Saturday, April 24, 2010

Anniversary of the Second Serbian Uprising / April 1815 - 2010 / The Christian Serbian Revolution against the Moslem Turk occupiers

On April 23, 2010, Serbia marked 195 years since the Second Serbian Uprising. The First and Second Serbian uprisings against the Ottoman Turks were critical milestones in Serbian history. After several centuries of being ruled by the Turks who occupied the Serbian lands, beginning with the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, the Serbs, with their successful uprisings against the Moslem Ottomans, were on their way to establishing their modern Serbian statehood and winning back their independence. This excellent video with English subtitles presents the history of the Christian Serbians' revolution against their Moslem occupiers.

And the music accompanying the video is gorgeous.

Sincerely,

Aleksandra Rebic

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Serbian Warriors II, posted on You Tube by "Didzoni"



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTA0SGgGerE

*****

If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at heroesofserbia@yahoo.com

*****

Thursday, April 22, 2010

"Little Grey Partridge: The Diary of Ishobel Ross, Serbia 1916-1917"

Ishobel Ross


Five members of the Scottish Women's Hospital Unit in Serbia.
Ishobel Ross is seated, second from the right.


Aleksandra's Note:  I'm so grateful to the women of World War One, particularly those who served in Serbia in one capacity or another. A number of these women kept a diary, a journal of their experiences with the Serbs, and these testimonies survived the war. Of particular interest are the testimonies of those women who came from other countries to aid the Serbs by tending to their wounds, and doing whatever they could to keep the soldiers and the civilians alive through very difficult circumstances.

One such woman was Ishobel Ross, who was with the Scottish Women's Hospital Unit. She was born on the Isle of Skye in Scotland in 1890. She attended the Edinburgh Ladies College in the United Kingdom and afterwards became a teacher in Edinburgh. After hearing a presentation about the Scottish Women's Hospital Unit soon after World War One began, Ishobel Ross felt compelled to volunteer. Volunteers were needed to go to Serbia, and Ross took up the task, arriving in Salonika on August 22, 1916. She stayed on the Salonika Front until July of the following year, 1917.

Ishobel Ross died in 1965, but her memories did not die with her. Jess Dixon, Ishobel's daughter, arranged for her mother's diary of her experiences with the Serbs in 1916-1917, to be shared publicly, and in 1988 "Little Grey Partridge: the diary of Ishobel Ross, Serbia 1916-1917" was published by Aberdeen University Press.

Below you will find a few of the entries in Ishobel's diary.

Sincerely,

Aleksandra Rebic


*****


(1) Ishobel Ross, diary entry while in Salonika (25th August, 1916)



We can hear the guns more distinctly today, it is such a gruesome sound. We have still had no word of moving. I was in town this afternoon with Woody and Adam. We saw a whole regiment of Italian troops marching up Venizelos Street, Cavalry and Infantry. They looked splendid, and one little man standing besides me, I presume he was an Italian, quite lost his head. He was so excited he jumped up and down as if he were on a spring! The troops were cheered by the crowd that always seemed to gather from nowhere when marching feet were heard. It is extraordinary the number of soldiers of different nationalities that you see in the town.


(2) Ishobel Ross, diary entry (7th September, 1916)


What a night we had, we all shivered with cold and had to get up and pace up and down to get warm. We shook hands with a woman soldier in the Serbian Army who came up to the camp to see us. Her name is Milian and she has such a nice face, so sturdy too. She had been fighting for three years and was so pleased to have her photo taken.



(3) Ishobel Ross, diary entry (12th September, 1916)


The bombardment has begun. The guns started at 5 a.m. this morning and have gone steadily ever since. The noise is quite deafening and seems much nearer than it really is. A Serbian officer told us that we are only 5 miles from the fighting. It is awful to think that every boom means so many lives lost. They say the bombardment will continue for four or five days. Some of us went to the top of the hill tonight and saw the flashes from the guns. What a gorgeous night too, with the moon shining and the hills looking so lovely. The thought of so much killing and chaos so near to all this beauty made me feel very sad.


(4) Ishobel Ross, diary entry (19th September, 1916)


The wounded have been coming in all day, nearly all frightfully bad cases. We have our kitchen now, it is like an Indian bungalow all made of rushes. From the window we can see the ambulances arriving at the reception tent, and the poor men carried in. All the Serbs working in the camp are so pleased to have the hospital started at last, and indeed we are too. Poor Ethel is in the surgical ward and has had an awful day of it - three of the men, very badly wounded in the head, died tonight. We get the worse cases here and some of the wounded have been lying untended for two days.




(5) Ishobel Ross, diary entry (24th September, 1916)


A whole regiment of Russians passed by, I never saw some splendid men, quite the finest that have passed yet. They are huge and so handsome! They halted for the night quite near us, and two of the officers came to visit our camp. They talked to us in the kitchen for a long time. One of them could speak English very well.




(6) Ishobel Ross, diary entry (29th September, 1916)


Big guns and troops went by all day, and General Serrail drove by in his car. Colonel Vassovitch came into the camp with an English woman dressed in the uniform of the Serbian Army. Her name is Flora Sandes. She is quite tall with brown eyes and a strong, yet pretty face. She is a sergeant in the 4th Company and talked to us for a long time about her experiences, and the fierce fighting she and the men of her company had to face. We felt so proud of her and her bravery.


(7) Ishobel Ross, diary entry (15th February, 1917)

Mrs Ingles and I went up behind the camp and through the trenches. It was so quiet with just the sound of the wind whistling through the tangles of wire. What a terrible sight it was to see the bodies half buried and all the place strewn with bullets, letter cases, gas masks, empty shells and daggers. We came across a stretch of field telephone too. It took us ages to break up the earth with our spades as the ground was so hard, but we buried as many bodies as we could. We shall have to come back to bury more as it is very tiring work.



(8) Ishobel Ross, diary entry (24th February, 1917)


On Wednesday evening a Serbian, Captain Dimitrivitch took Dr Muncaster and me up to his camp. We went up on a funny kind of waggon as no cars can go on the track. It is only open for the food and ammunition carts going up to the front. It is right along the side of Mount Kajmakchalan, and we saw the trenches and barbed wire entanglements just as they left them. I don't think I realized until then what the Serbs had done. It must be one of the most wonderful things that has happened during the war. Even though they are worn out from years of fighting, tormented by the knowledge that the Bulgars had killed most members of their families, without blankets proper food and clothing, the Serbs will never give up a yard of their country. They must have paid a heavy price for this great bleak mountain.







From "Little Grey Partridge: the diary of Ishobel Ross, Serbia 1916-1917"

Aberdeen University Press
1988


http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Wross.htm


*****

If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at heroesofserbia@yahoo.com


*****


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Serbia's history is never over - Habsburg methods did not die with the Empire.





Serbia on the eve of the Great War 1914
 
 
Aleksandra's Note: History is a living thing. Most people think of "history" as being in the past and being "over". The more you study history, though, depending on how aware you are of what's actually happening in the present time, you will start to notice that the "past" becomes more and more relevant. In the case of Serbia, there is no such thing as the past being "over". One of the most fascinating things about Serbian history, as far as I've come to understand it, is how relevant her past is to her present, no matter what decade it is or what year it is, or even what century it is! Serbia and her people seems to live in a constant state of "Deja Vu".

The text below comes from a recent book that's been brought to my attention, called "Serbia's Part in the War" by Crawfurd Price. It was published in London, almost 100 years ago. Though the Austro-Hungarian Empire no longer exists, the Habsburg methods did not die with it. Serbia's recent history, almost a full century later, is testament to that fact.

Next time anyone says that the Serbs dwell too much on their "past", that person needs to be reminded that for the Serbs, the "past" is never over. Their history is proof of it.

My thanks to "Frank" for bringing this valuable book by Crawfurd Price to my attention.
 
Sincerely,
 
Aleksandra Rebic
 
*****
 
From Part I
 
THE DAWN OF ARMAGEDDON

"The history of Austro-Serbian relations is the record of a prolonged struggle between the forces of autocracy and democracy, oppression and freedom. It is a story of the desire of an organised despotism, at once sensible of its vulnerability and consumed by the lust for territorial expansion, to ride rough-shod over the liberties and rights of the weak within, and to crush the development and independence of the small without.

"The Austro-Hungarian ultimatum of July 23rd, 1914, was the last challenge to Serbia to choose between vassalage and annihilation; it was the culmination of a determination, by fair means or foul, to break the national spirit of the Serbs or trample them out of existence as an independent people; it was a final effort to destroy the rampart which the Serbian renascence had built up between Berlin and Baghdad and between Vienna and Salonika.

"When Metternich declared that "Serbia must be either Turkish or Austrian," he implied that Austria was content that Turkey should hold the princedom (as it was then) in pawn for the Habsburgs, but that she would never tolerate Serbian independence. Here we have the keynote of the policy which the Dual Monarchy followed with remarkable persistence down to July 1914, and the explanation of the important fact that, whenever the Serbian throne was occupied by a ruler who set in the forefront of his programme the development of the State and the unification of the race, he incurred, ipso facto, the active enmity and powerful opposition of Austria-Hungary.

"With a view to simplicity of explanation, it is advantageous to divide the history of Austro-Serbian pre-war relations into three periods :

(1) From the Serbian revolution to the Berlin Congress (1878).

(2) From the Berlin Congress to the accession of King Peter (1903).

(3) From 1903 to 1914.

"Similarly, it is necessary to draw attention to the four distinct methods employed by Austria-Hungary to obtain a stranglehold upon Serbia. These were:

(a) Commercial and economic pressure.

(b) The corruption of Serbian rulers.

(c) The suppression of Yugo-Slav nationalism in the Monarchy.

(d) The threat of military action against the Serbian State."


*****

Crawfurd Price
"Serbia's Part in the War"
Volume I
Published 1918
London


*****

If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at heroesofserbia@yahoo.com


*****

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"The Five Years War - The Serbs in 1912-1916" - by Sampson Tchernoff / A Very Special Collection

 
Aleksandra's Note:

This postcard collection of images, called
The Five Years War - The Serbs in 1912-1916
by Sampson Tchernoff,
is a work of art. The story these images tell is one of
endurance, perseverance and survival,
and there is beauty and grace even in war.
Anyone of Serbian heritage today can be very proud
of the stock from which they came.
What these Serbians had in them in the years
1912 thru 1916,
a period of time during which they were engaged in the
 two Balkan Wars and the First World War,
is remarkable.
These Serbs - the leaders, the soldiers, and the civilians,
exemplify what the human spirit
 is capable of in the most difficult of circumstances.
 
Sincerely,

Aleksandra Rebic


The following postcard collection by Sampson Tchernoff
is stored at www.uky.edu
(The University of Kentucky)
U.S.A.



Inscription on the back reads: "The Crown Prince reviews the
Artillery after the capture of Monastir." 8th Nov. 1912

Inscription on the back reads: "The Limit of Human Endurance."1913

Inscription on the back reads: "Serbian Heavy Guns at Adrianople."1913

Inscription on the back reads: "A Serbian Transport of Wounded
after the Battle of Bregalnitsa with the Bulgarians." 1913

Inscription on the back reads: "The Graves of 8000 Serbian
Soldiers who fell at Adrianople fighting for Bulgaria."
(Nov. 1912 - March 1913)

Inscription on the back reads: "A Serbian Sentry at the Park
of Kalimegdan, 29th July, 1914, the first day after
the War was declared with Austria."

Inscription on the back reads: "King Peter on the Battlefield." 1914

Inscription on the back reads: "Men fighting, Women Retreating
before the enemy." 1915

Inscription on the back reads: "An Ammunition Transport at
Gramada." 1915

Inscription on the back reads: "Walking from Gramada to Albania." 1915

Inscription on the back reads: "Serbian Army retreating across the
River Morava." 1915

Inscription on the back reads: "Cavalry Relays at Pirot." 1915

Inscription on the back reads: "From Ipek to Adreyevitsa." 1915

Inscription on the back reads: "Hurry Up! The Children are cold!" 1915

Inscription on the back reads: "The Serbian Army crossing Tchakor." 1915

Inscription on the back reads: "Lost in the snow!" 1915

Inscription on the back reads: "Remnants of an Army - Serbia 1915"

Inscription on the back reads: "Serbian Soldier eating the flesh
of a dead horse." 1915

Inscription on the back reads: "Serbian Soldier dying from hunger
on the streets of Scutari." 1915

Inscription on the back reads: "In Exile!" 1915

Inscription on the back reads: "Remnants of Serbian Artillery
after the Retreat." 1915

Inscription on the back reads: "After Albania at Corfu." 1915

Inscription on the back reads: "The Olive Trees of Corfu cannot
replace the Plum Trees of Serbia." 1916



Thank you to the University of Kentucky
for holding this
beautiful collection of
"The Five Years War: The Serbs in
1912-1916" by Sampson Tchernoff safe for posterity.

*****

If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra,
 please feel free to contact me at heroesofserbia@yahoo.com
 
 
*****
 

Spomenik Braniocima Beograda 1914-1918 / Monument to the Defenders of Belgrade 1914-1918

Photo by Silba
Circa December 2007
in Belgrade, Serbia



*****

If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at heroesofserbia@yahoo.com

*****

Friday, April 9, 2010

I Svetski Rat: Početak I Svetskog Rata / "Live" Archival film footage of how World War One began / "The Balkan Powderkeg"




"The Balkan Powderkeg - Gavrilo Princip and the Blackhand"


To view remarkable "live" archival documentary film footage from Europe, please click on the link below:


The Balkan Powderkeg - How World War One Began - "Live" film footage




Thank you to www.antikvarne-knjige.com  for making this film footage available!


*****

If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at heroesofserbia@yahoo.com


*****

The Coronation of King Peter I Karageorgevich of Serbia, the first monarch to be crowned in 20th Century Europe

The coronation of King Peter I Karageorgevich of Serbia
on September 19, 1904
 was the first coronation of a monarch
in 20th Century Europe

Peter I Karageorgevich, the newly crowned King of Serbia,
rides through the streets of Belgrade on September 19, 1904



*****


If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra,
please feel free to contact me at heroesofserbia@yahoo.com


*****

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Beograd 1904. godine Snimak ! // Belgrade, Serbia in 1904 "Live" Film Footage

The following link will take you to "live" (moving film footage) of Belgrade, Serbia in 1904. My sincere thanks to Stevan Pirocanac for sharing this great resource on the web that I was not aware of before!

Enjoy!

Aleksandra Rebic

Please click on the link below:


Belgrade, Serbia in 1904 "Live" Film Footage!



Description from the website www.antikvarne-knjige.com:

Prikazi ulica Beograda septembra 1904. godine kamerom Arnolda Lojera (Arnold Muir Wilson Lawyer)


Street views of Belgrade, september 1904

Realized in 1904 by Arnold Muir Wilson Lawyer, journalist and Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Serbia in Sheffield and Frank Storm Mottershaw - Cinematographer of the "Sheffield Photo Company"

*****

If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at heroesofserbia@yahoo.com


*****

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH MUSIC / BLAGOSLOVEN JESI GOSPODE

This wonderful video was posted by xCZ99x on YouTube. Thank you! This is truly a great tribute to the legacy of the Serbian Orthodox Christian tradition.




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bewCMAjypqk&feature=related


*****

If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at heroesofserbia@yahoo.com


*****