Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center

The Russians in Nish

On December 4 representatives of the Russian-Serbian humanitarian center participated in the events dedicated to the Day of Military Veterans held at the military hospital in the city of Nish. Representatives of various organizations, the Ministry of Defense, the city authorities, representatives of the society of the descendants of veterans of World War I and many others gathered to commemorate the servicemen of the Serbian army who had died of wounds and diseases, as well as in memory of the employees of the Russian sanitary mission who had worked in the hospital during the First World War in 1914-1915. On behalf of all the staff of the Center, Viktor Gulevich and Oleg Ganiev laid wreaths at the monument to the heroes of those years and a memorial plaque dedicated to Russian doctors. The presence of the guard of honor and the military band emphasized the solemnity of this moment.

During the fight of the summer-autumn campaign of 1914, there was one doctor for three hundred wounded in the Serbian army. Russia, assisting the brotherly Slavic people, formed medical units, including surgical and epidemiological departments with all the necessary equipment, and sent them to Serbia, where in November 1914 there was a rapid development of epidemics of typhoid, typhus, and smallpox, which caused high mortality.

The unit, headed by Princess Trubetskaya, arrived in Nish in January 1915 and consisted of a surgical and infectious department. It was located in the 11th Hospital in Nish, overcrowded with the sick and wounded. During the seven months of work of the Russian medical staff, more than 15,000 patients were treated. On February 8, 1915, the Serbian government approved a plan to improve the health situation in Nish and transferred the city and the suburbs under the full medical supervision of the Russian physicians, due to that the epidemic of typhoid was significantly weakened by the end of April. The activity of the Russian sanitary missions in Serbia was stopped by the resumption of the War in October 1915, when they were forced to retreat along with the Serbian army.

The dedicated work of the Russian doctors and sisters of mercy was immortalized by a memorial plaque on the building of the Serbian Society of Doctors in Belgrade. At the initiative of the Center’s management, in 2015, a memorial plaque was put on one of the buildings of the Military Hospital in Nish, a sign of friendship between the Serbian and Russian people.

The staff of the Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center honor the memory of their ancestors and nowadays they contribute to the strengthening of brotherly relations between the Serbians and Russians.