900 of Yugoslavian prisoners were deported to Beisfjord and Bjørnfjell, suffered and died there; just 96 were alive when World War II ended. The names of the victims are to see at the monuments there as well as in Serbia, where many of them came from. What do we know about them? How was their life before the camp and – if they could survive – after the war?
In the film of Zorica Stamenković we can get to know life stories of four Yugoslavian prisoners. Radovan Rajić, a merchant, was first interned in Banjica and then in Vienna. He also was one of the last Yugoslavian detainees, who came to German occupied Norway. There he wrote a diary „Ropstvo u Norveškoj 1942-1945” about the life in the camps, which is a very important testimony on the subject. [Jovana Perišić’s film deals about just Radovan Rajić.]
It is very hard to find any information about the other prisoners of German camps in Norway. About Mata Glavadanić we know, that he worked at the construction of the “Blood road” in northern Norway and could have become a very successful lawyer, if it wasn’t for the war.
Grga Andrijanović was one of the first to be deported to Norway. In the camp he got typhus and died. Now a street in Belgrade bears his name.
Not much we can also say about the life of a writer and interpreter Derviš Imamović, who managed to survive in the German camps in Norway and then became a diplomatic service worker in Sweden.
Although we don’t know much about these persons, the film allows us to visit the places they’ve been to: remains of the German camps in Sajmište, Banjica, Topovske Šupe as well as a the roads they hit.
The biographical approach, which Zorica has used, seemed to be intertwined with her personal experience during the project. On the way from Belgrade to Berlin the whole group got into an accident:
„It’s a very strong feeling that connects life and death in one moment. One part of the second, when everything happened. I didn’t have my phone or passport. I was absolutely disconnected from the world. I felt desperate. My family had no information about me“.
One of persons she researched about described the way he was forced to build in Norway as „bloody road” and, as Zorica said: „I think it is similar to our road to Germany – in a certain way“.