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Greater and Lesser

By David Binder*

Talk of a “Greater” this or that Balkan nation-state has subsided in recent years as the region experienced the creation of ever more mini-republics – a total of eight on the territory of the former Yugoslavia.

The trend toward fragmentation was initiated by petty nationalists and fostered by the United States and those European powers that found it convenient and desirable to dominate and exploit small fiefdoms rather than confront the relatively large and independent-minded federal state that Yugoslavia had represented.

The outside powers reinforced the new system of mini-republics by inviting candidacy in their continental economic organization, the European Union, and their now global security organization, NATO. (At the moment both groupings appear to be losing rather than gaining strength.)

But is “Greater” gone forever from the Balkan vocabulary?

Beginning in the 19th century and for most of the 20th century Balkan nations entertained ambitions for “greater” – even much greater – territory at the expense of neighbors. Much blood was shed to realize dreams of a Greater Romania, a Greater Albania, a Greater Bulgaria, a Greater Greece, a Greater Croatia, a Greater Serbia – even of a Greater Montenegro and a Greater Macedonia. Some succeeded.

It might be prudent not to banish the concept altogether although the likelihood of planting this or that flag some distance beyond currently defined frontiers seems rather dim at the moment.

Think of the phrase of the late Willy Brandt spoken in 1989 when the Berlin Wall collapsed and with it the four decades of Germany ‘s East-West division:  Jetzt wachst zusammen was zusammen gehort – “Now grows together what belongs together.”

There are 7 million ethnic Albanians living in adjacent lands (Albania, Kosovo, southern Montenegro, western Macedonia, Northern Greece and a small pocket of southwestern Serbia around Presevo). There are 9 million ethnic Serbs living in Serbia and the Republic of Srpska (in adjacent Bosnia-Hercegovina) as well as some scattered beyond in Croatia, Macedonia and Montenegro.

The question this poses – in the sense of Willy Brandt’s phrase – is:

Whether in coming decades those ethnic Albanians now living in at least five Balkan states and those ethnic Serbs living in five states as well may sense a growing kinship with their fellow nationals beyond the current frontiers and local allegiances that now separate them? Further, would an enhanced kinship act as a form of “soft power” (to borrow the 2004 coinage of Joseph Nye) tending to erase at least some borders. For instance, in a “soft” way  the spreading usage of the Euro helps simplify currency transactions across Balkan borders.

The same cannot be said of the father of the Euro currency, the European Union. Rather, the community has proven to be a divisive force in the Balkans, and well beyond.

Romania, Bulgaria and Slovenia became members. Croatia and Macedonia have gained candidate status. The rest are in limbo. Altogether this is a far cry from what the EU promised the Balkans when it declared that borders would be “irrelevant” in the Europe of the future because the countries would “belong together” in the community paradise – “reattaching” Kosovo to Serbia for instance and, in a sense “recreating” Yugoslavia. The mere prospect of joining drew “wildly varying reactions among citizens of the western Balkan nations” according to a Gallup poll published November 18 – from overwhelming approval in Kosovo and Montenegro to only 29 percent in Croatia and little more in Bosnia-Hercegovina. (Douglas Muir, who often comments on Balkan affairs in his blog, wrote last April: “By the  end of the next decade most if not all of the Albanians will be in the EU. And the prospect of EU membership will be a major engine for change”). Already, the black double-eagle of Skenderbeg is unfurled wherever Albanians are clustered.

Judging from the second-class citizenship treatment accorded Poland and some other newer EU members, the prospect of full membership may become less enticing for would-be candidates including that are currently in limbo. (With apprehension of  Ratko Mladic being a principal condition for consideration of Serbia for entry one may imagine that if he were found dead, The Netherlands, as the reigning anti-Serb member of the EU, would conduct a forensic investigation commensurate to the examination of the Shroud of Turin).

In fact the European Union, like its predecessor, the European Community, has badly botched its role in the Balkans – which the senior European members tend to regard with scarcely disguised contempt of wealthy householders for vagabonds. Given the mediocrity and lack of vision of its principal leaders, the EU may never succeed in repairing the damage it has done in the region. (It is all but forgotten that before it began to disintegrate Yugoslavia was considered a possible candidate for EC membership!)

Regardless of the EU, during the last nine years in the absence of armed conflict, the Balkan region has seen a dramatic thinning of frontiers. Transmigration and piercing of the borders is taking place on a large scale – from long distance truck traffic in the TIR system to satellite television transmissions, cell telephone calls, text messages, Internet sites, including Facebook. Balkan businessmen have not hesitated to expand their enterprises beyond state borders (a practice pioneered by Slovenians in Serbia).

In addition, there is increased traffic of ordinary people as well as widespread criminal traffic of humans (2,000 to Macedonia alone for the sex trade), not to mention smuggling of drugs, weapons and other goods. (An example of the great mobility in organized crime in the Balkans is the case of an ethnic Albanian, Dilaver Bojku. A sex trafficker charged with enslaving dozens of girls from Ukraine, Romania and Moldova, Bojku operated for years with impunity in his native western Macedonia. He was convicted and jailed in June 2003. But he soon escaped, crossed into and out of nearby Albania and then north to the Montenegrin port of Ulcinj where he was apprehended after two weeks at large as he prepared to travel to Brazil).

In the category of a soft-power-dissolution of the borders separating Serbs one should consider:

*Republika Srpska Telekom, purchased by Serbia’s Telekom for about 1 billion Euro.

*A Russian gas pipeline set to transit Serbia will have a Republika Srbska branch.

*New highways are planned to connect the two Serbian republics.

*Miroslav Miskovic, a Serbian entrepreneur, is building a mall in Banja Luka.

*Bijelina on Serbia’s northwestern border has grown to be the second city of RS.

*Several joint energy projects on the Drina River are in planning stages.

At this time the Albanian space in the Balkans would probably not be able match this Serbian set of connections. But one should not discount the potential of road construction on the path of the Via Egnatia of Roman vintage, connecting the Adriatic  port of Durres to Istanbul – to be followed perhaps by a pipeline. Consider also the new highway under construction along a tortuous route crossing the Prokletia Mountains from Kosovo southward to the Adriatic, opening Kosovo industry and agriculture to quick transport to the sea. Meanwhile Kosovo Albanians are investing in Montenegro, buying land on a large scale in the southern region of the country known in Albanian as Malesia and Madhe, which has always been inhabited by Albanians.

Might an old Balkan hand speculate that Republika Srpska on the one hand and Kosovo on the other might serve as the vital springboards for unification of the Serbs here and the Albanians there, as Piedmont did for Italy in 1859-1861?

Would these developments in two decades or so augur something resembling what David Kanin, a Central Intelligence Agency analyst, said he believed in 1993: “that we are moving toward a Greater Serbia” and “a Greater Albania”? Or is Martin Sletzinger, the Balkan specialist of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington consulting the right oracle in predicting in October 2008 that “Balkan borders will change, perhaps not in 6 or 7 months, but in 6 or 7 years.”   (In an even more drastic vein, Sletzinger said: “Macedonia can very well disappear as a country as a result of Kosovo’s independence while the whole Balkan region can enter a phase of major border shifts.”)

Having spent half a century reporting on what just happened in the world, I am reluctant to engage in the unfamiliar sport of predicting what will happen in a decade or so, especially in the Balkans. However I have taken note of an Associated Press dispatch datelined Tetovo, Macedonia, a hotbed of Albanian chauvinism, reporting about the concept of a Greater Albania in the environs on February 21, 2008, and finding that there was “little public enthusiasm for it.”

Yet by my count the longest period between Balkan border changes since the Ottoman period was 37 years. There have been three in the last three years involving Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia. Should I start counting again?

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*David Binder (born 1931) was a correspondent for The New York Times from 1961 until 2004. He specialized in coverage of central and eastern Europe, based in Berlin, Belgrade and Bonn. The current piece was published in Belgrade’s Politika December 1, 2008.

What Would Pasic Do?

By David Binder*

Crucial decisions about Serbia’s territorial integrity and the direction of its foreign relations in the context of May 11 elections are reminders of the life and times of the prime minister and party leader Nikola Pasic (1845-1926).

While one might rightly dwell on Pasic’s fundamental contributions to the development of parliamentary democracy, it was his devotion to recovery of Serbian lands under foreign domination and his determination to resist imperialist designs that make him the touchstone of national integrity.

Pasic is relevant when one considers that the United States in its current pose as the “leader of the free world” is repeating patterns of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire’s actions toward Serbia in his day a century ago and for three previous decades: harsh economic sanctions, seizure of territory, bombardment of Belgrade and the wanton killing of Serbian civilians.

The parallels between what Serbia went through at the hands of Austria from 1878 to 1918 and its experiences during the last 18 years with the United States are astonishing (although the sequence of actions differed).

Early in his career Nikola Pasic realized that Austria, in the felicitous phrase of Alex Dragnich, his American biographer, was “determined to cow Serbia and if need be to crush her.”

In 1878, the year in which he was first elected to parliament in Belgrade, Austria abruptly occupied Bosnia-Hercegovina, which had a sizeable Serbian population. This caused anguish and humiliation in Serbia. Three decades later Vienna annexed Bosnia-Hercegovina outright, in 1908.

The contemporary equivalent was the disembowelment of Serbia by Washington and its NATO subordinates in 1999 followed by their fostering of an independent state in Kosovo.

There is also a parallel in the application of extreme economic sanctions as a means of putting pressure on Serbia to submit to policy demands. Vienna imposed a massive trade boycott from 1906 to 1911 which affected 90 percent of Serbian exports – mostly pork – and 60 percent of its imports. (Serbia surprisingly emerged with a stronger and more independent economy). Washington began applying ever stricter economic sanctions against Serbia in 1992, causing inflation to skyrocket and other economic injuries. It did not lift them until 2005.

Finally there is the parallel of bombarding Serbs. Austria was in such a hurry that it started shelling Belgrade on July 29, 1914, only a day after it declared war. A month later Vienna ‘s Illustrierte Kronen Zeitung declared – with a vulgar pun – “Serbien muss sterbien” – ( Serbia must perish).

Washington was more cautious, though no less imprudent, threatening military action against Serbia for nearly eight years before it launched NATO’s bombing campaign in March 1999.

The Austrian campaign was responsible for the bulk of Serbia ‘s 650,000 civilian war dead over 1,566 days of fighting. The civilian toll in 79 days of NATO bombing was estimated to be 500.

Throughout Austria’s endless bullying the response of Pasic was calm realism. Even under the direst threats from Vienna in the hours before World War I began he appears to have kept his temper and to respond in a conciliatory manner where he could.

He knew Serbia was militarily weak and lacked strong allies. He had made successful arms purchases from France and, in a meeting with the Tsar in Spring 1914, sought Russian protection and assistance.

Slobodan Milosevic sought assistance/protection for Serbia in the Pasic mold from Moscow with small success. Prime Minister Kostunica, President Tadic and the Radical leader, Tomislav Nikolic, have attained much greater results from lobbying Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

So, remembering that in his career he refused to kneel before those who dealt him reverses, how would Nikola Pasic evaluate the dangers and the opportunities facing Serbia today?

As the politician who engineered the return of Kosovo and other former territories to the homeland he would surely deplore the actions leading to the proclaimed statehood of the province – and equally deplore the American and European actors who performed their opera of alternating siren songs and dire threats. Doubtless he would oppose any Serbian politicians who endorsed or accepted them.

It is of course pure speculation, but I think Pasic would have appreciated the principled pragmatism of Vojislav Kostunica. He would also feel comfortable with Nikolic, who helped found the Serbian Radical Party, the descendent of Pasic’s own People’s Radical Party (besides, both men studied engineering).

Finally, I think Pasic would smile indulgently at critics, especially from abroad, who brand Kostunica or Nikolic – or himself – as “nationalists,” much less “ultra-nationalists.”

…………………………….

*David Binder (born 1931) was a correspondent for The New York Times from 1961 until 2004. He specialized in coverage of central and eastern Europe, based in Berlin, Belgrade and Bonn. The current piece was published in Belgrade’s Politika on May 6, 2008.

Apocalypse Now

By Christopher Deliso

“When they attack, what should I do first?” a young Serbian KPS police commander says. “Should I try to evacuate my children, or fight back? We are twenty, thirty thousand. They are two million.”

The likelihood or not of such an imagined massive assault from Albanians doesn’t matter here in Mitrovica, the city divided between ethnicities by the River Ibar, up in Kosovo’s uncompromising north.

What matters is that Serbs fear it could happen and the siege mentality that has set in — as seen in the nationalist graffiti, the stern billboard warning that “those who live by the sword shall die by the sword,’ the muscular young men watching warily from cafes — is as real and as thick as the tension in this grand old dilapidated post-Communist city that refuses to recognize, as with the vast majority of the world’s countries thus far, that a living country has been hacked out of the Serbian body. That the phrase Kosovo je Srbija (Kosovo is Serbia) has been consigned to the history books by Pristina’s unilateral declaration of independence on February 17 is bitterly resisted here in the north.

Indeed, ever since the “UDI’ (wary critics refer to the independence declaration only by the acronym now, one in the same category as the ICBM, to save their breath), the Serbs of several contiguous municipalities that border on Serbia proper have broken off cooperation with the Pristina government. The Serbs in the central and southern enclaves, though they have also protested regularly, have talked less tough, knowing that they are extremely vulnerable to an attack from all sides, should the Albanians wish to eliminate them.

One thing the Serbs have protested against vociferously was the April 4 return of Ramush Haradinaj from the Hague Tribunal. The former KLA leader and briefly, prime minister, Haradinaj was acquitted of all charges- at about the same time that former Hague prosecutor Carla Del Ponte disclosed in her memoir that the KLA had (possibly) been involved with trafficking the organs of kidnapped Serbs in 1999. Del Ponte had spent the lion’s share of her time prosecuting Serbs; as she could hardly be considered partial to them, the thinking went, the story must be true.

Of course, the Albanians have objected strenuously, while the Serbian and now Russian governments have called for a further investigation. For her part, Del Ponte was banned from promoting her book in Italy by a squeamish Swiss government, which has banished her to Argentina, to the position of ambassador. The secret to the mystery, Del Ponte intones, may lie in open graves in a small village in northern Albania.

Whether or not the story is true, for Kosovo Serbs, Haradinaj’s acquittal “sends a strong signal,” in the words of one experienced UN official in Kosovo. “They take it to mean that the KLA’s war has won legitimacy- and that they can act with impunity against Serbs, without fear of punishment.”

At the same time, Haradinaj aspires to an ever greater diplomatic reputation and for this reason, the official believes, the key Serbian monastery of Decani — deep in Haradinaj’s home turf in the west — is safe. “He wants to show that the international community can count on him to guarantee safety for minorities by solving their problems and protecting them- though sometimes he does seem to create local problems to offer himself as the one who can solve them.” Haradinaj’s sometimes caring, sometimes cruel behavior in his personal fiefdom is remarkably similar to the way medieval Albanian feudal lords operated there.

Indeed, Haradinaj’s return to Kosovo was greeted by celebrations in the Dukagjin area of western Kosovo, and was anticipated by billboards saying things (in English) like Welcome home! and Ramush, we need you now! Some Albanians in Pristina love him, some are more circumspect: “he doesn’t have a lot of support,” says one Albanian OSCE officer, claiming he will not make as tough an opposition to the government of Hashim Thaci as some among the international corps are hoping.

It is true. Some Western diplomats in Pristina have long been enraptured by Ramush. They gush about his “charisma” and “forthright attitude.” His closeness with former UNMIK chief Soren Jessen-Petersen was legendary. The now fired American deputy chief Steven Schook, a scathing German report later claimed, perceived his duties as “to get drunk once a week with Ramush Haradinaj.”

The welcoming committee apparently wanted to dress him for the role: in suit, glasses, backed by a shelf of books. In the grand images, the newly academic renaissance man of Kosovo looks not unlike Nicholas Cage. He could play him in the movie someday.

But forget about Ramush- back to Mitrovica. There are a lot of opinions, and a lot of questions, on the minds of Serbs and internationals alike. Still, life is fairly normal. You can buy burek at 6:30 AM, or a purple toy turtle, or do your banking on the river at the improbable Kosovsko Metohiska Banka AD Zvechan, almost 50 years old, a creation and a survivor of old Yugoslavia. In between the old apartment blocks rising from the north side, children play badminton, with some determination, on an asphalt court.

Some Serbs follow the time-honored national pressure release mechanism of taking recourse to black humor, as well as other things. A man drinking beer in a small shop with his old friend, the proprietor, declares that “there are no Macedonians, only Serbs, Greeks and Bulgarians, they were the ones fighting the Balkan Wars!” The proprietor looks at his friend ruefully, with the long-suffering glance of someone who has been hearing it for years, when the former continues that there are no Montenegrins, either: “but he is from Montenegro!” he declares fiercely, pointing at the proprietor. “And he is a Serb!”

The humor is better. There are boys who are less than 20 and in the faculty of history there. They love America and love to make fun of Bush. But the (Bill) Clinton impersonations really have them roaring. They laugh when I joke thank you for not killing me and they go somewhere to enjoy themselves for another night that is still peaceful. Cafes and bars advertise visiting singers and, but for the palpable tension, you could be anywhere in dignified but decaying post-Communist Europe.

It could always be peaceful here. It depends on the decisions of individuals. Will they be rational ones? Will they be seen as fair? Many, and not only Serbs, are unnerved by the news reports speculating an attack is just around the corner. The nationalist political parties have them revved up too, ahead of elections. And Easter is soon. No one wants to believe in a conspiracy, but at the same time they know the Albanians are well-disciplined and, as officials noted four years ago, in the March riots, “nothing happens spontaneously in Kosovo.” If something “happens,” it will really happen.

A miniature earthquake came with the special police operation of March 17 — the anniversary of those riots — in which armed UN police from Pristina launched an assault on a courthouse that was being peacefully occupied by former court workers- most of them women. The workers had only been sitting in the hall and had stated they would be happy to come out. But someone in Pristina wanted to show the Serbs a lesson because, as another veteran UN official says, “they believe that the Serbs only respect force.”

The mission was a disaster. They arrested the court workers and paraded them, as a victorious Roman legion would have done with its prisoners of war, through the streets of South Mitrovica before bringing them to Pristina. They were later released.

The provocation was designed to infuriate the Serbs. The police could have simply opened the door, released the occupants, and gone home, a witness says, and everything might have been fine. The locals could have forgiven even such a heavy-handed show of force. “Yet the problems started when it became clear that they were going to be sent to Pristina.”

It didn’t help either that a local TV cameraman was on scene to stream the whole thing live. Crowds gathered. They threw rocks at first, before stronger weapons appeared. They released some of the prisoners before the terrified troops could escape. One of them was killed and many others wounded.

Damage control immediately set in, as it so often does in Kosovo. UNMIK in Pristina darkly disclosed that nefarious Serbian police elements from Belgrade had been involved. The foreign media ate it up, completely overlooking the leaked document out of UNMIK Mitrovica, which roundly ridiculed “Shock and Awe Two.” That report brought pressure that is still far from abating, and it looks like there will be a final standoff. The situation is grim, the future is brief. And so it goes.

Nevertheless everything could still work out. The KPS officer reminds that mixed-ethnic police units are working together and only a few days ago were able to break up a rock and gun fight between Serbs and Albanians in a nearby village. In the north there are Albanians, in one neighborhood of Mitrovica, and in outlying areas. There are not Serbs living the south of the city, though they seem free to quietly come and go. Meanwhile, the EU blindly and desperately moves to placate Serbia and influence its elections of May 11, offering sped-up agreements to keep the Radicals out. This is to the displeasure of EU officials in the Balkans, who believe Brussels is overlooking other areas of tension, such as Bosnia and Macedonia, with its “Serbia obsession.”

A problem here is that the EU is looking for agreements where agreements won’t matter. They believe controlling Serbia’s policy on Kosovo will help to lead to a final resolution of Kosovo’s status, or at least its ability to plod on, and that the new, hands-off EU mission will be able to start at the time the Kosovo constitution takes effect on June 15- “when pigs fly!” one European ambassador in Pristina cracks, on hearing that.

Actually, what the EU forgets is that Belgrade is not as important here as are the inhabitants themselves. The Kosovo Serbs are the crucial actors, and especially in the north. These people know that the Belgrade politicians cynically use them; they also don’t realistically expect that Russia will help them in a military emergency, despite the occasional poster of Putin on the streets of North Mitrovica. They have only themselves to rely on, though they have kept good relations with the UN in Mitrovica, which they perceive as being more fair and objective than the UN elsewhere in Kosovo.

They also know that life in Serbia proper, in a collective center or impoverished anonymity, would be even worse. And there would be a cut-off in the extra financial aid from Belgrade that some get for staying. The small pocket of Krajina Serbs — already once dislocated from their former homes in Croatia by the horrors of war — are among the most adamant.

Hashim Thaci has declared the intent to “assimilate” the Serbs and (here is the pot calling the kettle black) to punish the insolent behavior of this allegedly uncontrolled region based on organized crime. Like hell. The Serbs are not prepared to lose the one last place in Kosovo where they feel a measure of safety and normalcy. If they go, it will be after a massive attack such as the one they fear is coming at any time. If they stay, it will be because diplomacy will keep things cool, or because Pristina (and/or the internationals) cannot accept the body bags that would result.

The UN police guarding the famous Mitrovica bridge in the dark tonight in their vehicle are from Zimbabwe. “It’s all peaceful here,” they say, listening to reggae music and smiling. It’s probably a lot better than living in Zimbabwe right now.

Yet on the other side of the bridge, in the much calmer south of the city, international forces show more concern. Heavily-armed French soldiers, most just out of high school, bump into one another with their overburdened uniforms and machine guns. They eye everything warily, on the quiet street where a few people are having a drink. They seem to be guarding their pizza.

An American policeman, in ‘Mitro’ for almost four years now, laughs when asked what the situation will be like in the north. “Hell, it could end up like another Palestine up there,” he says. “We’ll have to wait and see.”

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In the Middle of the Road

By David Binder*

Serbia is both blessed and cursed. So, too, are those blessed and cursed that are forced by geography or other circumstance to deal with Serbia. They usually become entrapped.

The reason is obvious. As defined in the last century by Jovan Cvijic, the preeminent Serbian geographer of the Balkans, “We built our house in the middle of the road.”

A cursory glance at the map proves his point. Serbia sits astride not merely the Danube, Europe’s great southeasterly waterway, but also astride the continent’s main land route from north to south. It was the road that Constantine (born near Nis) took in the 4th century on his gradual journey to Byzantium, where he built his great capital. In 1095, some 500 years after Slavs (Serbs) reached the peninsula, members of the first Crusade took that route on their way to the Holy Land. Turk, Hungarian and Austrian invaders used the road. So did the Wehrmacht.

Now the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is again at the door of Serbia’s house in the middle of the ancient Balkan road. Having bombed the house in 1999, killing hundreds of (civilian) occupants, the alliance, obese but still adding weight, is not knocking politely, but rudely hammering.

Neighboring Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria are already members. Croatia and Albania were invited in April in Bucharest, where Macedonia’s membership was deferred, due to its nomenclature issue with Greece. And Montenegro will be on the dance ticket soon.

“I do not have a shred of doubt that Serbia’s long-term future lies in Euro-Atlantic integration,” NATO’s secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said March 14, ignoring the fact that Serbia has proclaimed neutrality – thus joining Austria, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland in that relatively rare status.

Odd, isn’t it, that just those four should perform such an un-neutral act as rushing to recognize Kosovo independence? NATO’s rhetoric is but a smoke screen, accompanied lately by siren songs and mantra-like recitals of “Euro-Atlantic Unity.”

That is one of history’s jokes. The alliance was created 56 years ago. Its original purpose, as Lord Ismay, the first NATO secretary general wittily but accurately remarked, was “to keep the Americans in, the Soviets out and the Germans down.”

It succeeded in those aims, but when the Cold War ended NATO floundered for many months like Pirandello’s actors looking for someone to write their script. Along came the crackup of Yugoslavia, with Serbia conveniently playing the role of the bad guy (in a region where there were bad guys from one end of Tito’s creation to the other).

On the principle that the beast of bureaucracy never dies — it just mutates — the alliance was reborn as the eastern talon of the American eagle (the western talon reaching over the Pacific). Its putative enemies are uniformly chosen by the United States, not by NATO’s European members. Now its leaders are eying Africa and South America as future fields.

NATO’s first outside-of-area battlefield, the Balkans, was at least “European” if not “Atlantic.” Along with that came a design, at least back to 1992 — with an eye on Kosovo — to crush and then dismember Serbia. That process is embodied in the creation of Camp Bondsteel, in supporting Pristina’s independence and most recently in President Bush’s plan to send American weapons to the Kosovo government. (One of these days veterans of the KLA could be recruited to fight on one of NATO’s war fronts).

Today NATO is heavily engaged almost as far as can be from “Europe” and “the Atlantic,” in Afghanistan. Amend that: Part of NATO is actually fighting there. But Bundeswehr forces, for example, refuse to go into real combat. In other words, NATO is becoming hollowed out by the refusal of some to click heels and salute at every American command. In February Defense Secretary Gates complained that this could “destroy the alliance.”

One must wonder in a similar vein about the political solidarity and purpose of the European Union – despite its obvious success and might as an economic power. Keep in mind that it began life in 1951 as an economic unit, the European Coal and Steel Community.

Through all of its mutations to its current membership of 27, the EU grouping has never overcome its deep political differences. They persist today whether on creating its own army, on enacting a binding constitution, on membership for Turkey, on Kosovo’s independence and of course, on the question of Serbia’s participation.

In the question of Serbia it is not just the quandary inherent in the fact it sits in the middle of one of Europe’s main roads. There are the problems deriving from the reality that, after the ouster of Slobodan Milosevic (and his subsequent deliverance to the Hague tribunal), and numerous other concessions to world powers, the demonizing of Serbs and discrimination against Serbia has not abated, much less disappeared. Far from that, if anything they have grown more intense, more all-encompassing.

For heaven’s sake! Even during the darkest days of Nazi rule the Germans were granted their Goethe, their Beethoven their Thomas Mann by the rest of the world. In the 19th century Vuk Karadzic was welcomed in Germany and hailed by Goethe and Jacob Grimm. Later Nikola Tesla was welcomed if not hailed in the United States. Today they would probably be denied visas and, if they were champion Serbian athletes, they might be barred from competing.

At least one European official seems to be aware that a road is involved with Serbia’s existence. Speaking in Sarajevo on March 20 Britain’s Europe Minister, Jim Murphy, said “Serbia is at a fork in the road of the nation’s history — the choice is Europe or isolation.” That was of course an allusion to the May 11 parliamentary elections.

That seems a gross exaggeration. In the longer term perhaps one can see the house in the middle of the road in a more nuanced way. NATO may last for awhile, the EU a bit longer.

But I believe Serbia and its house will outlive both groupings. After all, it survived earlier empires.

*David Binder (born 1931) was a correspondent for The New York Times from 1961 until 2004. He specialized in coverage of central and eastern Europe, based in Berlin, Belgrade and Bonn. The current piece was published in Belgrade’s Politika on March 25, 2008. It has been modified very slightly to account for events since that date.

Kosovo: The View from Gracanica

By Nicky Gardner*

When the celebrated English travel writer Edith Durham arrived at the monastery at Gracanica one hundred years ago, she came to a place that had virtually no experience of the twentieth century. It is an episode that Durham recalls in her book High Albania. The incumbents, evidently horribly worried by Durham‘s unmarried condition, interrogated their visitor about the keystones of modernity: “they asked me of the great world beyond the Turkish frontiers; if it were true that there is a railway that goes underground and another on the roofs of houses; of electricity and motor cars.”

Gracanica is a Serbian enclave just a twenty-minute drive south of Prishtina. If, as seems now very likely, Kosovo’s imminent declaration of independence is recognized by some countries in the wider international community, then Prishtina will enjoy a new-found status as a capital city. A real achievement for a place that Edith Durham dismissed as “hopeless looking.”

In the great game of nation-building, there are inevitably winner and losers. With Albanian interests in the ascendant in Kosovo, after eight years of international administration of the province, the two dozen or so Serbian Orthodox nuns who live and work at Gracanica monastery are naturally apprehensive about the future. What place for them in a potentially independent Kosovo that will surely have no great affection for a Serbian minority? A small contingent of Swedish peace-keeping troops and a large supply of barbed wire protect the monastery and its grounds – which are home not just to the nuns but also to the local Serbian Orthodox bishop and his entourage.

The nuns pray, keep bees, paint icons and attend to the marvellous Byzantine frescos that adorn the interior of the beautiful five-domed monastic church. NATO bombing of Kosovo in 1999 shook the building severely, but happily the church took no direct hits. It is a deeply religious place, but much more besides. There is something of the Serbian soul in this monastery, and any decent settlement for Kosovo’s future really should include some accommodation for Serbian shrines and holy places that lie within the territory of the would-be independent republic. Kosovo’s religious art, be it at Gracanica or elsewhere in Kosovo, is one of Serbia‘s prize cultural assets, and so surely not something that will be given up lightly.

Rebecca West was another early visitor to Gracanica, when she travelled through Yugoslavia in 1937. West quickly appreciated the monastery’s importance to the Serbian diaspora. “It was as if Chartres Cathedral should stand alone on land that has been shorn of all that was France,” she wrote in Black Lamb and Grey Falcon.

In the weeks ahead, as every spring, a great carpet of rich red peonies will slowly drape the meadows around Gracanica. For the nuns, as for many Serbs, the red meadows are potent reminders of Serbian blood spilt on the fields of Kosovo. Armies have fought before over Gracanica, and the Serbian embers in and around the monastery could so very easily be a flashpoint in the future. Gracanica is surely a place to watch in the weeks ahead.

..

* Nicky Gardner is editor of Hidden Europe Magazine, a unique publication that regularly reveals the lesser-known treasures of off-the-beaten-track places in Europe. The present article was originally published by Hidden Europe‘s newsletter on February 13, 2008.

Spells, Herbs and Surgery: Medical Care in a Provincial Balkan Town in the 19th Century (3)

By Dejan Ciric

In the third of a three-part series, Serbian historian Dejan Ciric narrates the developments that led, by the end of the 19th century, to the creation of a relatively modern health care system in the small town of Pirot.

During the time of the Turkish reign, there were several doctors in the town of Greek, Turkish and Serbian origin. The most popular was George, a Greek who worked in the middle of the 19th century.[1] The most well known doctor during the second part of the 19th century was Hechim Tana Popkrstic. He was born in Pirot, where his father prepared him for the priesthood, a family tradition; however, Popkrstic learned the art of healing from the Turkish military doctor and opted for the medical profession.

Apart from widely disseminated folk remedies and the Pirot Lekarusa, citizens had the opportunity to get drugs from a professional pharmacist during the Turkish reign. Mihail Andjelokovic opened his pharmacy in 1867 after two years of study in Constantinople and France. Andjelkovic usually ordered drugs and various substances from Belgrade and collaborated with the Serbian Army doctors during the liberation in 1876-1878. In several letters to the government, he mentioned these facts while completing the procedure to obtain a pharmacist’s certificate, in order to influence the ministry to assist him more quickly. However, he apparently failed to fulfill all the requests, and so closed his shop.[2] Pirot’s new pharmacist was Franc Suricek, of Czech origin, who came from the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1880.[3]

The first academically educated doctors came to Pirot after the liberation in December1877. The first one, Yanko Sienkievicz, a man of Polish origin from Galicia, was the nephew of the significant Polish writer Henrich Sienkievicz. He became Pirot County doctor when he was 32 years old, on February 19, 1879. He graduated in medicine at the University of Vienna in 1875 and spoke Serbian, German, Polish and Russian. He participated as a military doctor in the liberation of south Serbia and showed loyalty to his new homeland[4]. With very modest equipment and staff, Sienkievicz did his job not only in the town, but in the very distant and hard-to-reach villages around it. During all of his short journeys in the region, the doctor famously rode a white horse, whereas physicians in England during the same period usually used different kinds of carriages as a symbol of their status.[5] Dr. Sienkievicz`s greatest achievement, however, was the founding of the County Hospital in 1881.[6] He married a Pirot citizen and stayed in the town until the end of his life in 1904.[7]

In 1883, along with Dr. Sienkievicz worked only one other doctor, a veterinarian and, sources claim, a not particularly skilled midwife.[8] The first veterinarian in Pirot was Radomir Arnautovic, a Serb from Fogaros in Transylvania, then under Austro-Hungarian rule. After secondary school in Kronstadt, he studied veterinary medicine at the University of Vienna and the University of Budapest. Soon after graduation, he joined the Serbian Army as a military doctor in 1876. With an official certification, he became the first Pirot County veterinarian when he was 28 years old in May 1881. Arnautovic spoke German, Romanian and Hungarian in addition to Serbian.[9] As an assistant to the doctors in the County Hospital came Dr. Abraham Mandelbaum, a Jew from Constantinople in 1881. Mandelbaum graduated medicine at Munich University and spoke Serbian, German, French and Russian.[10]

With official governmental permission, Dr. Jovan Valenta became the county doctor in October 1882. Czech by origin, he was born in Prague in 1826 where he graduated in philosophy and medicine. He earned a doctorate in surgery and an MA in the field of obstetrics. In the beginning, he was working in his native town, but he moved to Serbia in 1852 and worked in several small towns. He was a teacher at a Belgrade secondary school and one of the founders of the Serbian Medical Society in 1872.[11] Dr. Valneta first performed surgery in Pirot on November 1st 1883, and stayed in the town until his retirement in 1886.[12] Afterwards, he moved to Belgrade, where he died the following year.[13]

At the beginning of the 20th century, the number of medical staff in Pirot increased. Sinekievicz became a pensioner in 1903, but continued as a private doctor. Mladen Grujic succeeded him as Pirot’s new County Doctor. During the following years, there were several doctors of Serbian origin, as well as Dimitrje Kalijadis, a Greek and Samuel Poper, a Jew. During that period there were two pharmacies in the town managed by Uros Volic, a Serb, and Karlo Skacel from Poland. Aside from the staff in the County Hospital, three sick attendants and a clerk there were also two midwifes.[14]

From the available sources it is however hard to learn where hospitals were located in the town before the middle of the 19th century. The first rooms for healing purposes in that time were rented by the popular George the Greek on the second floor of the Ignjatovic`s family house, one of the prettiest and biggest houses in the town, built in 1854.[15] The other doctors probably worked from their own homes or at the patients’ house. During the liberation of 1877-1878, along with the former Turkish Military Hospital and schools, they used private houses because of the many injured solders[16]. During the short Serbian-Bulgarian war in 1885, according to the priest Djordje Ignjatovic, who was the supervisor and coordinator of all medical care, there were 12 hospitals in Pirot[17].

The town’s first pharmacy was situated on the left river bank next to Golemi Most (Big Bridge) and consisted of two rooms: a shop and a storage room, which lacked all the necessary equipment, keeping only one-third of the important drugs which the authorities had requested, and not maintaining the correct storage conditions for dangerous poisonous substances.[18] Unlike Andjelkovic, pharmacist Sirucek in the shop across the street had all the necessary drugs, many additional instruments and a well equipped laboratory with various materials, so governmental commission for medical care and drugs gave him a work permit.[19]

One of the biggest, most long-lasting problems for the local authorities at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century was a new County Hospital building. The old hospital building built in Turkish times was in very bad condition, and so even basic requests were not fulfilled. The building was also quite small, at only 133 square meters, with two floors. On the ground floor there was an office, a patient room, a small lobby, two storage rooms and a toilet. On the second floor there were four very small rooms where it was possible to put only sixteen beds[20]. It was obvious that the town must build a new hospital because the old one was in such bad condition that every reconstruction would mean losing money. The commission consisted of the County Chairman, County Doctor, County Engineer and two Pirot Community officials who decided to build a new County Hospital.[21]

Systematic primary and secondary education after the liberation in 1877 resulted in the first positive results in the last decade of the 19th century. A new generation of children was brought up with an adequate knowledge to continue education at any foreign university with financial help provided by the state and sometimes also by the municipality. The first was Sima Petrovic. He was born in 1875, and studied medicine in Graz and Vienna. After the First World War, he was one of the members of the Serbian mission at the Versailles Peace Conference, where he served as a negotiator for veterans’ issues.[22] After Petrovic there were several young Pirot cituzens who studied medicine at Graz, Vienna, Kiev and Moscow during the first decade of the 20th century. One of them was Nadezda Stanojevic, born in 1886, the first girl from Pirot to study medicine; her brother Vladimir also studied medicine. Nadezda would become famous as an author of the first Serbian textbook on pediatrics.[23]

Closely interconnected with health improvements was an increasing awareness of hygiene. Perception of its importance gradually increased across all social classes through the 19th century, as its obvious positive effects on preventing infection and diseases became more widely known. Descriptions of the Pirot town and village houses from the first half and the end of the 19th century of the average inhabitant showed very bad hygienic conditions which were accepted as the usual way of life. The best information about this issue is found in the papers of the village teacher Vladimir Nikolic, who collected ethnographic facts amongst the oldest inhabitants and secondary school biology teacher, Lujo Adamic who was traveling and researching through the Stara Planina mountain range. He had interesting experiences with the local peasants and wrote short and useful accounts of his journey.

The majority of the houses in the mountain villages were built of simple materials (stone, wood, mud) with usually only one ore two dark rooms and a small window covered with paper. There was usually no ventilation, and all the family members would sleep in the same room. In the town it was different. The older and wealthier families there, however, usually had houses with several rooms and clean water for drinking, washing and bathing.[24]

Even in other regions in Serbia, the situation was not much better. For example, in the central region of Kragujevac, village children bathed only in the rivers, and only on feast days, while older people often did not bathe at all throughout the year. They slept in the same clothes, changing them only once a week. They worked hard in the fields all day and were in constant interaction with livestock. The consequences of such behaviors were infectious diseases, different kinds of fever, respiratory diseases, various digestive problems and syphilis.[25]

In Dr. Sienkievicz`s account for 1883, we learn that at that time there were no public baths, though in the previous period (until 1878) there had been several Turkish baths in Pirot. According to Dr. Sienkievicz, town people did not have the habit of swimming and washing in the river. During the recruiting procedure, he saw that many boys did not bathe for two or three years.[26] Public places such as restaurants, cafes and hostels were usually dirty and full of various insects, so the local administration provided measures of strict health control. There was prostitution in the town in the last decades of the 19th century, which was hard to control. In 1883 there was a special place for such girls in the same time at a coffee shop. However, there were women who worked as prostitutes in their own homes and constantly there was medical inspection.[27]

Since all of the peasants and many of the town inhabitants worked on the land and with cattle as an additional occupation, their health condition depended on the health of the cattle. In the period of the Turkish reign, there were veterinarians, but the blacksmiths also had to treat some of the livestock’s medical problems.[28]

In order to comprehend the place of Pirot as a small community in Europe and better understand health conditions before and after the liberation, it would be useful to make a comparison with other small towns or regions. While precise and constant accounts about the health situation exist for Pirot only after 1878, in small communities in Sweden such as Linkoping, such records were a standard after 1749. In Denmark after 1829 such regular records are found.[29] At the beginning, accounts were written by local priests; after 1860 it was a task for the local doctors. Yet even in Sweden, there were similar problems as in the Balkans.[30]

Undoubtedly, the most interesting and complete medical account is Dr. Sienkievicz`s, from 1883. This very important document is not only a report about the health situation in the county, but proof of endeavors and new initiatives in medical care. In the main part of the account, after long and precise narrative descriptions followed by many analyses and suggestions, it concludes with 43 causes of death written in Latin and arranged by months. After that, there are facts about mortality arranged by sex and age. Dr. Sienkievicz wrote about food, hygienic conditions in the schools, prisons and coffee shops and analyzed the situation particularly concerning smallpox, prostitution and livestock.[31]

Linkoping in Sweden was a mid-sized provincial town in the 19th century, similar to Pirot in Serbia. Linkoping had 2,680 inhabitants in 1800, but by the beginning of the 20th century around 15,000 citizens[32]. However, despite the fact that the Swedish began to care for the official statistics about the health situation decades before the Serbs in Pirot, medical problems were almost the same in both towns. Infectious diseases, particularly respiratory diseases (17 percent of mortal cases), were most dangerous for both Swedish and Serbian provincial towns. The most dangerous disease for children in Linkoping was smallpox, the cause of death in 5 percent of cases, but vaccination began as early as 1802.[33] It is interesting to note that at that time directions for smallpox healing were being made in Pirot’s Lekarusa.[34] Inherited syphilis was a significant problem for Linkoping in the 1850s, as well as for Pirot in the 1880s.[35] Pirot citizens suffered from diphtheria and scarlet fever, almost as much as Linkoping‘s inhabitants during the second part of the 19th century, when the town lost many people to the disease. At the time this was common, even for metropolises like London.[36]

Indeed, big European towns often had similar problems to Pirot. In Lyon in France, waste waters were directed into the Rhone.[37] Pirot’s citizens did the same in their town, with the River Nisava. In Marseilles in 1886, out of 32,653 recorded houses, more than 14,000 had no capacity for disposal of waste; these people would thus throw away their trash in the gutters, directly onto the streets. If we take into consideration the size of Marseilles, and its location in a highly developed country like France, the shortage of bathrooms in many houses in small and provincial Pirot is not something out of the ordinary. In Dr. Sienkievicz`s account and in the papers of the teacher Vladimir Nikolic, we learn that only a small number of Turkish, Jewish and wealthy Serbian homes had bathrooms. At the time, even Paris had not been rid of infectious disease on a large scale- something that was an everyday fact for Balkan provincial towns like Pirot. For example, because of unhygienic houses in Paris, 33.9 percent of citizens lived in impoverished conditions; some 19.3 percent of inhabitants in the rest of the city died of cholera in 1832. After this epidemic, typhus came in two big waves in 1873 and 1882. Two years later, cholera was again the main cause of death in Paris.[38]

Further, even in highly developed France the practice of pseudo-medicine was widespread due to longstanding tradition, inherited customs, the existence of various spell-casters and the prevalence of uneducated priests. Of course, such conditions characterized the healing science in 19th-century Serbia, a small Balkan country which was somewhere between an Oriental province under the dominant Turkish influence and a majority Orthodox Christian society prepared to accept every kind of Western European values.[39] One of these values was modern medical care.

Considering its relative disadvantages, these examples and comparisons with other towns and cities in Europe reflect rather well on little Pirot. In little over a hundred years, Pirot went from being a town living in almost constant fear of various diseases, a place with no organized medical care, to a community which, while still provincial, could boast a county hospital and educated doctors capable of working in any town in Europe.



 

[1] ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã­. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ãº. ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, p. 21.

 

[2] ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1801-1883. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž I, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ 1981, pp. 384-385, 406-407.

 

[3] ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã­. ˆšÃªÂ¬ÃºˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã²ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã»ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã¶ˆšÃªÂ¬Âµ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¸ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬Âµ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¸ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Âµ ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‰ ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‰ 4. ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¥ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‰ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž 1880, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ˆšÃªÂ¬Â±ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ« 3 (1971) p. 86.

 

[4] ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1801-1883. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž I, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ 1981, pp. 468-469.

 

[5] I. Loudon, Doctors and Their Transport, 1750-1914, Medical History 45 (2001) pp. 185-206.

 

[6] ˆšÃªÂ¬Ãº. ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃ«Â¬Ã²ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã¡ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã®ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Â°ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã²ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ (1848-1904), ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ˆšÃªÂ¬Â±ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ« 11-12 (1984) p. 223.

 

[7] Ibid, pp. 221-227.

 

[8] ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1883-1893. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž II, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡, 1982, p. 18.

 

[9] ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1801-1883. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž I, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡, 1981, pp. 699-670.

 

[10] Ibid, pp. 670-671.

 

[11] http://www.sld.org.yu/sr/istorijat.asp

 

[12] http://www.zcpirot.co.yu/hirurgija.htm

 

[13] ˆšÃªÂ¬Ãº. ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃ«Â¬Ã²ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã¡ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, p. 226.

 

[14] ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1894-1918. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž III, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡, 1982, pp. 553-554.

 

[15] ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã­. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ãº. ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, p. 21.

 

[16] ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã«. ˆšÃªÂ¬ÃµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, p. 177.

 

[17] ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1801-1883. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž I, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡, 1981, pp. 133-134.

 

[18] ˆšÃªÂ¬Ãº. ˆšÃªÂ¬Â°ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‘ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, pp. 48-49.

 

[19] ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã­. ˆšÃªÂ¬ÃºˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã²ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, pp. 89-91.

 

[20] Ibid, p. 252.

 

[21] Ibid, pp. 252-254.

 

[22] ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã­. ˆšÃªÂ¬Â°ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã²ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬ÃµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‰ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã– ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã¶ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž ˆšÃªÂ¬Â°ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¥ ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ ˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‰ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž ˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«?, ˆšÃªÂ¬Â°ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¸ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‰ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦. ˆšÃªÂ¬Â°ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¸ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂºˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬ÃœˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž, ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã«ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¥ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ 1972, pp. 199-200.

 

[23] ˆšÃªÂ¬Ãº. ˆšÃªÂ¬ÃºˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃª  ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã² ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã–ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‰ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã²ˆšÃªÂ¬Âµ ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‰ ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‰, ˆšÃª ¢ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã–ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‰ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã²ˆšÃªÂ¬Âµ ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‰ ˆšÃªÂ¬Â°ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Â±ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã²ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ, ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã«ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¥ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ 2002, p. 389.

 

[24] ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1894-1918. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž III, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ 1982, p. 19; ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã­. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ãº. ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦, p. 31.

 

[25] ˆšÃª?. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã­ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‰ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬ÃœˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‰ ˆšÃªÂ¬Â°ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Â±ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã²ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬Âº 19. ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž, ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã«ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¥ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ 2002, pp. 85-86.

 

[26] ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1883-1893. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž II, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ 1982, p. 3.

 

[27] Ibid, pp. 15-16.

 

[28] Ibid, pp. 166, 168.

 

[29] A. Lokke, Infant Mortality in Nineteenth Century Denmark, Hygeia Internationalis. An Interdisciplinary Journal for the History of Public Health, 3 (2002) p. 144.

 

[30] M. Bengsston, The Interpretation of Cause of Death Among Infants, Hygeia Internationalis. An Interdisciplinary Journal for the History of Public Health, 3 (2002) pp. 54-55.

 

[31] ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1883-1893. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž II, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡, 1982, pp. 1-19.

 

[32] M. Bengsston, The Interpretation of Cause of Death Among Infants, Hygeia Internationalis. An Interdisciplinary Journal for the History of Public Health, 3 (2002) p. 62.

 

[33] Ibid, pp. 64-65.

 

[34] Pirot Lekarusa, p. 13b.

 

[35] M. Bengsston, The Interpretation of Cause of Death Among Infants, Hygeia Internationalis. An Interdisciplinary Journal for the History of Public Health, 3 (2002) p. 69; ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1883-1893. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž II, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡, 1982, p. 10.

 

[36] Ibid, p. 71; A. Tanner, Scarlatina and Sewer Smells: Metropolitan Public Health Records (1850-1920) Hygeia Internationalis. An Interdisciplinary Journal for the History of Public Health, 1 (1999) 37-47.

 

[37] ˆšÃª  . ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Î©, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¸ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ, ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã²ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã²ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¸ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¥ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‚ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž 4, ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¸ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃªÂ¬Â§. ˆšÃª?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã²ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã±. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã®ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Â±ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ, ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã«ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¥ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥, 2003, pp. 270-71.

 

[38] Ibid, pp. 289-290.

 

[39] ˆšÃª?. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¶ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Â±ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Î©, ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‰ˆšÃ«Â¬ÃœˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¸ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‰ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã¶ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž, ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã²ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã²ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¸ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¥ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‚ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž 4, ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¸ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃªÂ¬Â§. ˆšÃª?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã²ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã±.. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã®ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Â±ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ, ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã«ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¥ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥, 2003, p. 483.

Spells, Herbs and Surgery: Medical Care in a Provincial Balkan Town in the 19th Century (2)

By Dejan Ciric

In the second of a three-part series, Serbian historian Dejan Ciric details those fun diseases — up to and including the plague — that periodically devastated the Balkans in the 19th century.

Owing to its specific geographic location in the center of the Balkans, midway on the road between the two significant cities of Nis and Sofia, Pirot very often fell victim to infectious diseases. Many armies which penetrated from the Orient into the heart of Europe and vice versa brought various illnesses. Many merchants, who brought different goods from the Levant to the Danube region, carried in their bags smallpox, plague and other infectious diseases over the centuries. Less grand events brought diplomats, messengers and adventurers. In the period 1700-1850 in many Balkan regions, there were 126 years of plague- a significant fact illustrating the constant threat to the local population. Many of these infections were contained within small regions and villages, but several took on the appearance of mass destruction.[i]

Information about the first plague epidemic in Pirot during the 19th century is found in the Russian book Apostle, kept at the church in the village of Strelac. In this short note, we learn that disease came to the town in 1815, resulting in almost 8,000 deaths. Infections started from the direction of Sofia, and in 1813 spread to Pirot.[ii]

The second plague infection in Pirot started in 1838. It emerged first in 1834 in Alexandria, and with the help of sailors spread to Constantinople. The next year the disease passed into the towns of Thessalonica, Kavala and Drama in modern-day Greece. Carried by people who traveled very often, the illness spread from the north to the Danube and in the direction to the west, through Pirot to Nis.[iii]

Such events naturally caused the government of the Serbian Principality to take strong protective measures. Prince Milos decided to make stronger efforts at several border passes in December 1836, enforcing a quarantine that lasted ten days. At the same time, some Bulgarian merchants from Sofia brought news about plague in the region between Plovdiv (Philippopolis) and their town[iv].

However, the Turkish governor in Sofia who tried to take preventive measures did not succeed, and so the disease spread to Pirot in March 1837. In the beginning, there were only several isolated victims. Some of the citizens were saying that vampires killed the people, but shortly after, they would see the real deadly effects of the plague.[v] Widespread infection provoked great confusion and fear, so many town inhabitants moved to villages in order to survive. But disease spread to the villages. The consequences of this can be seen at the village graveyards of Trnjani and Krupac, which contain tombstones with five ore six names.[vi] One of those who was looking for safety in the Serbian Principality was the son of famous Pirot citizen Kostadin Filipovic. Many people were stopped at the border and turned back. Only a small number of merchants, solders, messengers and state officials were allowed to pass into Serbia during the quarantine.[vii]

During the summer, the disease spread to fifteen villages in the Pirot region. In the town itself, more than fifty people were dying every day. Very soon, the infection appeared in the small town of Bela Palanka, around twenty five kilometers to the west.[viii] Over three months, around 15 percent of the population was dead, something due, in the first place, to the low level of medical knowledge.[ix] Those with poor hygiene and their homes were the main reason for the very fast spread of the disease and large amount of victims. At the time, the local population had a custom of exchanging their clothes and footwear, and the activities of merchants, usually Jewish, who traded clothes made of wool and leather, created the conditions for the spread of infectious disease. Additionally, the Turkish population had its own attitude toward fatal diseases: they were taught that deadly illnesses represented destiny sent by Allah, and one of the 366 doors to Heaven, though there were many Muslims who sensibly tried to escape and save themselves while still on earth.[x]

Apart from the great state of fear and confusion, people were trying to protect themselves by keeping families in their homes, burning the clothes of the dead and their bodies, abandoning old houses and even moving entire villages. Many communities were looking for safety in the churches and from priests.[xi] The appearance of tuberculosis in Pirot was not an exception; it could be said that people were living with the disease every day, and suffered from it over their entire lives and through several family generations.

Not long after the liberation of Pirot in December 1877, the government started to realize a very difficult task to introduce some urgent measures in the field of medical care. At that time appeared the first county and municipal doctors, who noted the most important facts about diseases and mortal cases. According to an account of 1883, 25 percent of mortal cases occurred because of tuberculosis- double that of typhus victims, or five time that of fatalities due to diphtheria. This is one of the proofs of the very low level of hygiene in the local population of the time.[xii] According to an account of 1903, however, the situation was much better, because there were only 13 people ill of tuberculosis, and only one dead, though we can be sure there were more cases than noted.[xiii]

Stories about many sufferers could be important and useful for understanding the health circumstances in Pirot at the time. A teacher of Serbian language and literature in the Pirot Secondary school, Sima Popovic, presents a special case. He was working in Skopje and Prizren in Kosovo, at that time in the Ottoman Empire. Because of problems with the authorities, Popovic ended up in prison, where he got tuberculosis. In July 1900 he asked for and received permission to be absent from his job in order to heal (though he had not been working for two semesters in the previous year for the same reason). The next year too Sima Popovic was looking for a leave of absence from the Ministry of Education for health reasons.[xiv] There were accounts of several other teachers who were ill and out of their job for a time.[xv] In addition to this, because of the very bad living conditions of the children who lived in the school building in the village of Sopot, sixteen of them got tuberculosis in 1882. The Ministry of Education was informed about this and the school was closed for a short time. The county doctor suggested the same measures concerning sick schoolchildren in another two villages.[xvi]

Terrible hygienic conditions and very bad food lead to weak and sensitive bodies, vulnerable to various diseases. According to Dr. Sienkievicz`s medical account, it is possible to ascertain a general picture of the health situation in Pirot. During 1883, 25 percent of fatalities were caused by the infectious diseases of typhus, scarlet fever, diphtheria and dysentery. Various kinds of fevers were involved in 32 percent of all mortal cases. It is interesting that Dr. Sienkievicz noticed marasmus as a cause of death in 4.5 percent of cases. Most fascinating to note is that more than 50 percent of all mortal cases involved children of less than one year of age.[xvii]

In order to better comprehend these facts, we should compare them with those in developed countries. Fore example, in the USA, the mortality rate in children up to five years of age was 20 percent at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. The main cause of death there were infectious diseases (mainly diphtheria and smallpox), just as in Pirot.[xviii]

As a more effective measure against smallpox, healing doctors recommended vaccination; a priest, Dimitrije Cvetkovic, ordered in January 1881 that all clergymen must teach the local population about the significance and positive effects of vaccination. This order was enforced at all churches in the region.[xix] Smallpox healing was well known in the Pirot area decades before, but it had not been carried out systematically. The evidence of this can be found in the Pirot Lekarusa.[xx] Over the years, this measure showed positive results and became an obligation, so that by 1903 some 3,119 children in the county were vaccinated.[xxi] Similar measures were undertaken by many European states during the 19th century, so that by the beginning of the next it became almost a kind of national prestige.[xxii]

However, even this general improvement in living standards and conditions and better medical treatment could not help during the Balkan Wars in 1912-13. The difficult war situation caused a typhus epidemic in 1913, despite the fact that the local authorities introduced measures and the bishop of Nis resorted to prayers and extraordinary sermons.[xxiii] Pirot also had major problems in the fight against syphilis because the citizens of the town and local villages were so highly infected by the end of the 19th century that doctors thought the disease to be an epidemic. Many of them were sure that the infection had come to town with the many seasonal workers returning from Wallachia (Romania), Bulgaria and Constantinople. Dr. Sienkievicz did not prove this with evidence, but did suggest, as a precautionary measure, establishing several quarantine areas at the border passes and providing fast transportation of infected persons to Pirot Hospital. This measure were justified by the facts that annually 8,000-10,000 men in the region from the ages of 12 to 40 went away for seasonal work, and many girls from the ages of 17 to 20 were appearing at the town hospital with high levels of syphilis. Twenty years later, in 1903, Pirot County Doctor Grujic in his annual account wrote that the local authorities were giving special funds for the fight against venereal diseases.[xxiv]



 

[i] ˆšÃª?. ˆšÃªÂ¬ÃºˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž-ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž, ˆšÃªÂ¬ÃŸˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‰ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂºˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬Âµ ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ÂºˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž (1700-1850), ˆšÃªÂ¬Â°ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‘ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž, 2004, p 80.

 

[ii] Ibid, p. 75.

 

[iii] Ibid, pp. 33-34.

 

[iv] ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1801-1883. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž I, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡, 1981, pp. 71-74.

 

[v] ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã²ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦, 77-79.

 

[vi] ˆšÃª?. ˆšÃªÂ¬ÃºˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž-ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž, p. 99; ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã­. ˆšÃªÂ¬Â°ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã²ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã¡ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‰ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¥ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã¡ˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž ˆšÃªÂ¬Â°ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Â±ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã²ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‰ XIX ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‰ (1804-1878), ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã , 1996, p. 120.

 

[vii] ˆšÃª?. ˆšÃªÂ¬ÃºˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬Î©ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž-ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž, pp. 80-81, 88.

 

[viii] Ibid, p. 90.

 

[ix] Ibid, p. 9.

 

[x] Ibid, pp. 180-81.

 

[xi] Ibid, pp. 187-190.

 

[xii] ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1883-1893. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž II, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡, 1982, pp. 8-9.

 

[xiii] ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1894-1918. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž III, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡, 1982, p. 552

 

[xiv] Ibid, pp. 326-27, 362.

 

[xv] ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1801-1883. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž I, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡, 1981, p. 572.

 

[xvi] ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1883-1893. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž II, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡, 1982, p. 4.

 

[xvii] Ibid, pp. 8-10.

 

[xviii] A. Minna Stern and H. Markel, The History of Vaccines and Immunization: Familiar Patterns, New Challenges, Health Affairs, 24 (2005) p. 611.

 

[xix] ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1801-1883. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž I, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡, 1981, p. 537.

 

[xx] Pirot Lekarusa, sheet 13b.

 

[xxi] ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1894-1918. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž III, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ 1982, p. 553.

 

[xxii] A. M. Stern and H. Markel, p. 614; P. Domingo, The Triumph over the most Terrible of the Ministers of Death, Anales of Internal Medicine, 127 (1997) pp. 635-642; P.Skold, The Key to Success: The Role of Local Government in the Organization of Smallpox Vaccination in Sweden, Medical History 45 (2000), pp. 201-226.

 

[xxiii] Ibid, pp. 1036-37, 1039-40, 1042.

 

[xxiv] ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1883-1893. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž II, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ 1982, 10-11; ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1894-1918. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž III, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ 1982, p. 554.

Spells, Herbs and Surgery: Medical Care in a Provincial Balkan Town in the 19th Century (1)

By Dejan Ciric

In the first of a three-part series, Serbian historian Dejan Ciric digs through the unknown archives of Pirot to shed light on medical practices in the Pirot of yesteryear.

Our attitude towards our own body, and that of the other, has through the centuries reflected cultural heritage and social norms. It is the result of long lasting behavior and the fruit of climatic and geographical circumstances, but at the same time, and almost to an equal measure, it has been the consequence of the economic situation and opportunity for the successful use of cultural influences and the surrounding nature. The town of Pirot in southeastern Serbia, along with several other small towns in the region and many villages, were under the constant influence of their geographical location on one of the main transport routes in Southeastern Europe. This influence not only affected material culture; it also have very deep roots in the mental structure of the local population and therefore in the attitude to the physical side of their existence.

The period 1800-1914 in the region along the Nisava River (Central Balkans) is interesting for research in itself, due to the many changes in politics, economy and of course in the everyday life of the local population. Even during a first reading of the official governmental documents, memoirs, journey accounts, journals and newspapers and brief notes in the margins of old manuscripts and printed books, we can see the slow changes of cultural standards which were passed from Oriental to Central and Western European models throughout the last decades of the 19th century.

As in other Balkan regions before the national revival at the beginning of the 19th century, folk medicine in Pirot County was predominant. What is more, some elements were significant even during the first decades in the 20th century. The art of healing was usually transferred by the oral tradition and very often was found on the edge between spells and old herbal therapy. However, there was also written medical knowledge in use. The oldest medical manuscript in Pirot County is The Pirot Lekarusa (Pirot Healing Manual) created at the end of the 18th century.[i]

This small manuscript (17×10 cm) is one of the most important in the Pirot Museum‘s collection. This book is an interesting source of medical knowledge in the region and at the same time for local dialect research. The manuscript has been protected in a cover of brown leather and soft cardboard. It consists of 64 paginated sheets, almost half of them damaged on the bottom. The book has two parts: the first was written at the end of the 18th century, the second at the beginning of the 19th century. Originally, the Pirot Lekarusa was the property of Hadzi Pavle, a Greek who moved from Constantinople to Pirot. The first part of this short medical manual content has directions for drug-making in the Serbian tradition, but in the second part, there are Turkish folk medicine instructions as well.[ii]

Even during initial readings, it becomes clear that the authors of the Lekarusa did not have wide-ranging medical knowledge. What is more, their terminology is very unclear and changeable in accordance with time, place and cultural circumstances. Terms for diseases and drugs are very often folk names and descriptive phrases using many Greek and Turkish words.

In the text, recipes for cures are not systematically arranged in the frame of certain groups, so no system or order can be established throughout the manuscript. Drug recipes for the same or similar diseases are situated sometimes in two or three places in the Manual and often by using very different substances and diverse procedures. We cannot find the terms “drug’ or “healing’ because the authors always use several Turkish words or some descriptive phrases.[iii] It is very hard to be completely sure of the meaning of descriptive phrases such as “when the heart is aching,’ “when the navel are running,’ “for thundering ears,’ “for a child when his ball is falling,’ “when the breasts are hurting,’ “when the head is puffing up’ and “when the heart is puffing up.’

These phrases became the accepted ways to describe certain medical problems which were not called by a specific title because the medical knowledge was very simple and limited at that time. For instance, we find different recipes for drugs prescribed for eye pain at the beginning and at the end of the Manual, while for headache there are two identical recipes. For throat pain the Manual suggests something that is to us a very strange healing procedure: catch a frog, cut it along the body, add some yellow sugar and ammoniac-chloride and put it on the throat for 24 hours. Against toothache, the manuscript suggests burned deer horn powder and burned onion seeds.[iv] Amongst many interesting recipes, there are simple ones against back pain[v], against breast pain[vi] and earache[vii]. Recipes for drugs against high temperature are situated on three pages and the most interesting, suggests applying a compress on the feet, made of yogurt, rakija (Serbian brandy) and garlic[viii].

There are special remedies for eye and mouth infections and bleeding of the gums.[ix] In the Pirot Lekarusa, there are also uses given for rose jam- even nowadays a well known drug and a sweet for mouth pain in the Pirot region.[x] A wide range of infection diseases constantly threatened the local population, and there are directions for making two drugs against syphilis.[xi] Pirot’s folk doctors in the 19th century used drugs for yellow fever, rabies and smallpox,[xii] scarlet fever, deafness, crusts, suffocation, vomiting, diarrhea and nocturnal urination[xiii].

In the Manual there are recipes for plenty of drugs, emulsions, herbal teas and directions for healing; the manual even prescribes remedies against hair loss. One of them says that first the head should be washed well and then be smeared with smashed blackberry leaves.[xiv] There are also several recipes for burns, frostbites and a remedy for every kind of injury.[xv]

The use of folk medicine in the Pirot region was, however, much wider than what can be gleaned from the Lekarusa`s pages. Further evidence can be found in ethnographic sources or in other written documents, though they are rare and tend to be very short. For example, in the Psalm Book of a village teacher, Mane Pesic, there is a handwritten note giving brief directions about healing epilepsy.[xvi] Aside from the so-called hechim (Turkish word for doctor) who were recognized as skillful in medical problems in the town, in surrounding villages there are many various healers, magicians and spellmakers. Local people often visited monasteries, churches, various cult locations such as water sources, trees, cliffs and cemeteries. According to a widely disseminated public belief, there was a water source in a certain cave near the town of Trn (now in western Bulgaria) capable of healing eye illnesses, snake poison and madness. Amongst people who were looking for health in that water were many Pirot inhabitants.[xvii]

Fake medicine was not an extraordinary phenomenon in Pirot and particularly for surrounding villages even during the first decades of the 20th century, so the fact that a certain local woman, a religious pilgrim, was well known in the town for healing powers during the 1880s is easily accepted. According to her story, she had visited Jerusalem and brought back miraculous icons, parts of saint’s bodies and diverse amulets and miraculous water from a spring in the Holy Land. In her house, she built a sort of chapel and healed many people. All of her healing usually consisted of a little powder from the alleged body of the saint, prayers, spells and a recommendation of abstinence. Records show that this woman was punished several times during the 1870s, but because of this “persecution’ she became even more respected amongst uneducated people. All of her substances and equipment were sent to Belgrade by a local doctor, Yan Sienkiewicz, as evidence of the low level of medical culture in 1883 in Pirot.[xviii]

At that time, there was also a barber who wrote on his workshop window that part of his main craft was surgery. He also performed this job in the nearby villages. The barber tried to cure scrofulous to a 20-year-old boy, but it instead caused an infection and required three months of difficult recovery. Despite the chronic wariness of the local Orthodox Christian population towards the Muslim inhabitants, Pirot citizens in the 19th century very often turned for help to a certain local Muslim priest, called “Sheriff.’ According to contemporary accounts, he protected children from spells and heart attacks and pulled out teeth with his hands. This man was so popular that people visited him more frequently than an educated doctor.[xix]



 

[i] Regarding Serbian medicine from the early Middle Ages to the modern period see R.V.Katic, Srpska medicina od 9. do 19. veka, Beograd, 1967.

 

[ii] Dejan Ciric, LekaruˆšÃ–¬°a, Gate of the East, Gate of the West (CD) (Also: http://www.pirot.pi.co.yu/istkul.htm)

 

[iii] Pirot Lekarusa, sheet 11b.

 

[iv] Ibid, sheet 8ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž.

 

[v] Ibid, sheet 9b.

 

[vi] Ibid, sheet 9ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž.

 

[vii] Ibid, sheet 22b.

 

[viii] Ibid, sheet 23b.

 

[ix] Ibid, sheet 15b.

 

[x] Ibid, sheet 31b.

 

[xi] Ibid, sheet 3b, 9b.

 

[xii] Ibid, sheet 12b, 15ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž, 26ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž, 43ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž.

 

[xiii] Ibid, sheet 4b, 6b, 7ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž, 17ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž, 22b, 47b.

 

[xiv] Ibid, sheet 47b.

 

[xv] Ibid, sheet 6b, 17ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž, 24ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž.

 

[xvi] ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1801-1883. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž I, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡, 1981, pp. 182-83.

 

[xvii] B. Lilic, The Chosen Works, Pirot, 1998, p. 179.

 

[xviii] ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡ ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ‘ ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃªÂ¬‰¤ˆšÃ«?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ 1883-1893. ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¬ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆžˆšÃ«Â¬Ã­ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆž II, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂµˆšÃªÂ¬Â¥ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã². ˆšÃª?ˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃªÂ¬ˆ«ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃªÂ¬ÂªˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ãµ, ˆšÃªÂ¬üˆšÃªÂ¬ˆˆšÃ«Â¬Ã„ˆšÃªÂ¬Ã¦ˆšÃ«Â¬Ã‡, 1982, p. 18.

 

[xix] Ibid, p. 18.

The Language Game of Kosovo Diplomacy

By Nikolas Rajkovic*

Three key words have animated the policy-speak on Kosovo to date: “negotiation’, “compromise’ and “solution.’ These terms seem uncontroversial in their literal sense and have been accepted by the parties and the “Troika’ powers (the US, EU and Russia) without dispute. As such, the verbal landscape has been marked by the strategic use of this vocabulary. Yet the professed failure of Kosovo “status talks’ now suggests a profound disconnect between stated and actual meaning. The objective here is to critically examine how these terms have been used in diplomatic practice, with a view to revealing the contradictions between rhetoric and action which have fed this latest Balkan crisis.

Recent “Troika’ talks were grounded on a commitment to negotiation. Washington, Brussels and Moscow agreed that a lasting and sustainable solution was best attained through negotiated consent. However with the proclaimed failure of negotiations, that commitment is wavering in Washington and some European capitals due to the alleged inability of Belgrade and Pristina to make mutual concessions. However, does this depiction place blame on the wrong doorstep?An affirmative answer points to how Washington scuttled negotiations by announcing its intention to recognize Kosovo “independence’ in the event that “Troika’ talks failed. This created the bad faith incentive for Pristina to thwart negotiations and run out the clock until December 10. The “Troika’ negotiations existed in name only.

This point regarding spoiled negotiations brings us to the next term, compromise, and its similar misuse. The most commonly stated storyline is that Belgrade and Pristina failed to compromise. However, does this account match actual negotiating behaviour as seen? When one examines the conduct of “Troika’ negotiations between June and today, a noticeable pattern emerges: Belgrade offered genuine models of far-reaching autonomy (e.g. Hong Kong, the Aland Islands), while Pristina merely reiterated “independence.’ Indeed, Pristina did present a post-independence “treaty of friendship,’ but was that a bona fide compromise? In fact, at a recent summit in Brussels, outgoing Kosovo first minister Agim Ceku made no secret of his unwillingness to compromise when he hailed Kosovo independence as the “most predictable, unsurprising and unremarkable development in south-eastern Europe for generations.”

Thus we come to the final term — solution — and the current efforts to conflate its meaning with independence. The narrative is as follows: failed negotiations and inadequate compromise make independence the only viable solution for European policy-makers. The first problem with this claim is procedural; it runs afoul of the clean hands rule, which states that the Kosovo Albanians should not be allowed to profit from their own misdemeanour of failing to negotiate and compromise in good faith. A unilateral, one-sided statement of independence is perilous in that it provokes foreseeable and dire consequences. Here independence advocates should be taken to task for their ostrich-like disclaimers that they don’t know what will happen after independence is declared.

First, the historical record is unequivocal: defiant secession in most of the ex-Yugoslav republics has produced a series of bloody inter-ethnic wars. Second, one-sided independence is likely to prompt Kosovo’s Serbian-controlled north to “secede’ and rejoin Serbia proper, prompting attacks from the unofficial Albanian National Army and ensuing reactions from Kosovo Serbs. Third, Kosovo secession hands the ultimate Christmas gift to the populist Serbian Radical Party and secessionist forces within neighbouring Bosnia and Macedonia. Finally, the unilateral dismemberment of Serbia would fundamentally change the rules of sovereignty which have maintained precarious stability in the Western Balkans over the past 12 years. Plainly stated, Kosovo independence would herald that “all bets are off’ in the Balkans and elsewhere.

In closing, diplomacy on Kosovo has produced feats of rhetoric unmatched in actual practice. The present crisis on Europe’s doorstep is attributable not to failed negotiations but rather disingenuous diplomacy that has failed to make the ethnic parties ultimately responsible for their future. Such a result can only happen when the “Troika’ powers unanimously and resolutely declare that a true “solution’ only rests in genuine negotiation and real compromise; and anything less is poor fiction. The political end-game which must be sought has no home in the zero-sum theatrics of independence, but rather must be found in the politics of good and responsible government, bearing the flag of prudence and caution.

………………………………..

*Nikolas Rajkovic is a political sciences researcher at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy.

Kosovo auf Deutsch

By David Binder

Forget about status negotiations for a moment. The near-term outlook for Kosovo is unalterably grim: an economy stuck in misery; a bursting population of young people with “criminality as the sole career choice;” an insupportably high birthrate; a society imbued with corruption and a state dominated by organized crime figures.

These are the conclusions of “Operationalizing of the Security Sector Reform in the Western Balkans,” a 124-page investigation by the Institute for European Policy commissioned by the German Bundeswehr and issued last January. This month the text turned up on a weblog. It is labeled “solely for internal use.” Provided one can plow through the appallingly dense Amtsdeutsch – “German officialese” – that is already evident in the ponderous title, a reader is rewarded with sharp insights about Kosovo.

Occasionally a flicker of human frustration with the intractability of Kosovo’s people appears in the stolid German text. That reminded me of an encounter 44 years ago in the fly-specked cafeteria of Pristina’s Kosovski Bozur Hotel, occupied by a lone guest drinking a beer. He introduced himself as an engineer from Germany.

What was he doing here?” I inquired. “Ich verbloede,” he replied – “I am stupefying myself.” – (or, I am making myself stupid).

In this text, the authors make clear that Germany’s interest in Kosovo rests on its “geographic proximity” and its roles as the most important supplier of troops and provider of money for the province. Failure would mean “incalculable risks for future foreign and security policy” of the Federal Republic. The authors point out a “grotesque denial of reality by the international community” about Kosovo, coupling that with the warning of “a new wave of unrest that could greatly exceed the level of escalation seen up to now.”

The institute authors, Mathias Jopp and Sammi Sandawi, spent six months interviewing 70 experts and mining current literature on Kosovo in preparing the study. In their analysis the political unrest and guerrilla fighting of the 1990s led to basic changes which they call a “turnabout in Kosovo-Albanian social structures.” The result is a “civil war society in which those inclined to violence, ill-educated and easily influenced people could make huge social leaps in a rapidly constructed soldateska.”

“It is a Mafia society” based on “capture of the state” by criminal elements. (“State capture” is a term coined in 2000 by a group of World Bank analysts to describe countries where government structures have been seized by corrupt financial oligarchies. This study applied the term to Montenegro’s Milo Djukanovic, by way of his cigarette smuggling and to Slovenia, with the arms smuggling conducted by Janez Jansa). In Kosovo, it says, “There is a need for thorough change of the elite.”

In the authors’ definition, Kosovan organized crime “consists of multimillion-Euro organizations with guerrilla experience and espionage expertise.” They quote a German intelligence service report of “closest ties between leading political decision makers and the dominant criminal class” and name Ramush Haradinaj, HashimThaci and Xhavit Haliti as compromised leaders who are “internally protected by parliamentary immunity and abroad by international law.” They scornfully quote the UNMIK chief from 2004-2006, Soeren Jessen Petersen, calling Haradinaj “a close and personal friend.” UNMIK, they add “is in many respects an element
of the local problem scene.”

They cite its failure to improve Kosovo’s energy supply, and “notable cases of corruption that have led to alienation from Kosovo public and to a hostile picture of a colonialist administration.” They describe both UNMIK and KFOR as infiltrated by agents of organized crime who forewarn their ringleaders of any impending raids. “The majority of criminal incidents do not become public because of fear of reprisals.

Among the negative findings listed are:

The justice system’s 40,000 uncompleted criminal cases;

The paucity of corruption-crime investigations (10-15 annually);
The province’s 400 gas stations (where 150 would suffice), many of which serve as fronts for brothels and money-changing depots;

A Kosovo Police Service “dominated by fear, corruption and incompetence”;

The study sharply criticizes the United States for “abetting the escape of criminals” in Kosovo as well as “preventing European investigators from working.” This has made Americans “vulnerable to blackmail.” It notes “secret CIA detention centers” at Camp Bondsteel and assails American military training for Kosovo (Albanian) police by Dyncorp, authorized by the Pentagon.

In an aside, it quotes one unidentified official as saying of the American who is deputy chief of UNMIK, “The main task of Steve Schook is to get drunk once a week with Ramush Haradinaj.”

Concerning the crime scene the authors conclude that “with resolution of the status issue and the successive withdrawal of international forces the criminal figures will come closer than ever to their goal of total control of Kosovo.”

Among the dismal findings of the German study are those on the economy:

Sinking remission of money from Kosovans working abroad, a primary source of income for many Kosovo families, pegged now at 560 million euros per annum;

Some 88 percent of the land now in private ownership, meaning ever more sub dividing of plots, usually among brothers, leading to less and less efficient agriculture;

Proliferation of NGOs – now numbering 2,400 – the great bulk of which exist for shady purposes;

A hostile climate for foreign investors, frightened by political instability and the power of mafia structures.

A central issue in Kosovo is an “inexhaustible supply of young people without a future and therefore ready for violence,” the study says. The only remedy for dealing with this “youth bulge” is to open northern Europe’s gates to young Kosovans seeking jobs, the authors say.

In anticipation of a transfer of oversight from the UN to the European Union, the authors warn: “the EU is in danger of following too strongly in the wake of a failed UN and to disintegrate under the inherited burden unless they make an open break with practices and methods of UNMIK.” One of the experts they interviewed put it more bluntly: “the EU is inheriting from UNMIK a fireworks store filled with pyromaniacs.”

In the estimate of the authors neither NATO nor the EU or UN appear capable of self examination, much less self-criticism. The authors draw a picture of self-satisfied incompetents in all international organizations dealing with Kosovo.

However, in their depiction, Kosovans appear equally beholden to legend – in their case of historic exploitation – such that if they finally achieve independence, all will suddenly be well. In the past Kosovans could and did always blame somebody else for their troubles: Ottomans, Yugoslavs, Serbs. Now they have begun to blame UNMIK. But what will happen if they have only themselves to blame?

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*David Binder (born 1931) was a correspondent for The New York Times from 1961 until 2004. He specialized in coverage of central and eastern Europe, based in Berlin, Belgrade and Bonn. The current piece was published in Belgrade’s Politika on July 16, 2007.

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