On June 9, the Norwegian friendship association in Serbia is organising a daylong festival in the central Serbian town of Gornji Milanovac. The programme starts at 9 in the morning with a breakfast and speeches at the Norwegian house. It continues with the play "Sent to Norway to die" and screening of a movie on Gornji Milanovac.
The celebration is then moving to the memorial park "Brdo Mira” (Hill of Peace), where the group will lay wreaths at the monuments of those killed during the Second World War.
In March 1942, German authorities decided to deport a number of prisoners from Yugoslavia to Norway for forced labour, mainly in a defence and transport project along the Norwegian coast. Altogether 4,268 prisoners were deported in 1942-43 from camps in Yugoslavia to more than thirty Norwegian camps, most of which were in northern Norway. 2,600 of them died in Norway.
A special relationship between the two countries was forged after the war, based on relations developed between returning Yugoslav prisoners of war and civilian Norwegians trying to help them during their stay. The relationship has since been only further developing and broadening. The Friendship march is cherishing these close ties.
This year the march to Brdo Mira starts at 12:30h, after which participants will enjoy traditional Serbian and Norwegian dishes at the Norwegian house, combined with a rich cultural programme. Everyone is welcome to join, so for more information please see here.