In memory of innocent Serbian children who were executed by Germans

In memory of innocent Serbian children who were executed by Germans on October 21st, 1941 in Kragujevac, poet Desanka Maksimovic wrote the following tribute:

~ The Bloody Fairytale ~

 

It was in a land of peasants

in the mountainous Balkans,

that a company of schoolchildren

died a martyr’s death

in one day.

 

They were all born

in the same year,

their school days passed the same,

taken together to the same festivities,

vaccinated against the same diseases,

and all died on the same day.

 

It was in a land of peasants

in the mountainous Balkans,

that a company of schoolchildren

died a martyr’s death

in one day.

 

And fifty-five minutes

before the moment of death

the company of small ones

sat at its desk

and the same difficult assignments

they solved: how far can a

traveler go if he is on foot…

and so on.

 

Their thoughts were full

of the same numbers

and throughout their notebooks in school bags

lay an infinite number

of senseless A’s and F’s.

A pile of the same dreams

and the same secrets,

patriotic and romantic,

they clenched in the depths of their pockets.

And it seemed to everyone

that they would run

for a long time beneath the blue arch

until all the assignments in the world

were completed.

 

It was in a land of peasants

in the mountainous Balkans,

that a company of small ones

died a martyr’s death

in one day.

 

Whole rows of boys

took each other by the hand

and from their last class

went peacefully to slaughter

as if death was nothing.

 

Whole lines of friends

ascended at the same moment

to their eternal residence.

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