A history revision that is not based on scientific knowledge is detrimental and leads to the repetition of historical errors, pointed out the participants of the two-day International Conference dedicated to the First World War, which is being held at the Andrić Institute in Andrićgrad.
A member of the organizing committee of the conference entitled “Years That Changed the World” Svetozar Rajak says that this conference is important not only by the number of participants, but also by the topics it deals with.
“This day has demonstrated to what extent this conference is important, not only by the number of participants, but by the fact that has been raised issues, about the First World War, that are often not asked,” says Rajak, a professor of economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
He emphasizes that many aspects of these issues are not present in the history of the First World War in our country, but also in the world.
Rajak says that in the panel about the beginning of the war has been spoken about some new facts, and to what extent Serbia could be considered the guilty for the beginning of the First World War.
“In the panel dealing with the war in the Balkans, we had the opportunity to listen analyzes that were the result of research in the Hungarian archives, which historians from Europe did not specifically deal with. In the panel on civilian victims of war, prisoners, and sufferings, we heard terrible data on the position of civilians during the occupation, a topic that is almost not present in the history of the First World War,” Rajak notes.
He says that “living history” was presented through the panel on Versailles, the end of the war and the consequences of the First World War.
Historian, Velibor Vidić, from Valjevo has spoken about the Valjevo Hospital and its importance in the First World War.
“The twentieth century was not only a century of starvation, but also migration, and these large migrations began with the persecution of Serbs in BiH and Srem. According to official data from the Ministry of Finance of the Kingdom of Serbia, over 200,000 people escaped to Serbia, of which 33,000 escaped to the territory of the region of Uzice, while the rest went to the vicinity of Valjevo,” Vidić adds.
He points out that this was a tragic event because it was a great emigration of the people, and they did not want to go far to the interior of Serbia, because they thought that the war would end soon and that it should be as close to home as possible.
“The war has extended, and Valjevo received a large number of inhabitants, regardless of the people who moved away. In the first attack by the Austro-Hungarian army, great and terrible crimes against Serb civilians were committed, such as hanging out, murdering children and the like,” Vidić emphasizes.
He adds that the Serbian people were killed on both sides of the Drina River, and points out that, after the fall of Valjevo, the Austro-Hungarian forces placed their sick and wounded in that town.
Historian Borivoje Milošević has spoken about the situation in BiH after the end of the First World War.
“At the beginning of November, 1918, the Serbian army crossed the Drina River and gradually began to liberate one by one city in BiH. Wherever the Serbian army arrived, it was solemnly welcomed by Serbs, Croats and Muslims. There was a three-state mood among the majority of the population,” says Milošević.
He adds that the time that was coming brought new disappointments to both the Serbs and other nations.
The international conference dealing with World War I has gathered 26 historians from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Great Britain and Ireland.
The conference organized by Andrić Institute ends today.