Belgrad:German ambassador apologizes for destruction of library

BELGRADE — German Ambassador to Serbia Wolfram Maas apologized on Wednesday on his country’s behalf for the Nazi German destruction of the Serbian National Library.

 

Wolfram Maas at the site where the library stood (Beta)

Wolfram Maas at the site where the library stood (Beta)

The national institution was deliberately targeted during the bombing of Belgrade on April 6, 1941.

Maas, who visited the site where the building once stood, quoted German philosopher Max Weber in saying that „to take one’s books means to take a part of that someone’s memory“ and added that „nothing can bring back the dead and compensate for the damage done, but it is still possible to face history and the consequences“.

Maas stated he was grateful that „Serbia had given Germany another chance“.

„It is good that the library could at least be given back some of the books taken to Germany during the war,“ he noted.

In total 796 books were returned to the National Library.

In all, 350,000 of books, including priceless medieval manuscripts, were lost in a fire that was caused by incendiary bombs.

According to official records, the attack which started in the early morning of April 6 killed 2,274 Belgraders, completely destroying 714 buildings, while 1,188 were severely and 6,826 partially damaged.

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/society-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=04&dd=07&nav_id=73667

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