Mon Mar 20th, 2006 at 10:41:46 AM EST
For the sake of future conversation about ex-YU and Serbia I will first try to pass on you some historic facts. Who ever has enough time and interest can read some history of South Slavs on Balkan here. First is a site of Serbian Orthodox Church but it does not preach or anything and is very informative for those of you who are curious.
From the diaries, with excellent resource materials (in diary and comments) - whataboutbob
Who are Serbs?
Some history :
Now here is official Serbian government site so make what ever you want from it.
Serbian history (in short)
Also some of Serbian history seen from the other side (all tho up to 1990) here:
Library of Congress
Let's start here with how (the hell) and under what circumstances mutual state (later called Yugoslavia) actually has been made.
(Library of Congress site)
...Political parties emerged in Serbia after 1868, and aspects of Western culture began to appear.
(from above Serbian site):
...In world War I Serbia had 1.264.000 casualties - 28% of its population (4.529.000) which also represented 58% of its male population - a loss it never fully recuperated from. This enormous sacrifice was the contribution Serbia gave to the Allied victory and the remodeling of Europe and of the World after World War I.
(from above Library of Congress site)
... Serbia lost about 850,000 people, a quarter of its prewar population, and half its prewar resources.
World War I destroyed one-fourth of Montenegro's population and several hundred thousand Croats and Slovenes. ...When Austria-Hungary collapsed after the war, fear of an expansionist Italy inspired Serbian, Croatian, and Slovenian leaders to form the new federation known as Yugoslavia
... Because they feared Italian domination, Ante Trumbic and other Dalmatian leaders formed the London-based Yugoslav Committee to promote creation of a South Slav state. In July 1917, Nikola Pasic of Serbia and Trumbic signed the Declaration of Corfu, which called for a union of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes in one nation with a single democratic, constitutional, parliamentary system, under the Karadjordjevic Dynasty. The declaration promised equal recognition of the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets, the three national names and flags, and the three predominant religions. However, it did not indicate whether the new state would be centralized or federal. Pasic advocated a centralized state; Trumbic pressed for a federation.
The authority of Austria-Hungary over its South Slav lands ended in October 1918, and a National Council of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs became the de facto government of the regions, under Antun Korosec. On October 29, the Sabor in Zagreb annulled the union of Croatia with Hungary and gave the National Council supreme authority. In November Pasic, Trumbic, and Antun Korosec signed an agreement in Geneva, providing for a joint provisional government but recognizing the jurisdiction of Serbia and the National Council in the areas under their respective control, until a constituent assembly could convene.
(from Library of Congress site)
... But the war ended very rapidly, and Italy began seizing parts of Dalmatia.
Ethnic hatred, religious rivalry, language barriers, and cultural conflicts plagued the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) from its inception. The question of centralization versus federalism bitterly divided the Serbs and Croats; democratic solutions were blocked and dictatorship was made inevitable because political leaders had little vision, no experience in parliamentary government, and no tradition of compromise.
...The Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes encompassed most of the Austrian Slovenian lands, Croatia, Slavonia, most of Dalmatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Vojvodina, Kosovo, the Serbiancontrolled parts of Macedonia, and Bosnia and Hercegovina. Territorial disputes disrupted relations with Italy, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Albania. Italy posed the most serious threat to Yugoslavia. Although it received Zadar, Istria, Trieste, and several Adriatic islands in the postwar treaties and took Rijeka by force, Italy resented not receiving all the territory promised under the 1915 Treaty of London. Rome subsequently supported Croatian, Macedonian, and Albanian extremists, hoping to stir unrest and hasten the end of Yugoslavia. Revisionist Hungary and Bulgaria also backed antiYugoslav groups.
... and the South Slav kingdom also faced sizable nonSlav minorities, including Germans, Albanians, Hungarians, Romanians, and Turks, with scatterings of Italians, Greeks, Czechoslovaks, Slovaks, Ruthenians, Russians, Poles, Bulgars, Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews, and Gypsies. The Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Islamic, Uniate, Jewish, and Protestant faiths all were well established and cut across ethnic and territorial lines.
Serbs now feel that obviously Croats never had real intention to integrate with Serbs and they may have seen Serbia as less evil and easier to escape later. Serbs were good to go and die to defend their lands in Dalmatia but then not good enough to make a compromise how to live together. Croats took a first chance to escape with Hitler.
Now about 1920s:
(Library of Congress site)
...The Radic party won nearly all Croatian seats but, adopting an obstructionist strategy that had been typical of Croatian politics under the Dual Monarchy, it boycotted the assembly. When other anticentralist groups left the assembly in 1921, the Serbian Radicals and Democrats won by default the opportunity to adopt a centralist constitution.
... In June 1928, a Montenegrin deputy shot Radic, who died two months later. Deputies from Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina soon left the assembly, demanding a federal state. Fearing anarchy, Aleksandar abrogated the constitution in January 1929, dissolved the Assembly, banned political parties, and declared a temporary royal dictatorship.
... While the Serbian-Croatian conflict occupied center stage, an equally bitter conflict arose between the Serbs and the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. Serbs consider Kosovo to be hallowed ground, but their exclusive hold on the region slipped during the Ottoman tyranny in the late seventeenth century, and many Serbs fled Kosovo for Habsburg protection. After the mid-eighteenth century, Albanians became a majority in Kosovo and began oppressing the Serbs that remained. Between 1878 and 1912, Serbs left Kosovo in large numbers; in 1920 Belgrade began a drive to resettle Serbs in the region.
Now what Serbian government did to resettle Serbs wasn't pretty picture but was it when Serbs were "oppressed" for CENTURIES and those who managed to survive had to flee? And by oppressed I mean brutally killed, raped etc.?
This about how large number of Serbs and their territory ended in Croatia:
(Library of Congress site)
In 1881 Austria-Hungary reincorporated the military border into Croatia, increasing the number of ethnic Serbs in Croatia to about 25 percent of its 2.6 million population.
About Bosnia and Hercegovina:
(Library of Congress site)
... In the seventh century, Croats and Serbs settled in the land that now makes up Bosnia and Hercegovina.
... Foreign interference in Bosnia and Hercegovina exacerbated local political and religious hostilities and ignited bloody civil wars.
...... Ban Kulin (1180-1204) and other nobles struggled to broaden Bosnian autonomy, rejected the Catholic and Orthodox faiths, and embraced Bogomilism, a dualistic offshoot of Christianity
... the fourteenth century, Bosnia became a formidable state under the rule of Ban Stefan Tvrtko I (1353-91). After the Serbian Nemanja dynasty expired in 1371, Tvrtko was crowned King of Bosnia and Raska in 1377, and he later conquered parts of Croatia and Dalmatia. Bosnian troops fought beside the Serbs at Kosovo Polje.
... The fifteenth century marked the beginning of Turkish rule in Bosnia. Most of Bosnia was taken in 1463, Hercegovina in 1483. Many Orthodox and Roman Catholics fled, while Bogomil nobles converted to Islam to retain their land and feudal privileges. They formed a unique Slavic Muslim aristocracy that exploited its Christian and Muslim serfs for centuries and eventually grew fanatical and conservative.
... Turkish defeat of 1878, gave Austria-Hungary the right to occupy Bosnia and Hercegovina to restore local order.
... Seeking to increase the Catholic population of Bosnia, Vienna sent Austrian, Hungarian, Croatian, and Polish administrators, and colonized northern Bosnia with Catholic Slavs and Germans.
... Muslim Slavs resented Turkish withdrawal from the Balkans; the Croats looked initially to Vienna for support, but were increasingly disappointed by its response; and the Bosnian Serbs, deeply dissatisfied with continued serfdom, looked to Serbia for aid.
(from Serbian site)
...However the balance of power changed in international relations: in Italy and Germany Fascists and Nazis rose to power, and Stalin became the absolute ruler in the Soviet Union. None of these three states favored the policy pursued by Aleksandar ...During an official visit to France in 1934, the king was assassinated in Marseilles by a member of VMRO - an extreme nationalist organization in Bulgaria that had plans to annex territories along the eastern and southern Yugoslav border - with the cooperation of the Ustashi - a Croatian fascist separatist organization
...Supported and pressured by Fascist Italy and nazi Germany, Croatian leader Vlatko Macek and his party managed to extort the creation of the Croatian banovina (administrative province) in 1939. The agreement specified that Croatia were to remain part of Yugoslavia, but it was hurriedly building an independent political identity in international relations.
...Hitler was strongly pressuring Yugoslavia to join the Axis powers. The government was even prepared to reach a compromise with him, but the spirit in the country was completely different. Public demonstrations against Nazism prompted a brutal reaction. Luftwaffe bombed Belgrade and other major cities and in April 1941, the Axis powers occupied Yugoslavia and disintegrated it.
......The western parts of the country together with Bosnia and Herzegovina were turned into a Nazi puppet state called the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) and ruled by the Ustashe. Serbia was occupied by German troops, but the northern territories were annexed by Hungary, and eastern and southern territories to Bulgaria. Kosovo and Metohija were mostly annexed by Albania which was under the sponsorship of fascist Italy. Montenegro also lost territories to Albania and was then occupied by Italian troops. Slovenia was divided between Germany and Italy that also seized the islands in the Adriatic.
Looks like finaly things are going the way Nazis wanted in WWII...???All tho Serbia is not (yet) military ocupied (except Kosovo) but is in German /EU/USA mercy in every way... I am making a little bit of caricature here...
...Following the Nazi example, the Independent State of Croatia established extermination camps and perpetrated an atrocious genocide killing over 750.000 Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. This holocaust set the historical and political backdrop for the civil war that broke out fifty years later in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and that accompanied the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1991-1992.
SFRJ 1945 - 1991
While the war was still raging, in 1943, a revolutionary change of the social and state system was proclaimed with the abolition of monarchy in favor of the republic. Josip Broz Tito became the first president of the new - socialist - Yugoslavia. Once a predominantly agricultural country Yugoslavia was transformed into a mid-range industrial country...
...The trend to secure the power of the republics at the expense of the federal authorities became particularly intense after the adoption of the 1974 Constitution that encouraged the expansion of Croatian, Slovenian, Moslem and Albanian nationalism and secessionism.
The break-up of SFRJ
Between 1991 and 1992, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina forcibly seceded from Yugoslavia, whilst Macedonia did so peacefully. The break-up of Yugoslavia was endorsed by the international powers that recognized the right of self-determination to all nations except the Serbs which generally wanted to continue living in Yugoslavia. The secessionist republics were quickly granted recognition by the international community in clear breach of the principle of inviolability of international borders of sovereign countries and without fulfilling the criteria that a given state has to meet to be recognized internationally.
Next time I'll talk about break-up and I'll give you more of my own view to that.
This is just to introduce the case to those who were not interested enough to get more informed about region.