killed and they capitulated”, says Matović.
He said that a resident of that village Cvija Stanković helped to one soldier, who managed to get out of Ponor pit.
“He hid in the hay in a nearby meadow, she found him and told him to go across Brod on the Drina, in the direction of Montenegro, in order to save his life”, says Matović.
The Veterans’ Organization mentioned that they have been pointing out on this crime for years, but that there is still a lack of support from Serbia, where mostly young soldiers came from.
The Head of the Presidency of the Foča Veterans’ Organization Srđan Stanković reminded that soldiers from Kraljevo, Valjevo, Kragujevac and Čačka were mostly killed. Foča Veterans’ Organization contacted associations from Serbia, but they were not interested in shedding light on this crime.
“In Serbia, there is still a misconception that the crime was committed by the local population, because, according to our information, until the 1990s, they taught in the schools that the people of Foča, Miljevina and Kalinovik did it”, said Stanković.
A few years ago, an initiative was launched to build a memorial site in Miljevina to members of the Yugoslav Army in the Homeland who were killed in mass liquidations in that area.
“We have arranged the land in the settlement of Miljevina and we are expecting dedication these days. I hope that in due time we will succeed in building a memorial site”, said the parish priest of Miljevina, Ljupko Medović.
In addition to the victims from the Second World War, a memorial service was held for 100 Serb`s soldiers and 27 civilians, residents of Miljevina, who died in the last civil war.
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