Serbia's Secret War: Propaganda and the Deceit of History

Texas A&M University Press
8
Free sample

An entire piece of Serbian history is missing. And in the middle of the latest Yugoslav war—Europe's worst blood bath since World War II—Serbian politicians, propagandists, and revisionist historians have made a cynical attempt at replacing the missing piece by rewriting the Holocaust record: Serbs were not Nazi collaborators in genocide, but purely victims of the same atrocities that befell the Jews; and Serbian aspirations for a Greater Serbia are not driven by a murderous, nationalistic hatred, but rather are propelled by a victim's desire to lay claim to a safe homeland, a Serbian Promised Land. Thus has the current spilling of blood been justified.

Philip J. Cohen argues that the existence of such a propaganda campaign, emanating from Belgrade, began in the earliest days of the post-World War II era and, since then, has been reflected in the world media, as well as in popular commentary and scholarly analysis. More astonishing is that this campaign has been widely successful, particularly in Israel.

In attempting to not only establish but also explain the Serbian record during the Nazi occupation, Cohen takes his reader back into nineteenth-century Serbia to uncover the foundation of a political and social system that was partly built on ethnic prejudices and the glorification of violence. The rise of Serbian fascism in the 1930s was therefore inevitable—predetermined by the politics of power- and land-grabbing.

Remarkable for its broad portrayal and penetrating examination of the Yugoslav social and political experience, Serbia at War with History draws heavily on documents that have been previously unavailable to the West. Some of the written record has been translated and is published here, in full, for the first time. Destined to be regarded as an important contribution to the field, Cohen's careful study of the Serbian role in the Second World War will dramatically alter how scholars, policy makers, and the general public view the bloodshed in the former Yugoslavia—and how they will come to understand the reasons behind it.
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About the author

Philip J. Cohen, a medical doctor, has done extensive research on history and politics in the Balkans. He is widely published in scholarly journals and books."Dr. Cohen's book is of unique value because it serves two vital purposes: to document the often misunderstood and misrepresented history of Serbian nationalism and Serbian collaboration with the Nazis and to expose some of the myths used by Serbian extremists today in the former Yugoslavia to justify a new round of genocide and `ethnic cleansing.' As a result, it will make the task of revisionists and war criminals all the more difficult.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Texas A&M University Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 1996
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Pages
235
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ISBN
9780890967607
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Russia & the Former Soviet Union
Political Science / International Relations / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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This groundbreaking study reveals the extent of British military planning against the Soviet Union during the first two years of the Second World War. These plans, formulated on the widespread belief that Soviet Russia was an active and willing partner in Adolf Hitler's war of conquest, were designed to bring the Soviets to their knees and deprive Nazi Germany of vital raw materials, especially oil. Churchill himself was one of the leading proponents of action that would have led to an Anglo-Soviet conflict even as the war with Germany raged on. Utilizing many never-before published documents, Osborn challenges conventional wisdom that Allied hopes were pinned on a Soviet entry into the war against Germany and proposes instead that, had the Nazis not successfully invaded France in May 1940, the Allies might well have launched their own offensive against the Soviet Union.

Anti-Soviet rumblings began shortly after the Red Army seized eastern Poland in September 1939, and became more strident after Joseph Stalin invaded Finland later that year. Truly serious planning did not take place, however, until after Stalin's disastrous war with Finland ended in March 1940. Immediately following the abrupt end of that conflict the Red Army sent substantial reinforcements to the Black Sea region, the area most threatened by Allied attack. In March-April 1940, the British undertook secret reconnaissance flights to obtain photographs of important targets inside the Soviet Union. The swift collapse of France in May 1940 insured that British bombers were not launched against these targets, but suspicion lingered between Britain and the USSR throughout the war, contributing to Stalin's refusal to believe Winston Churchill's warnings that Hitler was preparing to invade the USSR in 1941.

From the sweeping changes of democratic reform to the bloody conflict of the Chechen Republic, 1993-95 was a tumultuous and critical time for Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics. During that two-year period, Frederick Quinn traveled the former Soviet empire as head of the rule of law programs of the Warsaw Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), part of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). His primary task was to help the new nations of the region write new constitutions and modernize their judicial systems. Keenly aware of the uniqueness of the history he was witnessing unfold, Quinn took notes of his experiences. The result is Democracy at Dawn - a vividly written personal, firsthand account of hope and nascent political and social freedom in a part of the world filled with vivid contrasts - drab cities and lively people, dedicated reformers and traditional governments. Quinn recounts the difficulties of many of the countries, as governmental and judicial habits held over from communist regimes, lack of equipment and supplies, shortages of food and services, and, in the case of the Chechen Republic, a devastating civil war all conspire against the formation of popular, pluralistic democracies. He cites frustrating bureaucratic problems, both with the various host governments as well as with the administration of OSCE and ODIHR. Quinn also recalls in fascinating detail his encounters with the new leaders of the region, such as Georgia's Edouard Shevardnadze. At the core of this powerful memoir is Quinn's admiration for the many people he encountered, from working men and women to the functionaries at the highest levels ofgovernment, who share a desire for democracy and constitutionality - alien concepts that they nevertheless desperately want to realize. And, despite daunting obstacles faced by the former communist-bloc countries, Quinn asserts that the case for democracy may be more hopeful than it might at first appear. Public discussion about new forms of government is widespread; intense media scrutiny is helping contain the ambitions of authoritarian leaders in check; nongovernmental civic organizations are growing; and the international community has taken increased interest in holding the new states to treaty commitments involving human rights, free elections, and the creation of independent judiciaries. Engaging and informative reading for the general reader interested in the new states of Central and Eastern Europe, Democracy at Dawn also offers sociologists, historians, and political scientists a valuable inside look at the rise of democracy in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain. It also will be of interest to judicial scholars concerned with the development of constitutional systems in new democracies.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Journalist Adam Higginbotham’s definitive, years-in-the-making account of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster—and a powerful investigation into how propaganda, secrecy, and myth have obscured the true story of one of the twentieth century’s greatest disasters.

Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering history’s worst nuclear disaster. In the thirty years since then, Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world: shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers its citizens and the entire world. But the real story of the accident, clouded from the beginning by secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation, has long remained in dispute.

Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a masterful nonfiction thriller, and the definitive account of an event that changed history: a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth.

Midnight in Chernobyl is an indelible portrait of one of the great disasters of the twentieth century, of human resilience and ingenuity, and the lessons learned when mankind seeks to bend the natural world to his will—lessons which, in the face of climate change and other threats, remain not just vital but necessary.
Transformation is still the order of the day in the polities of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe as they emerge from decades of communism and try to forge new identities, new economies, new societies. The Political Analysis of Postcommunism is a collection of articles by political scientists, historians, sociologists, philosophers, and others, each writing on a particular aspect of the transformation of society from communist to postcommunist forms.

Originally published, in English, in 1995 in Kiev, Ukraine, by the editors of the Ukrainian journal Political Thought, this volume presents the first-person views of people who have themselves lived through the changes. Filled with original ideas rarely available to western readers, the book presents cogent and often provocative views of what may be the most major sociopolitical change of the late twentieth century. Most of the articles focus on the experience of Ukraine but are applicable to the understanding of other postcommunist countries as well.

Most of the authors are Ukrainian scholars, but the credits also include Zbigniew Brzezinski, Sherman W. Garnett of the Carnegie Endowment, James E. Mace, now director of the Ukrainian Peoples Institute of Genocide Studies, Anna Makolkin of the University of Toronto, and Georges Mink and Jean-Charles Szurek of the National Center for Scholarly Research, France.

The book is organized in four major chapters covering aspects of social change most involved in the transition to postcommunism: political philosophy, transformation of political systems, political sociology, and geopolitics. Within the major chapters, several sections and subsections by different authors discuss aspects of the theme of the major chapter and the section. Thus, the book is a complex melding of the thoughts of many specialists in various fields. Topics include the stages of postcommunist transformation, Ukrainian-Russian relations and western policy, the geopolitical implication of ethnopolitics, the foreseeable future of the transformation, and adaptation strategies of former communist elites.

Political scientists, sociologists, and others interested in the progress of postcommunist society in the independent, formerly communist nations of Eastern Europe and Central Asia will profit from reading these thought-provoking early insights into the world to come.

When Csaba Teglas was confronted with the Nazi invasion of Hungary during World War II, the Soviet occupation following the Allied victory, and finally with the opportunity to escape the oppressive regime during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, he responded not with fear, indecision, or submission, but with courage, ingenuity, and hope. In Budapest Exit: A Memoir of Fascism, Communism, and Freedom, Teglas begins with the story of his childhood in Hungary. During the war, the dramatic changes that took place in his country intensified with the invasion of the Nazis. The Nazis' defeat after the terrifying siege of Budapest should have led to freedom, but for Hungary it meant occupation by the Soviets, who were often little better than the fascists. A twelve-year-old friend of Teglas was forced to watch the brutal gang rape of a Jewish family member by the same Soviet soldiers who liberated her from the Nazis. Despite the difficulties of life in Budapest, Teglas met the challenge when sustenance of the family fell on his young shoulders. One of the innovative ways he earned money was to employ his playments to extract ball bearings from wrecked tanks and other military vehicles that he then sold to factories. He also sold rubber rings cut from bicycle tubes to use as canning seals. Before the communists solidified their rule, Teglas obtained admission to the Technical University of Budapest, where he earned a degree despite constant interference in the University by the communists. The following years under the Stalinist dictatorship were the harshest, and Teglas and his family and friends lived in constant fear; some were even subjected to the communist jails and torture chambers. But rather than standing idly by, Teglas protested, sometimes quietly, sometimes more vocally, against the Soviet and communist presence in Hungary. During the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Teglas became more involved in the opposition to the communists. When it became clear that the revolutionaries were not going to succeed, he knew he had to leave Hungary to avoid retaliation for his involvement. Teglas recounts his dramatic escape through the heavily guarded Iron Curtain and his subsequent emigration to North America, where life an an immigrant presented new challenges. Teglas compares the genocide and tragedies of Nazi order in World War II and of communist rule to recent international events and ethnic cleansing in Central and Eastern Europe, including the former Yugoslavia. He also highlights the failure of the West to stop the war in Bosnia expediently and the possible far-reaching consequences of a "peace" treaty that aims to satisfy the demands of the aggressors while ignoring the rights of others in the Balkans. Even more, though, this memoir is Csaba Teglas's personal story of his youth, told from the point of view of a man with sons of his own. He found in America the freedom for which he had been searching, but he has raised his American sons to remain proud of their Hungarian heritage.
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