The latest issue of the Swiss magazine Die Weltwoche writes about the Serbs as a heroic people who have sacrificed themselves for Europe, adding that in the past three decades, hardly any other European nation has been criticised as brutally in Western Europe as Serbia has.
In the article titled ‘Serbs, a nation of heroes’, the weekly points out that the nation’s history is full of struggles and defeats, but Europe has much to thank for the readiness of Serbs to sacrifice themselves.
It points out that, for most commentators, the Serbian people are the main cause of the recent wars in the Balkans, recalling that Austrian Nobel laureate Peter Handke, when he sought justice for the Serbs, was exposed to a veritable ‘tsunami’ of attacks, especially in Germany and France.
The magazine states that many Serbs rightly feel misunderstood and abandoned, and adds that Serbs were already described as barbaric and evil people in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and the German Reich before the First World War, being referred to as the ‘king’s murderer’ people.
However, the magazine recalls that many Swiss people see them with different eyes – the nurse Louise Probst, who looked after the wounded soldiers in Belgrade for three months, described the Serbs as a people who fought for freedom, were helpful and very kind, while at the beginning of the First World War, a professor of criminology in Lausanne reported unspeakable war crimes of the Austro-Hungarian troops against the Serbs.
The paper also points out that Serbs have lived for centuries in a warlike environment, at the crossroads of West and East, and even refers to the battle in Kosovo in 1389, recalling historian Heinrich Gelzer’s regret at the loss of the Serbs of that time, ‘the noblest people of all the Slavs’.
The article goes on to say that no nation fought against Ottoman rule for longer than the Serbs, although the Serbian state disappeared from the geographical maps for 350 years, and that thanks to the unwavering work of the Serbian Orthodox Church, a strong commitment to tradition and memories of earlier heroic eras, the Serbs never surrendered to occupation.
Supporting the Austrians, Russians and others in the fight against the Turks, the Serbs freed themselves from the occupiers with multiple victories over the Turks, the magazine recalls. Furthermore, referring to World War II, when Germany occupied Serbia in 1941, the article points out that the ‘Republic of Užice’ was the first territory liberated from the Nazis in Europe, while the Serbs, with 1.7 million casualties, i.e. 10% of the population at the time, suffered the greatest casualties in World War II out of all former Yugoslav nations.
Speaking of the wars from the late 20th century in the former Yugoslavia, Die Weltwoche states that all warring sides committed crimes and that ethnic violence is a consequence of disputes, persecution and crimes perpetrated over a long period of time in the region.
(Vesti Online, 11.01.2022)
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