While you are visiting beautiful beaches and charming streets of Corfu town, you will find a simple house among tiled streets and flowered balconies. You will notice it’s some kind of a museum. Not a lot of fuss about it, it’s not famous, it’s not fancy, but if you pay attention, you will walk out stunned.
Just couple of rooms dedicated to Serbian army who found shelter on this island, far away from home, among Greeks who become their friends for good. World war I came in horror for Serbian people. After fighting courageously to defend their country and loved once, they suffered an attack from the back from Bulgarian army and were finally compelled to retreat. This is when a real tragedy started. Trough nemilosrdni mountains of Albania, on the coldest, cruelest winter imaginable despair was leading them to the only hope left – Greek seaside.
On the first floor, you will find uniforms and medals, pictures of fearsome generals who managed to pull their people out of the impossible situations on the front. You will also find personal items of soldiers, startling pictures of battles and refugees and somewhere hidden, glimmer of hope.
Serbian solders came to Corfu, but since they were so weary from a long walk among Albanian mountains, lot of them got sick. Those who were sick had to be transferred to Vido island, to isolations. This meant almost certain end for them. Looking at their friend toused to the sea every day, hope seem to left the island for good. But as everything in life passes, this also passed. Some of them were actually feeling better and as better weather conditions were coming along, hoped croled out shyly as from the Pandoras box.
These parts of exhibition were the most touching for me. Items like curved knives were first proof that people have not left hope if they have the will to work on something. Serbian national instrument, gusle, made of a helmet was the most touching sight for me. Playing music on the island representing death must have gave them strength we can’t imagine now. Hearing melodies from home, being able to remember them after all that happened was a victory of its own.
So, if you ever come to Corfu, don’t miss to pay a visit and a respect to Serbian soldiers who were fighting in the World war I not to conquer, not for money, but for their families and freedom, so that every last one of their descendants, including me, could live and prosper and be happy.