Saturday, March 18, 2006

No Catharsis for Serbia

The images received from Belgrade and Pozarevac today left a strong and weary impact with me: there has been no catharsis for Serbia. It is amazing how many people gathered in Milosevic's support and how the Serbian government at least implicity allowed to use public facilities (like museum, etc) for his funeral and how the arrest warrant against his widowed was waived...

It might be an end to an era, but it seems that something will remain burning deeply inside the Volkgeist of the Serbian people. I am afraid that this crackling little fire might, if not in some way effectively extinguished, blow up again the ever present Balkan barrel of powder.

Historia magistra vitae - and yet the Serbs, so it seems, have not learned anything and at the same time the complacent West might be deceived that everything is in its ordinary place.

Deja vu? I, sincerely, hope not.


At 2:13 PM, Blogger Miha Movrin said...

I agree with you. Another point: This extreme difficulty of a nation coming to terms with its own history confirms me in a recognition of a remarkable job Germany did, regarding its own democratization after the war and its own catharsis. The result is a nation which is in my view probably the most »European« of all 25 nations in EU.

On the other hand, Slovenia isn't doing much better than Serbia in that respect. If we realized that Josip Broz was just another Slobo, the sole difference between them being that Broz was lucky enough to live in a little more favorable historical circumstances, when International law and international public conscience respectively weren’t as developed as today, we should have realized also, that even our own genocide (revolution during the war, civil war, and post-war mass liquidations) haven't received its proper place in public conscience. Tine Hribar describes this situation, which is quite similar to that of Serbia in the following way: In Slovenian public discourse there is now a widespread acknowledgment of a fact that the genocide concealed for a long time (mass murders after the war) had occurred, HOWEVER we still act, as if there were no perpetrators.

There is one glimmer of hope though regarding Serbia: the crowd gathered for his funeral was relatively small at least compared to the numbers Slobo used to attract. There were also significant demonstrations by OTPOR movement.

At 8:13 PM, Blogger Jernej Letnar said...

Serbia has never learned from past disasters and it is hard to expect it to be otherwise. But future may be bright for them if young people there live up to their potentials.

At 7:38 AM, Blogger Estavisti said...

Serbia has come to terms with its past much better than Croatia and the Federation, as it accepts that bad things carried out in its name. The other two, as well as Kosovo's Albanians, continue to nurture a (baseless) victim complex than can never lead to true reconciliation. ;)


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