Restore Mamula and respect the victims

Delegation of the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) visited the isle Lastavica this year as well, and laid down the flowers in order to pay tribute to those who suffered and who were incarcerated on that camp during World War II, amongst whom the majority was from Bay of Boka. CCE expresses concern that this may be the last opportunity for visit of Mamula in its original state, and which serves to establish the culture of remembrance and respect for those who bear the suffering from that place. Reason of concern is start of the implementation of Orascom project, which involves the construction of luxury hotel complex on this place of suffering, all for the purpose of elite tourism, and at the expense of culture of remembrance.

Camp on isle Lastavica, better known as Mamula, was disbanded after Italy’s surrender 73 years ago, on 14 September 1943, and each September a commemoration is organised in memory of victims of crimes which occurred on Mamula. More than hundred citizens were murdered, or starved to death, and more than 2000 were imprisoned on camp Mamula, as estimated based on the information from Italian war documents. The majority of prisoners were locals, with a certain number of them who were from Croatia and Dalmatia.

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CCE previously proposed the establishment of Memorial centre Mamula, in order to render this place as part of system of education and a separate offer when it comes to educational tourism. This would incite the development of culture of human rights in Montenegro, but also give foreign tourists the opportunity to learn about the history and antifascist struggle of residents of this region. Such project would serve the interest of public and it would be sustainable.

Mamula is just one of the many places on the territory of Montenegro, where war crimes took place during World War II. CCE finds that state of Montenegro owes it to the victims of achievements of antifascist struggle, as well as to see that this place is adequately protected and marked as a place of suffering.

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As in previous years, the visit to isle Mamula and the commemoration itself was organised by Organisation of Fighters of People’s Liberation 1941 – 1945 from Herceg Novi.

Tamara Milaš, CCE programme associate and spokesperson of Coalition for RECOM in Montenegro