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Kosheen Cancel Concentration Camp Concert :: Skrufff.com

Reported by Olly @ Trackitdown on November 12, 2007

Bristol breaks/ D&B group Kosheen pulled out of a gig in Serbia this week after learning that that the venue they were due to play at was formerly part of a notorious Nazi death camp, Staro Sajmište in Belgrade.

The British band issued a statement on their website promising to try and reschedule the gig in the Serbian capital as soon as possible and said they were ‘distressed and sorry’ to learn of the concert hall’s horrific past.

“If Kosheen had known its true history, they would never have agreed to play the venue,” they stressed, “And as such Kosheen have cancelled their show there.”

Thousands of Jewish people and Serbian partisans were executed at Staro Sajmište during the second world war, with most men being shot and women and children suffocated in mobile gas chambers (vans with exhaust pipes turned inwards, according to Wikipedia). Gig promoters explained they’d been trying to revitalise the area though said they cancelled the gig after "pressure from foreign and domestic media."  (Associated Press)

"We hope that the big publicity created around the Staro Sajmiste site will be used for solving the problem of renovating the place," the concert organizers, the Long Play company added.

Honorary President of the Union of Jewish Municipalities Aca Singer suggested the location should be developed as a memorial centre, in an interview with local news ageny B92.

"There was an idea to build a great big supermarket next to Auschwitz. Why?” he said, “Because people from all round the world come to Auschwitz. But, they didn't allow it. There were ideas to commercialize other things, but it didn't work in Poland," he pointed out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staro_Sajmište (‘Until May 1942 Germans used Sajmište concentration camp to mostly kill off Jews from Belgrade and other parts of Serbia. From April 1942 onwards, prisoners were transported in from Jasenovac and Stara Gradiška concentration camps run by Ustaše. Partisans captured throughout Serbia were also sent to Sajmište. Detainees were also sent in from other parts of Yugoslavia, especially after major German offensives on briefly liberated territories. Executions of captured prisoners lasted as long as the camp existed . . .’)

Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)