Thursday 29.02.2024 ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑ

Annual Remembrance Day for the Serbs in Corfu

23 Sep 2021 / 12:04

CORFU. Representatives from Serbia and the Serbian Republic of Bosnia who are at present in Corfu for the annual memorial events went to Vidos Island today.

They went to Vidos to honour an important part of their people's history, which also sealed forever a brotherhood between the Serbian people and the island of Corfu.

At this year's memorial events, the Government of the Republic of Serbia was represented by the Minister of Labor, Darija Kisic Tepavcevic, while the President of the Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, was represented by President Željka Cvijanović.

At the annual events organised by the Hellenic-Serbian Friendship Association the two states honour the way they were embraced by Corfu - the "Island of Salvation" as they call it.

At the beginning of 1916, during the 1st World War, thousands of Serbian civilians and members of the decimated Serbian Army suffered tragically in one of their greatest exoduses, under attack from the Austro-Hungarians, Germans and Bulgarians.

Between 18 January and 21 February, 1916, 43 large allied transport ships brought what remained of the Serbian Army and thousands of civilians to Corfu. Around 150,000 Serbian refugees were put up in makeshift camps along the eastern coast of the island. At first, nothing was organised to receive them and they had to stay in the open without food and shelter and exposed to the cold, resulting in a large number of deaths and dysentery, typhoid and respiratory diseases.

The help then provided by the local authorities created an everlasting bond of friendship.

Corfu became the unofficial capital of Serbia. The Municipal Theatre building housed the parliament and the Bella Venezia Hotel housed the government.

Every year Corfu and Serbia remember the dead from that time at the Serbian Mausoleum on Vidos Island with representatives from Serbia together with local authorities and citizens.

Photos: Enimerosi

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