Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Gavrilo Princip, who triggered a war, was also a Serbian hero / "The Globe and Mail" July 29, 2014

The Globe and Mail
Mihailo Papazoglu
July 29, 2014

Mihailo Papazoglu is the ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to Canada.

Sarajevo, Bosnia, 28 June 1914: After some 400 years under Turkish Ottoman and almost 40 under Austro-Hungarian occupation, people of some dozen nationalities shared the same dream of freedom. Gavrilo Princip was among them when he fired two shots at Austria-Hungary’s Crown Prince. For many of his countrymen he is a freedom fighter.

Belgrade, Serbia, 28 July 1914: Just one month later, the first artillery shells in First World War began to fall on the city’s Danube and Sava river banks and neighbourhoods under the hot, burning summer sun. For Serbia this is the end of a month-long diplomatic prelude that started with Mr. Princip’s shots, followed by a written 48-hour ultimatum delivered to Serbia, a nation of 5 million, by Austro-Hungary, an empire of 52 million. There was nowhere to hide. The declaration of war was sent by a telegraph message. The term “blitzkrieg” had not yet been coined, but a punitive military campaign in the Balkans was imminent.

You’ve probably never heard of Dusan Donovic. A sixteen-year-old Serbian Army volunteer shot in Belgrade by gunfire from an Austrian Danube flotilla vessel that day, he was the first victim of WWI. He died like 1,250,000 other Serbs – a death toll amounting to 28 per cent of population, both soldiers and civilians. Maybe you’ve heard of George Lawrence Price? Born in Falmouth, Nova Scotia, aged twenty six, fatally shot by a German sniper at 10:58 a.m. on November 11, 1918. He died just 2 minutes before the armistice that ended the war, making him the last victim of WWI. He died like 61,000 fellow Canadians. Like 17 million people in Europe and around the world.

In between, we Serbs fought. For one year on our soil, on our frontiers, mostly alone. The first allied victory took place in Serbia, in the mountains of Cer. Then the second one in Kolubara, almost like the battle of Vimy Ridge. This success drew worldwide attention to Serbia and won the Serbs the sympathy of both neutral and Allied countries, as it marked their first victory over the Central Powers. The next year we had our share of defeats. Belgrade, the capital, was the last stand for more than 2,600 Serbian Army soldiers, aware of the fact that their names had already been erased from the list of the living by the Serbian Army’s headquarters – left behind as an ultimate sacrifice. Not to be forgotten. Ask any kid in Serbia today about this episode of war – they know it!

For those three years of war in exile we lost a country – but saved the idea of Serbian statehood. The population was left to the occupiers, but we saved the nation. We never lost faith. Finally, along with the allies, in 1918 we were free.

And what was Gavrilo Princip doing at that time? He was imprisoned in the dungeon of the fortress in Theresienstadt (Terezin in today’s Czech Republic) that was later used, during the Second World War, as a Nazi concentration camp for more than 150,000 civilians, most of whom were sent to death in extermination camps elsewere but some 33,000 of whom died there from starvation or disease. They shared the fate of Mr. Princip, who officially died from tuberculosis, with his arm and shoulder amputated.

An underage, self-proclaimed freedom fighter, he never got to see the Armistice in 1918 and the national liberation he gave his life for. He died six months earlier and was secretly buried, so that his body is never to be found. This leaves no empathy, no nostalgia, no second thoughts about the Austro-Hungarian institutions’ operational mode. Why did it all happen? Simply because he refused to switch from being a Turkish Ottoman to a Kaiserlich und Königlich colonial subject, from a Middle East model of apartheid to a Mitteleuropa one.

Gavrilo Princip had a pistol. Just one. He himself was a trigger, but the stage was set long before the bloodshed began. For the colonial empires of the time, their era was about to finish. The Serbs fought against a couple of those empires. To survive. For the right to exist. We fought bravely. Like others. We fought to see another day. We are still standing, proudly, with no lessons to give to anybody. Especially not to history. Just for the record.

Serbia and Canada fought on the same side of history. For the right cause. The aftermath of the First World War led Canada to a sense of full independence and Serbia to full self-confidence in the international arena of that time. Serbia, along with others, paid a high price in human lives during the Great War. Never to recover, as some say. Collective memory of the First World War became the cornerstone of our respective nations’ identities.


If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at


"My beloved and heroic Serbs!" - Following the Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on July 28, and the night attack on Belgrade, Prince-Regent Aleksandar, acting as the Supreme Commander of the Serbian Army, issued the following proclamation in Nish July 29, 1914

English translation of original Serbian:
Nebojsa Malic
Reiss Institute
July 30, 2014

H.R.H. Prince-Regent Aleksandar Karageorgevich
My beloved and heroic Serbs!
A great evil assails our Serbia. Austria-Hungary has declared war on us. Now we must join together and be heroes.
The troubles of our Kingdom and our people with Austria-Hungary did not begin yesterday. Whenever Vienna was in need, it would give solemn promises of treating Serbs and Croats justly; yet they always remained unfulfilled. In vain did the Serb and Croat frontiersmen, and many of our other heroes, spill blood throughout Europe for the glory and profit of the Viennese court; in vain were the victims that Serbia suffered under the reign of my Grandfather, when it defended the Emperor’s throne from his discontented and rebellious subjects; in vain had Serbia done everything it could to live in friendship with the neighboring Empire. It availed us nothing.
Both Serbia as a state, and Serbs as a people, have ever and everywhere been under suspicion, and kept subjugated to others. Thirty-six years ago, Austria took the Serb lands of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which had risen for their liberation. Six years ago, it finally claimed them against the law, promising constitutional liberties. But insofar as they were given, they did not please the people in the least. All of that had created deep discontent among the people, especially among the growing and impetuous youth, causing unrest and eventually the assassination in Sarajevo.
Serbia expressed sincere sympathy over that fateful event, condemned it, and proclaimed readiness to render unto the courts every accomplice: only to quickly realize, with consternation, that the Austrians blamed for the [event] not their own rotten rule, or individual culprits, but the Kingdom of Serbia herself. Even though the murder was committed by one man, their subject, with the aid of several comrades, in their country, before their own authorities, the Austrians blamed our officers and officials, the Serbian government, and eventually the Kingdom of Serbia and all Serbs wherever they may be.
Such an accusation against a sovereign state for someone else’s misdeeds is without precedent in European history, while the crimes of such nature [1] are unfortunately not. Meaning to blame us, the Austro-Hungarian government submitted on the 10th (23rd) of this month [2]  to My Government an unusual memorandum, making demands and strong accusations, and demanding of Serbia a satisfactory response within 48 hours.
My Government, responding to the desires of the people and the need for peace felt not only by Serbia but Europe entire, wished to avoid confrontation at all cost, and therefore met the demands of the Austro-Hungarian government to the utmost limits of deference, beyond which no independent state could go.
When the Austro-Hungarian ambassador was informed of this, he immediately said his government was not pleased with our response, and ceased diplomatic relations with My Government. Then all the friendly states – led by the brotherly Russia – attempted to persuade the Austro-Hungarian government to accept a peaceful resolution to the dispute. Unfortunately, the Viennese statesmen remained deaf to the advice motivated by wisdom and interests of humanity. They declared war on us yesterday, not hesitating to cause unforeseeable circumstances of further complications.
With a heavy heart and aware of all perils and difficulties, at the very moment when Serbia’s warriors were preparing to reap the bountiful harvest of their labors, I am forced to call on all of My dear and courageous Serbs under the Serbian tricolor [banner], convinced that they will once again be worthy of their glorious ancestors the way they have been last year and the year before. With faith in the Almighty God, with hopes for the sympathy of the enlightened humanity and the final victory of our just cause, with confidence in assistance from our great kinsmen and trusted friends, together with our heroic brothers the Serbs of Montenegro, we shall accept the battle that was so wantonly imposed on us.
In our glorious history, both old and new, there are many testimonials of Serbs, working together, defeating a much more powerful foe. Let us testify once again that Serbs can bear sacrifices for their Fatherland and summon up the effort of Obilić [3] to defend her against the great host of a cruel enemy.
Serbs, defend your hearths and your kin with all your strength!
Prince-Regent Aleksandar Karageorgevich, July 16 (29), 1914, Nish
[1] “crimes of such nature” referring to political assassinations (n.b.)
[2] Prince Aleksandar is using the Old Style, Julian calendar, still in effect in Serbia at the time.
[3] Miloš Obilić, by lore the Serbian knight who killed the Turkish Sultan Murad I during the Battle of Kosovo in 1389; symbol of heroism in Serbian oral history (n.b)
(Translated by the Reiss Institute; original at Heroes of Serbia) at:


If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

"Мојим драгим и јуначким Србима!" - Њ.К.В. Престолоналседник Александаp, главнокомандујући српске војске, дан после аустроугарске објаве рата 16. (29) јула 1914. год.

Њ.К.В. Престолоналседник Александаp
Дан после аустроугарске објаве рата Њ.К.В. Престолоналседник Александар, главнокомандујући српске војске, шаље српском народу следећи проглас:
"Мојим драгим и јуначким Србима!
На нашу Србију насрнуло је велико зло. Аустро-Угарска нам је објавила рат. Сад сви имамо да будемо сложни и јунаци.
Невоље наше Краљевине и нашега народа са Аустријом нису почеле од јуче. Кад је год Бечу требало, давана су најсвечанија обећања да ће се са Србима и Хрватима праведно поступати, па је ипак све то остало неиспуњено. Залуду су српски и хрватски граничари и толики други наши јунаци лили крв по целој Европи и за славу и корист бечког двора, залуду су биле жртве које је Србија за владе Мога деде поднела кад је помагала да се спасава царски престо од незадовољних и побуњених његових народа, залуду је Србија увек радила све што је могла да живи у пријатељству са суседном царевином - све то није ништа помогло.
И Србија као држава и наш народ, где год био, свакад и свуда су сумњичени, и зато су увек запостављени другим народима. Пре 36 година заузела је Аустрија српску Босну и Херцеговину, које су устале биле да се ослободе, а пре шест година коначно их присвојила бесправно, убећавши им уставне слободе које, онакве какве су дане, нису ни у колико народ задовољиле. Све је то створило дубоко незадовољство у народа, нарочито у бујне и неразмишљене омладине, па је напослетку изазвало отпоре, па и сарајевски атентат.
Србија је тај кобни догађај искрено ожалила, осудила и изјавила готовост да ће предати суду сваког саучесника: али је брзо са запрепашћењем видела да Аустријанци за њ бацају одговорност не на своју рђаву управу или на поједине кривце самог дела, него на Краљевину Србију. Без обзира што је оно убиство извршио само један човек, њен поданик, уз припомоћ неколико другова, и то у њиховој земљи, пред очима свих њених власти, Аустрија је зато окривила наше чиновнике и официре, српску Владу, и напослетку целу Краљевину Србију и све Србе где год их има.
Такво оптуживање једне независне државе за туђе кривице, јединствено је у историји Европе, где онака злочиначка дела на жалост нису ретка. У смислу окривљења поднела је аустро-угарска влада 10. овог месеца Мојој Влади необичну представку с тешким оптужбама и захтевима, тражећи од Србије задовољење и остављајући јој рок од 48 сати за одговор.
Моја је Влада, одговарајући жељама народа и потреби мира, коју осећа не само Србија, већ и цела Европа, хтела избећи по сваку цену сукоб, и зато је изашла у сусрет аустро-угарској влади до крајњих граница попустљивости, преко којих не може ићи ниједна независна држава.
Кад је о томе извештен аустро-угарски посланик, изјавио је одмах, да његова влада није задовољна одговором и прекинуо је дипломатске односе са Мојом Владом. Тада су све пријатељске нам државе - на челу им братска нам Русија - покушале склонити аустро-угарску владу да пристане на мирно решење спора. На жалост, бечки државници осташе глухи према саветима мудрости и интересима човечанства. Они нам објавише јуче рат, не презајући да тиме изазову и недогледне последице једног заплета.
И ако тешка срца и свестан свих тешкоћа и опасности, баш у часу кад су се српски ратници спремали да прибрају довреле плодове свога труда, Ја сам принуђен позвати све Моје драге и храбре Србе под српску тробојку с уверењем да ће се они и у овој прилици показати достојни својих славних предака, онакви какви су били лане и преклане. С вером у Свевишњега Господа Бога, с надом у симпатије просвећеног света и у коначну победу наше правде, с поверењем у помоћ својих великих сродника и поузданих пријатеља, примамо, заједно са нашом јуначком браћом Србима, Црне Горе, борбу која нам је обесно наметнута.
У нашој славној прошлости, старијој и новијој, има доста сведочанства да Србин, кад је сложан, може победити и много већег противника. Посведочимо још једанпут да се Србин уме жртвовати за своју Отаџбину и обилићским пожртвовањем одбранити је пред многобројним, охолим непријатељем.
Срби, браните свом снагом своје огњиште и српско племе."

16. (29) јула 1914. год.
у Нишу.


Удружење Краљевина Србија - Kingdom of Serbia Association
na Facebook.


If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at


Monday, July 28, 2014


The Washington Times July 28, 1914
Aleksandra's Note:  It was in the splendid warm days 100 years ago, in the lovely, peaceful summer of 1914, that things just got really out of hand. The more one learns of how the First World War, the war that was to "end all wars", really began, the more amazed and horrified one becomes at how a "local conflict" that was supposed to take no more than a few months to resolve and finish could manifest into an international monster that quite literally changed the world forever in just four short years.
That is precisely why everyone needs to pay attention to, and be concerned about, those "local" matters, "way over there."
Just in considering a few bits of information about the Great War, one can confidently draw a few conclusions in hindsight:
1. Never underestimate how big something can become.
2. Never become overconfident, even if you are an Empire of many millions of people, because those "little peoples in their little states" could end up victorious over your Empire, and your Empire could become "no more".
3. The manufactured scapegoat of  "Greater Serbian Nationalism" was not the true cause of World War I.
4. Do not underestimate the Serbians.
Even after all these years, a full century later, there are STILL people who believe that a 19 year-old Bosnian Serb "nationalist" named Gavrilo Princip was responsible for causing World War I. That's perhaps the most amazing thing of it all. The direct cause of World War One was Austria's declaration of war against Serbia on July 28, 1914, exactly one month after the assassination in Sarajevo.
When I look at the front page of  the Tuesday, July 28, 1914 edition of The Washington Times, it's what is written under the main headline that strikes me. At that time, Serbians were often referred to as "Servians." Above the photographs of the Serbian soldiers on the front page is the heading: "Typical Servian soldiers with their antiquated equipment." This strikes me as a bit condescending, almost dismissive. These "typical Serbian soldiers with their antiquated equipment" would end up being an essential part of the Allied victory over the Central Powers in World War One, and the massive Austro-Hungarian Empire would be rendered obsolete. This underscores my recommendation never to underestimate the Serbians.
Given all of the above, it would behoove the great powers of today, in the 21st century, to consider very carefully their actions with regards to all the "local conflicts" grabbing the headlines. They need to consider just how big something can become so very quickly.
Aleksandra Rebic
July 28, 2014
The Declaration of War Telegram sent to Serbia by Austria-Hungary
on July 28, 2014

"At 11:10 A.M. on July 28, 1914, Count Leopold von Berchtold, the Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, sent the following telegram from Vienna to M. N. Pashitch, Serbian Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs. This declaration of war was received at Nish at 12:30 P.M."


Vienna, July 28, 1914

"The Royal Serbian Government not having answered in a satisfactory manner the note of July 23, 1914, presented by the Austro-Hungarian Minister at Belgrade, the Imperial and Royal Government are themselves compelled to see to the safeguarding of their rights and interests, and, with this object, to have recourse to force of arms. Austria-Hungary consequently considers herself henceforward in a state of war with Serbia."
Austr0-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs

From: Collected Documents Relating to the Outbreak of the European War (London, 1915), p. 392. This is Document No. 45 quoted from the Serbian Blue Book.

According to historian John Clinton Adams:
"The telegram came indirectly. It went from Vienna to Bucharest and from there down to Nish, which in the last three days had become the new capital of Serbia. Copied in pencil, the impersonal French words looked unimpressive..."


From the Manchester Guardian July 29, 1914

"Austria has declared war upon Serbia. An unconfirmed report says Austro-Hungarian troops have invaded Serbia by crossing the River Save at Mitrovitz. Two Serbian steamers have been seized on the Danube.

"In Vienna it is believed that Montenegro, which stands with her Serb sister state, is mobilising, and that a joint force is gathering near the Bosnian frontier in readiness to deliver a counter-stroke towards Sarajevo.

"Our St. Petersburg correspondent, telegraphing last night, says if Austria occupies Belgrade, Russia will reply at once by mobilising all her army. Her partial mobilisation is in full swing.

"In Berlin, it is believed that if Russia calls her troops to the colours, Germany will at once follow her example. The fleet has returned to home waters."


The following is from:

"The 'Great War', which began on 28 July 1914 with Austria-Hungary's declaration of war with Serbia, was the first truly global war. It began in Europe but quickly spread throughout the world. Many countries became embroiled within the war's first month; others joined in the ensuing four years, with Honduras announcing hostilities with Germany as late as 19 July 1918 (with the record going to Romania, who entered the war - albeit for the second time - one day before it finished, on 10 November 1918).

"Detailed below is a list of the nations [in alphabetical order] who formally declared hostilities during World War One, along with their date of entrance. Nations of the British Empire, e.g. Australia, Canada and New Zealand, automatically entered the war with Britain's decision to enter the fray on 4 August 1914.

"Note that on numerous occasions hostilities were assumed without a formal declaration, e.g. Russia with Germany and Austria-Hungary in August 1914."


Entered war together with Britain on 4 August 1914


Declared war with Serbia on 28 July 1914

Declared war with Russia on 6 August 1914

Declared war with Belgium on 28 August 1914

Declared war with Portugal on 15 March 1916


Invaded by Germany on 3 August 1914


Severed relations with Germany on 13 April 1917


Severed relations with Germany on 11 April 1917

Declared war with Germany on 26 October 1917


Declared war with Serbia on 14 October 1915

Declared war with Romania on 1 September 1916


Entered war together with Britain on 4 August 1914


Severed relations with Germany on 14 March 1917

Declared war with Germany on 14 August 1917

Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 14 August 1917

Costa Rica

Severed relations with Germany on 21 September 1917

Declared war with Germany on 23 May 1918


Declared war with Germany on 7 April 1917


Severed relations with Germany on 8 December 1917


Invaded by Germany on 2 August 1914

Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 12 August 1914

Declared war with Turkey on 5 November 1914

Declared war with Bulgaria on 16 October 1915


Declared war with Russia on 1 August 1914

Declared war with France on 3 August 1914

Declared war with Belgium on 4 August 1914

Declared war with Portugal on 9 March 1916


Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 27 June 1917

Declared war with Bulgaria on 27 June 1917

Declared war with Germany on 27 June 1917

Declared war with Turkey on 27 June 1917


Declared war with Germany on 23 April 1918


Declared war with Germany on 12 July 1918


Declared war with Germany on 19 July 1918


Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 23 May 1915

Declared war with Turkey on 21 August 1915

Declared war with Germany on 28 August 1915

Declared war with Bulgaria on 19 October 1915


Declared war with Germany on 23 August 1914

Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 25 August 1914


Declared war with Germany on 4 August 1914


Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 5 August 1914

Declared war with Germany on 8 August 1914

Declared war with Bulgaria on 15 October 1915

New Zealand

Entered war together with Britain on 4 August 1914


Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 8 May 1918

Declared war with Germany on 8 May 1918


Declared war with Germany on 7 April 1917

Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 10 December 1917


Severed relations with Germany on 6 October 1917


Entered war against Germany on 9 March 1916

Entered war against Austria-Hungary on 15 March 1916


Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 27 August 1916

Exited war with Treaty of Bucharest on 7 May 1918

Re-entered the war on 10 November 1918


Declared war with Turkey on 2 November 1914

Declared war with Bulgaria on 19 October 1915

San Marino

Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 3 June 1915


Declared war with Germany on 6 August 1914

Declared war with Turkey on 2 November 1914


Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 22 July 1917

Declared war with Germany on 22 July 1917


Declared war with Romania on 30 August 1916

Severed relations with United States on 23 April 1917

United Kingdom

Declared war with Germany on 4 August 1914

Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 12 August 1914

Declared war with Turkey on 5 November 1914

Declared war with Bulgaria on 15 October 1915

United States of America

Declared war with Germany on 6 April 1917

Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 7 December 1917


Severed relations with Germany on 7 October 1917


Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia, Volume 27, Funk and Wagnall, 1983


If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra,
please feel free to contact me at


Filmstreet: "Marš na Drinu" - Obeležavanje stogodišnjice Prvog svetskog rata / KALEMEGDAN [Beograd] 28. JUL 2014. 20:30h

Dragi naši pratioci i zaljubljenici u sedmu umetnost,

Pozivamo vas na projekciju filma "Marš na Drinu", posvećenu stogodišnjici Prvog svetskog rata.

Filmstreet će ovog puta otići korak dalje!

Za ponedeljak je zakazano ne samo filmsko, već i muzičko - horsko edukativno druženje pod vedrim nebom.

Nakon posveta legendarnim glumcima, gradovima, praznicima i drugim pojmovima naše bliže ili dalje istorije, na redu je i obeležavanje slavnih dana prošlosti Srbije. Naravno, reč je o stogodišnjici Prvog svetskog rata, a najbolji datum je upravo 28. jul, dan početka Velikog rata.

Unutar zidina Kalemegdana kod Prirodnjačkog muzeja, ljubitelji sedme umetnosti imaće priliku da pogledaju od 20:30h, u do sada jedinstvenom ambijentu, legendarno ostvarenje jednog od najvećih reditelja jugoslovenske kinematografije Žike Mitrovića “Marš na Drinu”, naravno, potpuno besplatno.

Istorijsko ostvarenje prati događaje sa početka Prvog svetskog rata i prvu veliku pobedu srpske vojske na Ceru odnosno povlaćenje austro-ugarske vojske preko Drine.

Ali to nije sve!

Gudački kvartet najtalentovanijih studenata Fakulteta muzičke umetnosti, Univerziteta umetnosti u Beogradu, prisutnima će odsvirati “Marš na Drinu”, “Tamo daleko” i “Vostani Serbijo”, dok će hor kulturno-umetničkog društva “Branko Cvetković” otpevati nekoliko pesama tematski prilagođenih povodu – “Opelo” i “Tebe pojem” kao posvetu poginulim herojima, dok su pesme Solunskog fronta “Tamo daleko”, Kreće se lađa Francuska”, “Vostani Serbijo”.

Kulturno-umetnički program biće začinjen kratkim osvrtom na ambijent neposredno uoči rata i velike bitke kako svi ljubitelji filma na najbolji način “zaplovili” u istoriju.

Ovaj kulturni događaj će imati i humanitarni karakter jer će sav novac od prodaje Amstela biti namenjen ugroženima od poplava i uplaćen na namenski račun Vlade Republike Srbije.

Vreme je za filmski čas istorije. Vreme je za prave stvari.
Vreme je za
If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra,
please feel free to contact me at

Телеграм аустроугарске владе којим је отпочео Велики рат 15/28. јула 1914. год.

Телеграм аустроугарске владе којим је отпочео Велики рат
„Г. грoф Леополд Берхтолд,
аустроугарски министар иностраних дела,
Г. Н. Пашићу, српскоме председнику министарства
и министру иностраних дела.
У Бечу, 15/28. јула 1914. год.
Пошто Краљевска Српска Влада није дала задовољавајући одговор на ноту, коју јој је предао аустро-угарски посланик у Београду, 23. јула 1914 године, царско-краљевска влада налази за потребно да сама да задовољења својим правима и интересима и да ради тога прибегне оружаној сили. Аустро-Угарска сматра, дакле, да се од овога тренутка налази у ратном стању са Србијом."
na Facebook.
If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra,
please feel free to contact me at