German and French Ambassadors Mark Armistice Day, but where is Monument to Serbian Soldiers?

FOTO: Jern Rode/Tviter 2023

Yesterday was Armistice Day – the anniversary of the signing of the armistice by the Allied Powers with Germany, bringing an end to World War I.

For many years, the German and French ambassadors have jointly commemorated this day at the military section of the Orthodox cemetery in Pristina. However, a noticeable difference is evident between this year’s and previous years’ photographs.

The monument to Serbian soldiers who perished in World War I can no longer be seen.

Orthodox cemetery in Pristina/2021

The “Monument to the Liberators of Pristina” is missing from the images released by the two ambassadors from the Orthodox city cemetery in Pristina.

The white cenotaph has an inscription in Cyrillic which reads: “Here lie the remains of Serbian soldiers who fell in the wars of 1912-1918,” is notably absent from the place where it once stood.

The monument to fallen French soldiers, located at the Orthodox city cemetery in Pristina next to the Serbian soldiers’ monument, is still visible.

In recent photographs taken by worshippers of the Pristina cemetery during services marking Mitrovdan, the monument to the Serbian soldiers is still visible, but it had been moved from the place where once stood, and placed to the side.

The French and German ambassadors in Pristina, Olivier Guerot and Jörn Rohde, laid wreaths yesterday as part of Armistice Day commemorations, which marked the end of World War I.

On the „X“ social media network, the French Ambassador stated that the joint commemoration of this significant historical date by France and Germany in Kosovo has become a tradition. He and his German colleague marked the day together as a symbol of reconciliation and friendship.

“November 11 is our Veterans’ Day. In Kosovo, it has become a tradition to celebrate it with our German friends as a clear sign of Franco-German reconciliation and friendship. I paid tribute to the 18 French soldiers who lost their lives while serving in KFOR, to protect all communities,” Guerot wrote.

 

“Finally, the guns are silent. Many thought so 105 years ago when the First World War ended after years of suffering. Today, we commemorated this event with our French friends, representatives of Kosovo, the KFOR commander, Ukrainian and Moldovan journalists, and members of the diplomatic corps. We have learned that reconciliation is always possible,” wrote Rode on social network “X”.

 

The armistice of World War I was signed on November 11, 1918, in a forest near the French town of Compiegne, in a special railcar belonging to Marshal Ferdinand Foch. It remained in effect until the signing of the final peace treaty in Versailles on June 28, 1919.



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