At the eve of the hundred year anniversary of the beginning of The First World War, the western public opinion shows an overwhelming increase in, nowadays well established, rewriting of history. These theories statethat the blame for atrocities, and even Nazism, partly or exclusively lies with the Serbs.
One of our greatest historians DragoljubZivanović, in his book “Involuntary warriors: The Great Powers and The Macedonian Front”, wrote, based on the rich historical documentation, thoroughly on topic of weather western countries and Serbia were reallyallies during the World War I. He even succeeded in proving that the Great Britain was the enemy of Serbia, even though not openly as Germany, Austro Hungarian Empire and Bulgaria.
A book about how politics influences writingof the history, but with the main thematic on wars during nineties, history of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbian –Albanian relations, our historians Mile Bjelajalac and GordanaKrivokapić-Jović, published a book in 2011. They also disclose a notorious fact that Richard Holbrookewas personallyhanding out the pamphlet- book “Short history of Kosovo” by Noel Malcolm, and the fact that the book of the German historian Holm Zundhauzen about 19th and 20th century Serbia was the project sponsored by the state of Germany.
As the hundredth anniversary of the First World War approaches,considerable number of authors from countries that were once allies, eagerly works on redefining the role of Serbia during The Great War. The most drastic example of this is the one from the pamphlet monograph by Philip J. Cohen, from the „A&M“University, Texas and the book by Tim Judd. By the order of the Republic of Croatia Cohen printed “Serbia’s Secret war: propaganda and the manipulation of history” 1996. This scientificforgery fortunately wasn’t accepted in the scientific circles, as well as in general, because of its obvious exaggeration and incompetence(stomatologyst) of the author.Cohen was trying to prove that the Croats were anti fascists while the Serbs created some kind of autochthone fascism even before Italians did. The similar are the contributions to the history made by professor of hydraulics Andrew L. Simon(of Hungarian descend), who was the redactor and have published a series of works in English flowing in irrational animosity towards the orthodox nations, and specially to Serbs, blamed for the destruction and fall of Austro Hungarian Empire. These authors, as well as very similar Noel Malcolm and Holm Zundhauzen, distort the historical picture of the Balkan nations,especially Serbia by selective quotation and putting the facts or material out of their context.
It was nice of American historian Pol Kennedythat in his most famous and undeservingly praised work, “The rise and fall off Great powers”, has to say great many good things about the Serbian involvement in breaking of the World War II. He says: “There was a lot of truth within the old cliché that theArchduke’s death was just the sparkle that ignited the fire”. He says that the Austro Hungarian Empire declined the peace offering from Serbia. This book was published 1987, but is still considered as a very important piece of literature at America’s universities and also at Yale, where Kennedy still works as a lecturer.
THE BRITISH SCHOOL
One of the rising starsin the science of historyis Kennedy’s colleague at Yale University, the professor of history Timothy Snyder, so called transatlantic leftist, with a Ph.D. degree at the Oxford University. Very passionately opinionated, Snyder is interested in Central and Eastern Europe, the holocaust and suffering of the people from Germany to Russia. Snyder is a typical example of the trend of relativisation and according to it the Russia and Serbia are to blame for the all kinds of evil and unimaginable destruction unknown to civilized nations. In that perspective, Snyder in his article “Hitler’s logical holocaust”, published December the 20th in magazine The New York Review of Books, managed to master Goebbels’s doctrine that states that a hundred times spoken lie becomes the truth.
He states, ignoring the actual facts that the decolonization started at Balkan (as if he didn’t know how to make out the distinction between the colonies from the conquered territories), in the way that the Balkan states got free from the OttomanEmpire, and then from their “British, German and Russian patrons”, all that inclusive and half true and without any basis in facts. He mentions wars (plural) betweenBalkan states, and there was but one short lasting war between Bulgaria and Serbia in the year 1885. After these fictional wars “Balkan countries turned against the Ottoman Empire”. So actually there was no liberation of the territories under the Turk occupation rather the liberated states attacked theOttoman Raska, Kosovo and Metohija,Albania,Thessaly, Epirus,Trakia. Finally Snyder gives a revisionist vision of the beginning of the World War I: “Conflict that we know as the World War I can be perceived as the third Balkan war (the thesis commonly present among other western historians) because certain elements within the Serbian government tried to seize and appropriate part of the Austrian territory as they did with the Ottoman Empire”. According to this, Serbia in fact grabbed from the poor Ottoman their Raška, Crimea and Macedonia, and then laid their paws on the Austrian lands (presumably those are the German motherland in the Bosnianvalley or historicalyAustrian cities Novi Sad and Dubrovnik)
This is not the end of it. Obviously, these claims should be reason enough not to have Snyder on a position of a professor, especiallyata prestigiousAmerican University, where for instance William Clinton and George Bush Jrgot their degrees. And he goes even further in his recklessness operating with obvious fabrications. When the World War I broke out, the Balkan model of establishing of the national states spreads to Turkey(including mass murder of more than a million of Armenians), and later to the Central Europe.
HITLER COPIED FROM BALKAN?!
According to Snyder, nation state is a Balkan invention. After the French bourgeois revolution all through the Europe emerged the multitude of new initiatives and movementsstruggling for establishingof the nation state, but he is not aware of this fact, as he is not aware that the Serbians were fighting against the Turkish occupation for centuries. Nevertheless, here theTurkey is the victim of Balkan states because they spreaded the virus of nationalism,therefore they were the reason for the murder of more thana million of Armenians. And of course, not a single word on the crimes committed against the Serbs and Greeks.
It doesn’t stop there, because the new history by Snyder claims that the Balkan nationalistic states are to blame partialy, for the rise of Nazism, because Hitler, had this specific model in mind while writingMein Kampf. In what way and how, he doesn’t state. In conclusion, if there were us primitive Balkan people Nazism would never haveexisted. To the very same conclusion came also Robert Kaplan, American journalist of Jewishdescent. Kaplan was a lecturer at the police and army academies all over USA, part time consultant for the Department for defense and Department foreign affairs in America, and nowadays for Stratfor and the newspapers. In the book “Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History” from 1994, he says thatNazism, for instance….originates from the Balkans. In the poorhouses of Vienna,fertile ground for ethnic hatred similar to the one in the south slave world, learnt to hate so addictively”
Snyder belongs to the new school of historians that writes so called transnational history. Covering himself by this phrase he claims that without Soviet Union there wouldn’t be anyholocaust, as he did in the controversial book “Bloodlands”. This book ignited a series of serious debates and succeeded in indicating that the real victims are primarily in the Eastern Europe.Snyder is trying very hard not to mention Russians. By his words, the victims were Jews, Polish, Belarusians, Ukrainians, Kazakhs and unidentified soviet citizens, as if the most of them were not already the citizens of USSR. When he mentionstheRussians he says that they are not included in the 14 millionvictimsof the mass crime committed by Hitler and Stalin in Eastern Europe. So, the number of Russian victims is minimized or not even mentioned, (of course they are mentioned here and there, but in a by the by manner) on the other hand the atrocities happenedon the Balkan are completelyswept under the rug. The conclusion from this is that there were no atrocities in Balkan.
Much like American professor Timothy Snyder, great number of cadets from Oxford and even more so Cambridge has the same negative attitude when writing aboutSerbians. Perhaps, the most famous and well known here isNoel Malcolm. There’s also historian John Ottywhose commentary about Serbian nationalism and the causes that led to theFirst World War, has been published in 2009. Shallow and overburdened by the quotations of Tim Judd and MishaGlenny that deals with the “Serbian myth about Kosovo”, the Serbiandepicts as the “swine merchants” that lusted for Great Serbia. Serbia and Austro Hungarians,according to his words,are the guilty parties for the war and ofcourse Russia becauseit tried to help Serbia. His perception of Serbia’s role was disclosed on AmericanPublic Broadcasting Service and British magazine„History Today“.
PESKY SERBIAN CASUALTIES
Australian Christopher Clarke, got his Ph.D. at Cambridge, and he is a professor of history at the same University. His book about the causes of the World War I was published September 27th 2012in England. (“The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914”). It is actually the continuance of the British politics of revisionism, with intention to show that either there was no guilty party for the World War I or that guilt would be that of Serbia or Russia. Christopher Clarke is partial to this second approach. “The World War wasThe Third Balkan War, before the World War I begun”, says Clarke. He states that Serbian government officials were linked to “terrorist organizations” that were “dreaming of Great Serbia”. This book have already had two bad reviews.
However, Mathew Price, a Cambridge man, BBC correspondent, at one time a correspondent from Belgrade, commended on the book in Emirate’s newspapers. He says:“Clarke is right, in the claim that the justice was on the side of Austro Hungarians”. And then it continues with the claim that because of the proportionally greatest number of casualties in the war it is “maybeeasy to overlook the Serbianarrogantand insensitive answer to assassination”.
That everything is not so gloomy, shows the contribution of the publishing house “Jacabook” from Miilan,which in 1999, published the of works written by two Italians, and number of Serbian historians and famousintellectuals, with the editor in chief, member of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences, late NikšaStipčević. Many good things were written about us by the famous professor David Fromkin from Bostonthat also participated.
Among the new achievements would be “A Companion to World War I“, not yet translated in Serbian language. It is acompilation of works byBritish, American, Irish, French,German and also Australian, Canadian and Italian historians on the topic ofThe Great war. It is important because it is conceived as an unavoidable reading material for the universities of these countries. It includes also indications about politics influencing the writing of history. The director of the BritishInstitute for European studies from Safford-John Keiger points out to this important issue, and in spiteof the casualcynicism, made probably the best descriptionof the role of Serbia, with the all the victories, suffering, retreat through Albania and the Macedonian front.
Usually in Italian university study books there is no mentioning of the Macedonian front. But, the role of Serbia in everything that led to war as fairly objectively showed.
In what way if any are the institutions of Serbia preparing, and are they preparing, for the impending full frontal assault with all the weapons of the propaganda machine from all the weapons?
THE CONTRIBUTION OF SERBIA
The shot fired at a fromGavriloPrincip’s gun was a shot at the tyrant that came to occupiedBosnia and Herzegovina on Vidovdan , to provoke Serbian population, and that is the truth that many want to conceal and distort. On our side, apart from MileBjelajac and the team of historians who are, inspite of Serbian neo historians, struggling to the spread an sustain the truth about Serbia’s role in World War I, now TheNational Library announced its contribution.
European union started two projects in 2009, EUROPEANA 1914-1918 and EuropeanaCollections 1914 – 1918:Memories of the First World War”. Our National Library is taking part in this second one, as one of 12 institutions from eight countries. The goal is to create a digital collection ofdocuments with about 500.000 units, that will point out the importance of World War I for the common European identity of and reflect the experiences of people from different ethical, linguistic, political, social and religious communities from all the sides involved in that conflict, includingone the opposed to war.
For this reason, we approachedNemanjaKalezić, the coordinator of the project for TheNational Library of Serbia. Kalezićsays that The National Library of Serbia participatesfrom the middle of 2011 in the project Europeana Collections 1914 – 1918: Memories of the First World War – the digital collection of of valuable selectionsfrom national libraries”. The The National Library of Serbia has the obligation to digitalize and make accessible 1.405 digital objects. Top priority will be all the publishing production of the Kingdom of Serbia from the period Jun 1914- October1915, as well as all the printed publication made duringexile(Corfu, Bizerte, Genève, Solun…)
At the question posed to him about the specific military and war material that would bear witness to the military contribution of Serbia Kalezić answers: “At this moment we are unable to specificallyindicateto what degree the publicationwould be covering the military involvement of Serbia in the war, because the material from the relatedinstitutions (Archives of Serbia, Military museum, the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences…) is still is still being analyzed and the selection is far from over. At the moment, “War diary” the journal of the High Command, and the official bulletin of the War press bureau, is being scanned. A number of diaries and memorabilia belonging to the participants of the war, the correspondence of Duke ŽivojinMišić with the allied generals from the Macedonian front, the war maps, lists of soldiers killed in the battle ….This participation of The National Library of Serbia in thisproject is financed by European committee and The Ministry of culture and information participatingwith 50% each”.
NO MORE OBIDIANCE!
This is not all. NLS will be involved inyet two more international projects with the topic of First World War: Project CENDARIhas the aim of providing to the explorers complete access to the historical materials by means of modern technology. Project “The World Remembers”aims to gather the names of the soldiers killed during the war,as many as possible,and provide their public display on the Internet and in public space. This year NLS should publish a monograph “Balkan peninsula and the South Slavcountries by Jovan Cvijić in Serbian and French language, and as a part of project EuropeanaNLS will organize an exhibition by the half of 2014. NLS also plans to build the portal “The GreatWar”, February the 28th, andbesides already mentioned material, it will contain numerous other publications from the period after1918with the topic of World War I. Besides scanned materials, at the portal, virtual exhibitions, interactive maps of the battles involving Serbian army will be available” explainsKalezić.
In the effort to pleaseand to get on the good sideof the West, numerous sacrifices at the expense of the state and people were made. After many years of this vassal behavior, the witch-hunt haven’t stopped, on the contrary. Having this experience of shy festivity, almost an uneasy ritual, celebratingthe liberation of Kosovo and Metohija, Raška and Macedonia, and also knowing that we are always criticized for it, Serbia, must give its best to useall its availableknowledgeand resources to at least try to resist the continuance of the propaganda picture of bloodthirstySerbians.It’s important to bear in mind, during the period where we were the “disruptivefactor”, we managed to not only keep but to expand our state; today as servants, we are losing the battle, equally the one with media, the cultural and the territorial.