Impressions of Jordan:
Since today was a strangely beautiful day, some friends and I decided to go out in “nature.” They suggested we go to Jajinci and I agreed, having no idea what this thing I could hardly pronounce was. We took a few buses to the southernmost end of Belgrade, past the fancy neighborhoods and into what seemed like a jumble of spacious, stucco houses, auto repair shops, and forested areas. One of these forested areas is the Jajinci Memorial Park. It’s a memorial park because it was once the site of 80,000 executions - Nazis brought Jews from the concentration camp in the center of town, who were gassed and killed on the drive to Jajinci, to be buried there. Tens of thousands of others were shot on the spot.
Jajinci is a part of the Banjica neighborhood, which started to be developed right after WWII. For me, the most interesting part of Banjica was the collection of buildings built in the ’70s called the “Five Soldiers” and their counterparts. The five buildings below are meant to symbolize German troops in Yugoslavia - powerful, emotionless, and drab - and they look down on a sprinkling of shorter red buildings that resemble people hunching down.
And finally, this is the Military Medical Academy. One day my home will be a tiny replica of this glorious monstrosity.
Belgrade’s neighborhoods never cease to amaze me - although it’s a relatively small urban area, there’s always something new to see. Banjica is beautiful and weird and silently says so much about the past 60 years of Yugoslav/Serbian/Belgrade history.