Zejtinlik - military cemetary
Thessaloniki Travel Blog› entry 4 of 4 › view all entries
Because we were with teachers before we spreaded all over Thessaloniki we visited Zejtinlik cemetery, situated few km from centre of Thessaloniki, in the quarter called Zejtinlik ( zejtinlik is word from turkish language and means “the oil market” ) . This is military cemetery and is complex of graves of the Serbian, French, Italian , English and Russian soldiers who were killed in the battles on Thessaloniki front during First World War and 21.000 of them are buried there and among them 8.000 serbian soldiers.
We found an old man, Serb, there who is guardian and he is also “live legend” of Zejtinlik and when he “gone” it’s not sure that Zejtinlik will have new guardian. He is there more than 50 years and knows all graves and stories of many of them, he also told us a poem ( I found latter in English version ) … this was “history class” for all of us , and when you see all those graves once again it’s prove what nonsence is war ….
“If you ever, coming from far away,
Meet this sacred crypt,
Greet the ones lying here today,
Finest heroes ever lived.
All of them were raised by fearless Serbian nation,
Colossal among World’s history of war,
Marched through every trail of set upon temptation,
Worthy of their glory now and ever more.
Fallen from the bullets, from hunger and thirst,
On Golgotha mountain crucified and cursed,
Never have they, even for a single moment,
Lost their faith in final victory to come.”
(Verses of the Vojislav Ilić Junior on the chapel of the cemetary in Zejtinlik)
“Neznani tudjinče, kad slučajno mineš
Pored ovog svetog zajedničkog groba
Znaj ovde su našli večno utočište
Najveći junaci današnjega doba!
Roditelj je njihov hrabri srpski narod
Gorostas u svetskoj istorijskoj vojni
Koji je sve staze iskušenja proš’o
I čiji su borci, divljenja dostojni,
Padali od zrna, od gladi i žedji,
Raspinjani na krst, na Golgote visu,
Al čvrstu veru u pobedu krajnju
Nikad, ni za časak, izgubili nisu.