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Vist to Nis Serbia
Jun 7th, 2009 by ron

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First of all, THANK-YOU to Caroline & Dick  for the wonderful package.  We received it just today!  The Elders say Thanks as well as they will also enjoy eating tacos, Chili & ranch dressing!!!

Congratulations to Aubrey, our granddaughter and daughter of Ronnie and Jen.  She was baptized yesterday, Sat. June 6th.  We are so proud of you Sweetie!

We had another amazing and memorable week.  We spent Thurs., Fri., and Sat. in Nis,

Serbia.  It is about 3 Hrs. south of Belgrade.  We went there to meet with the Red Cross as we are trying to get a Neo-Natal program going for the southern region of Serbia. 

Our meeting went far better than we could have ever expected.  They are going to help us get into the local hospital to assess their needs and see if they have a need for Neo-Natal.

The Red Cross asked us if we had been to Nis before.  No we had not.  We told them that June 6th was going to be our 40th wedding anniversary and they acted pretty amazed that people actually stayed married that long!  They gave us a guide for the day to show us around some of the historical sites or Nis.  His name is Peter.  He works for the Red Cross as well.  The pictures that follow are of our day with Peter.

  • 1. Roman Ruins located at the fort in the center of their city. Serbia served as one of the headquarters for the Roman Empire sometime after the death of Christ.
  • 2. This is the headquarters of the German officers on the grounds of the concentration camp. Notice the Swastika and the SS which is the symbol of the Secret German Police. They were feared by everyone because they answered only to Hitler himself.
  • 3. The Germans had a concentration camp right in the middle of Nis. It was a solemn feeling being where so many people were tortured, starved, treated so inhumanely and even killed.
  • 4. This is a map of the locations of concentration camps located throughout the whole European countries.
  • 5. This is an old prison uniform that the prisoners had to wear. The prisoners included men, women, and children.
  • 6. Peter, our guide, showed us his grandfather’s name on the list of prisoners who were held in this camp. His grandfather was one of the lucky ones, although he later lost his legs due to frost bite and the poor treatment he received while in this camp. 30,000 other people weren’t so lucky. This is how many people were killed while imprisoned here.
  • 7. The camp was surrounded with rows and rows of barbed wire to keep the prisoners from escaping. Many tried to escape and most died in the process but 152 actually did succeed.
  • 8. This is the barracks where the prisoners were held. The conditions had to be so horrible as there weren’t facilities or room enough. There were 100 prisoners held in each room which must have been standing room only. There was one room where straw was placed along two walls and that was sleeping quarters for hundreds of people. On the third floor was their solitary confinement area.
  • 9. There were single cells lining one side of the area and an open area on the other side where prisoners were tortured and killed in plain view of the other prisoners. I can’t imagine the fear and discomfort that these people must have felt. Those who were imprisoned here were Jews, Gypsies and Serbs.
  • 10. Skull Tower. Back in 1809 there was a fierce battle ensuing between the Turks and the Serbs. 4000 Serbs were locked inside the fort and 10,000 Turks surrounded the fort. When their commander realized that they were surrounded, he fired upon his ammo stockpile and blew his men and 10,000 Turks to pieces, but the Turks actually won the battle. They cut off the heads of 952 Serbs and encased them in concrete to make a monument to invoke fear in the remaining Serbs. The tower still stands today although most of the skulls have fallen off over the many years. Now only 52 skulls remain in place but is a solemn reminder how horrible war can be.
  • 11. After our tour of the city we went to a nice Restaurant where the Red Cross treated Ron and I to a lovely Anniversary Lunch. They really gave us the royal treatment and we are so appreciative of their hospitality and for Peter showing us around.
  • 12. We have another busy week starting at 6:30 Monday morning. We are headed to Kosovo Monday and Tuesday and have a meeting with the hospital in Nis on Wednesday.
  • 13. We send our love to all and thank you for your love and support.
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