As part of the cooperation protocol established between the French School in Belgrade and the First Kragujevac High School, students of the 2nd year of high school (1e) attended the anniversary commemoration accompanied by Mrs. Chourré, our school headmaster, and the two teachers in charge of the organization, Mrs. Potić and Mr. Bonolas. The exchange between the schools is frequent, but this year, at the request of Mrs. Anka Dedović, we traveled on the very day of commemoration of the massacre committed on October 21, 1941. This anniversary is particularly significant for the high school since many students and teachers were among the victims. On this solemn event, which is celebrated nationally in the presence of certain local political leaders, as well as representatives of several foreign embassies, and which is broadcasted live on all national televisions, other Serbian high schools were also invited. This was a perfect opportunity for Ms. Chourré to meet principals of other Serbian high schools, with whom we have signed a cooperation protocol. The aim of the cooperation between the French School in Belgrade and these schools is primarily to revitalize the teaching of the French language, especially within the bilingual departments.
Every year during the event, a different single episode of the shooting is shown. The massacre was committed by the Nazis, after the Serbian rebellion against the German occupation of the region. This time, a story of a boy who was brutally taken out of his family home by the Germans and taken as a sign of revenge with the other victims, to compensate for the death of German soldiers during this rebellion, was evoked and staged. The boy’s mother thought that they had come to get her son to forcefully take him to work, and in their haste, they didn’t even give him time to put on his shoes! But when the news of the massacre that had just taken place spread, the mother went to check if her son was among the victims; and, unfortunately, she recognized him by his bare feet. This has intensified this tragedy. Theatricalization of the mother’s drama this year was enhanced by a parallel scene, the cry of the black stork which also lost its young ones, loomed over the main stage. Since the black stork is the only one that sings, we could hear the continuous wail of the stork in the background of the performance in which the students of the First Kragujevac High School participated as well.
The concept of the play and the scenes were very well designed. They have enabled a touching and highly symbolic staging of a tragic moment in Serbian history, having in mind the current situation in which the old war demons that repeatedly destroyed the values of humanity and tolerance in the name of stupid and murderous ideologies are looming again over the Europe.
Have a look at the video by clicking on the link.