Today in Andrićgrad was promoted the fourth issue of “Historical Notebooks”, published by the Department of Historical of the Andrić Institute. This issue is dedicated to the under-researched topic of a hospital in Valjevo in 1914 and 1915. This hospital was a unique example of humanity, not only in World War I, but also in the history of warfare. Presenting the topic of this issue of Historic notebooks, which is like the previous three about the World War I, the director of the Archives of Serbia Miroslav Perišić pointed out that this is about suffering and humanism. He mentioned that Serbian doctors at the hospital in Valjevo in the fall and winter 1914 and at the beginning of spring in 1915 together with the wounded Serbian soldiers and civilians, also treated 3,000 Austro-Hungarian soldiers who suffered from typhus, who were left by their command.
“I single out the fact that Serbian doctors, at the time, along with captured Austro-Hungarian doctors treated the Austro-Hungarian soldiers, who were left by their command, and Serbian soldiers and wounded ones, while only 10 kilometers away Austro-Hungarian soldiers were committing terrible crimes against the Serbian population,” said Perišić.
He said that this example of an army doctors who equally treated soldiers of the enemy army, which their command left behind, was rare not only in World War I, but also in the history of warfare. Perišić said that little has been written in the local and especially in the global historiography about this unique example in the World War I.
“It is very dramatic episode of the World War I about which is little known, written or spoken. So we decided that a number of “Historical Notebooks” will be dedicated to this issue,” said Perišić.
According to him, the preoccupation to review the military aspects of the World War I, particularly Salonika front, contributed to this topic to be overlooked and that about that we historians of medicine and the Serbian military health care were more concerned than historians. Perišić also said that the subject of the hospital in Valjevo was something that Serbia and Serbian historiography and culture should reveal to the world, especially in this year when there would be celebration of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the World War I.
“These days we are aware of the fact that from some countries that were defeated in the World War we receive messages to mark the centenary of the outbreak of war should serve for reconciliation. Has not the Serbian attitude towards the Austro-Hungarian soldiers demonstrated a kind of reconciliation at the very beginning of the war?” asked Perišić.
He believes that one of the reasons, why the example of the hospital in Valjevo has disappeared from the memory of a large number of people, is obliviousness to the victims, motherly relation to their own victims and their own memory.
“The most natural thing would be that an example of such should have a memorial, especially since there are a few buildings from that period,” said Perišić. Professor Svetozar Rajak from the London School of Economics believes that this issue of “Historical Notebooks” restores cognition and memory in a remarkable and perhaps unique example in the history of the World War I, that sends a universal message of suffering and humanism into the world.
“There are few examples in the history of other nations. What is important is that such an example returns to the memory of a nation. An example of the hospital in Valjevo sends ,into the world, messages that have universal values, messages of the victim, and at that moment, at the beginning of the First World War, the first instance of a victim is Serbia,” said Rajak.
According to him, the hospital in Valjevo, actually the Serbian doctors at a time when within six months died 130,000 people of typhus, treating both Serbian and Austro-Hungarian troops, became an example of humanity. Rajak said the fact that at the time of the epidemic died 21 out of 25 Serbian doctors.
“An example of this hospital is very important to remember of one nation, because it determines the moral backbone of its integrity. Without preserving that memory, people will lose their moral identity and the ability to determine in a world history,” said Rajak.
Professor Oleg Arapejtov from the Moscow State University spoke on the subject of the hospital in Valjevo , who pointed out that the proceeding of Serbian doctors was a unique civilizational act. The International Committee of the Andrić Institute to mark100 years since the beginning of the World War I was formed on December 1st, last year, when program was defined to mark the anniversary. The program will provide a number of activities such as exhibitions, interviews with experts, publishing projects, documentaries, artistic content, film festivals. Among planned activities it is also arranged that the Committee informs the public about the historical contents of the World War I through “Historical Notebooks”. The Committee on January 5th, presented the first issue of “Historical Notebooks” – a copy of the letter the former governor of BiH Oskar Potiorek that was written on May 28th,1913 from which it is evident that 13 months before the assassination in Sarajevo and 14 months before the Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on Serbia, there were plans for the start of the World War I. At the beginning of February, the second issue was promoted. This issue contains a significant historical document of how lawyer Rudolf Cistler has found serious deficiencies and questionable legitimacy of the judicial judgment on members of “Young Bosnia”. The third issue of “Historical Notebooks”, which was presented on March 15th, among other things, this issue, among other things, provides an overview of the Serbian press about Anti-Serb pogroms in 1914 after the assassination in Sarajevo.