In my previous post I was talking about learning history through joint history book projects. This time I suggest to look at history of Eastern Europe and Yugoslavia from students’ point of view. The other day I was reading the blog of my master program professor Florian Bieber who recently published a hilarious post where he quotes his students concerning the history of Eastern Europe and Yugoslavia (From exams 2006-2010 at the University of Kent). Trust me this is a must read material. The copyright to following statements lies exclusively with the students who wrote this, says the author. I had faced such chef-d’oeuvres quite often while my university studies. However my collection couldn’t be compared with professors’ treasures.
Sadly enough, there are southands of people ectually thinking like these students. But what upsets me even more is the category of young people conducting academic studies and still doing such terryfing errors. Aren’t they doing any research at all? Anyways, such examples can teach us as well. For instance, how people perceive events, what is the areal of their intelligence, which prejudices still exist and etc.
Shortly, explore the history of South-East Europe from a new perspective, that is funny and totally wrong 🙂
The History of Yugoslavia
There have been many different countries/empires which have been huge and have had a range of different cultures but have managed to stay as one country. A very important example in term of Yugoslavia is the Ottoman Empire which oversaw some of that region. It was a huge empire with millions of servants who were of different race, religion, customs and beliefs. The empire managed to stay together regardless of this issue.
Furthermore, this can be debated as Yugoslavia never really had any enemy in ancient times…
The Creation of Yugoslavia
The formation of Yugoslavia was ‘man made’ rather than inherent and formed through the same values and cultures.
Yugoslavia ….was forced together by the Ottomens and meinteined by leaders such as Tito.
After Yugoslavia was formed three dominant groups fought for power on the left the fascist Usteche who used aggressive ethnic cleansing techniques to drive non-Serbians from the land.
Yugoslavia was formed in 1929 out of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Cheks.
When the Ottoman Empire collapsed, Communist leaders took and expanded the idea of a united Yugoslavia.
It is true to say that Yugoslavia was a young state, before the second WW the area consisted of several kingdoms…. After Tito removed Yugoslavia from the Soviet Union & pioneered the non-aligned movements during WW2, Yugoslavia entered relative calm.
Communist rule in Yugoslavia defind the nation until 1948 and when the region detached itself from Commuism it scrambled to find an identity.
Tito was already emerging as the glue that binds this group of autonomous provinces.
Tito was almost the puppeter of Yugoslavia pulling its strings.
In the years before Tito’s death, when he was forgetful and sported a terrible wig…
In 1980, President Tito of Yugoslavia died, having ruled the state for over 10 years…
When Tito died the emperror died with him.
There were two bodies that led Yugoslavia right before it disintegrated, Tito Braz and Slobodan Milosevic.
Tito had maintained a Yugoslavia with a federal government system: again, not a typical feature of countries…if Milosevic had succeded would have made Yugoslavia a less artificial country.
The provinces of Yugoslavia include Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, , Yugoveada and others…
It consisted of eight republics and of the eight two were provinces: Kosovo and Vojvonec.
Kosovo was 95% Algerian.
Yugoslavia had been in a terrible economic climate–following the 1930 global depression and the 1973 Yugoslavian oil crisis…
…Slovenia housed a large amount of institutions that Serbia used.
The Rise of Milosevic
When right wing Serbs were making their voices heard in Kosovo Ivan Stambolic sent Milosevic to sort out the situation. Tito would have never considered this. He would have sent an armed force and destroyed them.
Yugoslavia was powerful before Slobodan Milosevic, because it wasn’t just about Serbs but it was about other places as well such as Bosnea, Macedonia, Kosovo, Croatia, Slovenia, etc.
Milosevic attempted to mobilize the people by lighting a fire under their growing concerns for nationalism.
Milosevic attempted to keep the state as cohesived as possible by introducing the masses into politics.Unfortunately, all the masses had very strong views which was one of the factores led to its demise.
Milosevic was a gruel rotten apple.
His ambitions would not stop him from attempting to take the capital of Croatia Dubronik which as 90% Croat in which he failed.
Although Kosovo had been an independent nation for over 600 years (false), Serbia…had pulled the nation under Serbian rule
As both Croatia and Serbia were Orthodox believers that were majority.
While Serbia is Orthodox, Croatia and Bosnia are Muslim.
War and International Intervention
The international community had viewed the situation in the Balkans as a bit of a ‘so what?’ scenario.
[In 1991] NATO was a relatively new organization (!) and was busy with the USSR… and the UN was happy to observe the looming conflict yet unwilling to act.
The EC also felt under pressure to act because of ethnic ties that they had to ‘Yugoslavians’
The Baltic States are built on blood stains, and for the UN to go in, assuming it could achieve what it set out to was naive and demonstrated it’s lack of cultural understanding.
The declaration of independence infuriated Serbia. That is why today Serbia has rejected the acknowledgement of Serbia as a nation-state, it fears for the Serbians inside Kosovo.
With Germany independently supporting Serbia and the rest of Europe condemning its actions.
Bosnians soon rose up against the Muslims …forcing them to flee.
The Baltic States have always been at least troublesome…It’s a conflict hotspot teaming with ethnic tension and racial prejudice that has built up over centuries and passed down over generations.
During the 1990s Yugoslvia and most of the Baltic region witnessed some of the worst atrocities and widespread genocide the area had ever seen.
The Kosovo Rambouillet plan succeeded in invading the conflict in former Yugoslavia, but failed in the short term with the loss of lives in the war.
Communism in Eastern Europe
More than 4 centuries of Communist rule has aggravated the economic situation and the competitiveness to the West.
Eastern Europe has been under the influence of five religions, three of which are branches of Catholicism.
A case example can be seen between Afghanistan and Armenia between 1918 and 1926. Between and much throughout the interwar period, the CPSU had problems with Afghanistan.
The cold war ended in 1950 when the US and the USSR signed a treaty of peace in Yalta.
The appeal of Communism was that people would no longer work for the rich, but for each other.
The richest elite in a communist society tends to be the leader. As according to Karl Marx the buorgeoisie and the ruling class in a society tend to rule and keep the state in good order.
They created what was called Goulash communism–goulash being a Hungarian dish compiled with unlikely ingredients.
Gorbachev and 1989
Gorbachev not only talked the talk but walked the walk.
Gorbachev made discussions and relations to the Western states about the plan to collapse the Communist regime…The United States president then Regan also accepted his plan…
Gorbachev was the ‘golden eye’ and the hero of east Europe helping to collapse communism and began his plan since the earlier 1990s.
It seems that the madness that took hold of the people of East and Central Europe in that momentous year of 1989, was one that had been inevitable forming like a thunderous cloud on the horizon, bringing with it the winds of change.
The claim that short term …factors are key to explain Communism’s collapse in 1989 is rather reactionary and ill-judged….Long term factors are key to explaining communism collapse in 1989 as one can assess the fall of communism or its demise started from a while ago.
there was a multi-party election carried out in Romania, Czechoslovakia, East Germany and Bosnia for a more decentralized east Europe.
Countries with a single party system run the risk of slipping back into a type of authoritarian regime.
…there is still the block mentality in Eastern Europe, showing it hasn’t integrated that greatly, this is made most apparent in the Eurovision Song Contest where the East European Countries will all vote for each other. This was seen this year when the Serbian entry won, despite how crap it was, because the Eastern Europe will vote for it’s own.
What is all means for Britain
Britain now is a coalition government, the icon of the West now using democratic practices most commonly fund (found?) in Eastern Europe…
Britain looked at the whole idea [EU] of the scheme as a waste of time…under Margeret Thatcher…but [she] was eventually removed and Britain joined… after Britain had been in a huge recession and were the 3rd poorest country in Europe.