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Srboljub Zivanovic: Destruction of the Serbian orthodox cultural heritage Штампај Е-пошта
петак, 05 септембар 2014

 In Jugoslavia after the end of the Second World War, as well as in the present day Republic of Serbia teaching of the Serbian cultural history is very limited. There is an official policy that says  that  school children have to learn so many  different facts during their education so it is necessary  to reduce the teaching  program of some of the subjects that are taught at school.

Following that policy the  teaching of the national history, language and culture was reduced and replaced by some general subjects of the common culture of other European nations. In that way, some of the very prominent Serbian kings  and rulers that reigned in the Serbian countries long before the Nemanjic dynasty , in the first millennium of the present era (after Christ) are not mentioned at all in textbooks for school children  in Serbian schools. Some politicians in power in present day Serbia, and that was also true in the past tried to remove  from textbooks a number of facts which  they did not like, or which did not suite  their current policy. At the time of the communist dictatorship in Jugoslavia all children had to learn at school in detail about the fight of the communist party members to win the power in the post-war Jugoslavia.   Children at school  during the communist dictatorship were forced to learn  more of the history and culture of Croatia, Slovenia, Albania, Macedonia etc. then of Serbia. There was no time for teaching of the Serbian culture. Due to the  influence and demands of the European Union and USA Serbian  government quite a large proportion of the teaching at schools is devoted to the common history and culture of different  European nations and USA. The new so called Information technology did not help at all because children can find on their screens only those facts that have been incorporated into memory of their computers, but there is no space for the teaching of history and culkture of the Serbian people.In fact, gradually, all school children in Europe are becoming ignorant of their own national history and culture.

Quite a small number of people in Serbia to day is aware of the fact that Serbs inhabited Balkan peninsula, Panonia and most of the parts of Europe from the time immemorial. Serbs are authentic  population of Europe. There were no scientifically proved migrations of Serbs, and they did not migrate into Balkan in the sixth century as some people like to say. Professor Branko Sljivic, as early as in 1935  published in one of his papers that in the so called Ilirian graves in Trebeniste are buried Serbs or the people which have the same anthropological features as the present day Serbian population. Twenty years afer his death, when I published in Balkanica (Journal of Academies of Science and Arts of Balkan states)  a paper quoting finds of Branko Sljivic, scientists in the Serbian Academy of Science and Art knew nothing about it, and Branko Sljivic was at his time the corresponding member of that Academy. The same situation is  concerning the Vinca script which is the oldest script , so far found in the world .It emerged in the village Vinca near Belgrade, and it was found in the early Neolithic site. Unfortunately some Serbian official institutions of Science and Culture, like the Serbian Academy of Science and Art, The Institute for preservation of monuments of culture of Serbia in Belgrade, Archaeological Society, Faculty of Philosophy  of the University of Belgrade etc. follow the policy imposed on them and neglect this important discovery in Vinca. Some of them even claim that Vinca script is not a script at all but just some signs which indicate the ownership. Fortunately, more than ten thousand artefacts from Vinca are preserved in The British Museum in London and everybody  can see that it is in fact a script .Archaeological finds at many sites in Serbia and the rest of Europe  show quite clearly the gradual spreading and development of Vinca script into many well known alphabets and scripts in the world . Scientists in the Serbian Academy of science and Art and University of Belgrade now neglect the well known fact described by their own Professors and members of the Academy, like professors Vasic, Budimir, Djuric, Gavela etc. who proved that Serbs or paleo- Serbs lived in Balkans and in Europe from the time immemorial and that they never migrated from some places in Asia  and the like.  The only written record on paleo-Serbs is  “de administratio Imperio” written in the tenth century by the Bisantine Imperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus VII. This emperor wrote what has happened in the past centuries and he mentioned that Emperor Heraclius who reigned in the seventh century gave the town of Salonica to Serbs. He also wrote that in the year 557 some Serbs and Avars attacked Thesalonica. Because there are no other written records some historians, ignoring the recent multidisciplinary studies still claim that Serbs came to the Balkans in the sixth century. The anthropological, archaeological and other multidisciplinary evidence  clearly shows that their knowledge is limited and that  they came to the wrong conclusion.  In Serbian schools children still have to learn that false  history. The Serbian Academy of Science and Art  ignores the writings of some old authors. There is an example  of Plinius the Elder who wrote in the year 79 after Christ that Romans did not know who are peoples inhabiting their provinces in their vast Roman empire.. They made a decision to call each nation who lived in a province by the name of the province.  The people of Iliria wer called Ilirians, the people of Panonia Panonians, the people of Dacia Dacians, the people of Tracia Traciens etc. All people outside the borders of their empire were called Barbarians. According to Roman sources Serbs were usually called by their tribal names like Dalmatians, Tribals, Daciens, Vlachs, Morlacs, Morovlachs etc. Some contemporary Serbian historians, particulary those working in the institutions of the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts usually fail to mention that Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus recorded in his writings that Serbs inhabiteted the Adriatic islands like Mljet, Corcira (Korcula), Brac, Hvar etc and the whole Dalmatian coast.  He also wrote about the Serbian prince Michail of Zahumlje saying that he is descendant of Litcik family which lives between the rivers Odra and Varta. Various studies of toponims  in northern part and also in the rest of Europe we can see that Serbs occupied a very wide territory, almost two thirds of Europe (Germany, Belgium, some Scandinavian countries, Britain, France, Spain etc.).

Archaeologists in the Institute for preservation of monuments of the Republic of Serbia usually ignore the existence of graves or the burial places of Serbian nobility, and they destroy the  human remains and that makes anthropological studies impossible. I personally witnessed the destruction of a large number of skeletons  at the burial places at Pester, and in the vicinity of Ras by a team of  archaeologists lead by a member of the Serbian Academy of Science and Art Dragoslav Srejovic.  I also saw destruction of skeletons by the same group of archaeologists at a number of sites in the Iron Gate Gorge of the river Danube. It is very evident that the official policy of the Institute for preservation of monuments of the Republic of Serbia is to neglect or to destroy skeletal remains in the graves of prominent Serbian kings or rulers. I personally witnessed  the destruction of the grave of  king Uros I of Serbia in the Sopcani monastery church, and also the remains of  the Serbian queen Helen of Anjou in the church of monastery Gradac. There are many more such examples. The latest one occurred in monastary Manasija where the Institute  for preservation of monuments of the Republic of Serbia try to proclaim a severed head of Vuk Lazarevic and the postcranial part of the skeleton of an unknown person to be remains of Saint despot Stefan Lazarvic who is buried in the Koporin monastery.  A Court in Belgrade sentenced an archaeologist from that Institute for preservation of monuments of Serbia for that deed.

A similar problem is with the denial  of existence  of the oldest  script in the world, found at Vinca site near Belgrade  which now bears the name the  Vinca alphabet.  Our multidisciplinary studies of the  emerging of scripts in the present day Neolithic population of Papua New Guinea lead to the conclusion that humans started to form and use some kind of writing in the Neolithic period of time. The Vinca script appeared at the Neolithic level of the Vinca site. The founder of modern archaeology in Serbia Jovan Zujovic was the first archaeologist who had pointed to the existence  of the  Neolithic site  at Vinca. Following that information  Professor Miloje Vasic, who was a young archaeologist at that time, took the task to excavate at Vinca in 1906. Two years later, in 1908 he made a great sensation  publishing his finds. He was the first one to indicate there are some signs on the pottery  which he could not explain. Professor Vasic expressed hope , writing in his diary, which I had the opportunity to read, that one day, there will be somebody who could be able to read and understand these signes. He expressed the opinion that these signs may be part of a script or writing of these Neolithic population.. It took more than half a century that a famous Serbian  scientist and graphologist Professor Radivoje Pesic managed to explain  the Vinca scripts and to recognize the Vinca  alphabet . That was the oldest  script in the world that was formed at Vinca before any other script in any other language of the old world. Archaeologists in many countries, as well as in Serbia found artefacts at various sites inscribed with Vinca letters. Again, unfortunately officials  from the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts, Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Belgrade and also some of the political representatives still deny the existence of the Vinca script and claim that these are just the signs of ownership on the artefacts seen on many archaeological sites. The reason for that denial is that Professor Miloje Vasic, Prtofessor Milan Budimir, Professor Mihajhlo Djuric, Professor Branko Gavela and some others have not agreed with the official government policy. Being scientists they just used to say the truth irrespectively  whether somebody likes that or not. They were against the official teaching of the so called Nordic school in history  which was officially accepted. So children at Serbian schools still learn a false history.

It is possible to quote many more examples of the ways in which the official policy of the state  did harm interfering  in the work  of scientists and particularly in interfering  in school curricula. The specific Serbian culture and history and the Serbian heritage is  neglected just because some officials wish to satisfy requests of the European Union and USA who would like to make Serbian people ignorant of their heritage and roots.

Finally, after saying all these one has to give an opinion on the type of future that awaits the Serbian nation. It has already been said that people without roots have no future. The good thing is that the Serbian people have very deep roots in its past and that most  people in Serbia are aware of them. Serbs leaned throughout many centuries of the foreign rule to keep their traditions and their national culture irrespective of the wishes of the occupiers of their land or the wishes of imposed rulers of their country.  All those who tried to impose their own teaching of history and culture by forcing upon the people of Serbia to forget their past and their national traditions have always failed. We have seen that during the communist dictatorship when the communists tried to convert he Serbian people according to their wish. All their attempts have failed. In present day Serbia there are not very many people who still remember what the Jugoslav communists  have taught  them. Likewise  the  so called “modern” curricula imposed on Serbian schools by the European Union and the USA, Germany, Albania etc .will definitely fail.  A  very large number of young people in Serbia is eager to learn the truth, and they do not want to follow the path imposed upon them by foreign powers. They attend, in a very large number,  various meetings, conferences, lectures and the like, read books, discuss between themselves and try to form their own opinion. The Western powers,  the European Union and the USA are now forced to use  some more sophisticated  means to spread their influence  on Serbia. In fact, it is obvious that they are only partly successful in their efforts. The Serbian people will never be forced to forget their roots, their culture and their history and they will always manage to survive the pressures  of the present rulers, as they managed to survive them in the past.


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2.                Vasic,M.: South-Eastern elements in the prehistoric civilisation of Serbia. Annual of the British School of Athens, 14:319-342,1908.

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12.              Schlyvitch,B.: Knochenfunde in einem prachistorishen graben bei Trebenishte. Z.Morph.Anthrop. 37:259-274.1935.

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14.              University of Belgrade. The Serbien question in the Balkans. University of Belgrade, Faculty of Geography. Belgrade.1995.

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