The city of Belgrade, Serbia, marked 69 years since the beginning of Nazi Germany's bombardment with the laying wreaths and flowers at various memorial sites throughout the city on Tuesday, according to the Serbian news agency TANJUG.
Speaker of the Belgrade city assembly, Aleksandar Antic laid flowers in the avenue of victims of the bombing in Belgrade's New Cemetery. The Serbian Minister of Culture Nebojsa Bradic, along with members of the Serbian National Library, laid wreaths at the original site of the library, once considered one of the most attractive buildings in Belgrade.
This day is also know locally as the "Day of Burnt Books" because the most important cultural institution deliberately targeted in the bombing was the library. Built in 1832, it housed an estimated 300,000 cultural artifacts, including priceless medieval and Turkish manuscripts, which were ruined or destroyed when the building was leveled to the ground.
The Luftwaffe's punitive air attack on the city lasted four days, from April 6 to 10, 1941, killing somewhere between 5,000 and 17,000 people.