We hardly knew Yu
February 5, 2003 1:27 AM   Subscribe

Yugoslavia chapter closed: The Archduke, the Maverick Communist, and the War Criminal. After a storied, and often violent, 20th century, the (nearly) all-encompassing Balkan federation is no more, and what remains may not survive. Even in the shadow of a violent breakup, though, some former republics are moving on, though others remain a concern.

The roots of the region, of course, lie much deeper.
posted by apostasy (9 comments total)
Previously discussed here.
posted by apostasy at 1:28 AM on February 5, 2003

Not the same discussion. It was a plan then- it's done now. I know a few Yugos. Some grieve, some rejoice, some don't give a damn; pretty much the reactions BBC has showcased... Me I just wonder about a country that chooses to go by the initials S&M and
posted by talos at 2:36 AM on February 5, 2003

[arrgh ... continued]
...also wonder about the future of the precarious union of the two states and what this signifies for Kosovo.
Maybe all of the former Yugoslav countries will be reunited in the near future inside an enlarged EU?
posted by talos at 2:41 AM on February 5, 2003

Good links. I've been fascinated with the Balkans since I first visited the area 2.5 years ago. I stayed in Bihac, Bosnia for around 3 weeks in the Summer of 2000 while visiting a friend who worked there for the UN.

The mentality of the people and the roots of the various conflicts intrigued me, and I haven't really found satisfactory answers to some of the questions I have.

The geography is mostly very beautiful (what I have seen of it), but the destroyed villages with still clear evidence of fierce fighting (brick walls of houses riddled with bullet marks) was unsettling. Sarajevo is something I won't forget. 20 story apartment buildings with multiple 3 meter diameter holes from artillery, still populated in the rooms not destroyed by the explosions. The ruins of the CNN tower. Craters in ths streets and yards. It was unlike anything I had seen or have seen since.

I have several other connections to the Balkans. Besides living just to the north, in Austria, my two younger adpoted sisters were both born in Romania. In addition, I have several friends from different parts of the region, including a Kosovar Albanian who was my rommate for almost a year.

On a final note, the author of the lectures at your last link is rather friendly. He has already made some slight adjustments to the first lecture after a short email I sent him earlier today.
posted by syzygy at 11:10 AM on February 5, 2003

I have to admit when I saw the post the first thing I thought was "NewsFilter," but the last link raises it well above that; those lectures are an excellent source for Balkan history (and, at first glance, don't seem to be biased in any particular direction, almost miraculous when dealing with that region).
posted by languagehat at 12:40 PM on February 5, 2003

The MSU link looks very promising. On the lighter side, "www.titoville" is priceless (including his wives and other women link).
I've wanted to travel in Yugoslavia since seeing the film Hey Babu Reba as a teen. Some day-- and in the meantime, thanks for some excellent links, Apostasy. Looks like I have quite a bit of reading to do
posted by G_Ask at 2:32 PM on February 5, 2003

The last link in the post is fantastic. I am going to print out the whole lecture and read it.
posted by Mid at 4:57 PM on February 5, 2003

When countries are formed and held together by force and coersion it's not really surprising to see them revert. Given the chance at independence many of the Russian 89 "subjects of Federation" (21 republics, 6 krais, 49 oblasts, 2 cities of federal significance, 1 autonomous oblast and 10 autonomous okrug) might vote themselves out, which is why Russia is making an example of Chechnia. "sovereignty of republics is beautiful and good as long as it doesn't become a threat to the sovereignty of Russian Federation". Sounds familiar.
posted by Mack Twain at 5:51 PM on February 5, 2003

When countries are formed and held together by force and coersion it's not really surprising to see them revert.
The formation was not coerced. As this brief history of Yugoslavia states:
"The formation of Yugoslavia was outlined in 1917 when a committee of prominent Croatian and Serbian figures drew up the Corfu Declaration, calling for a democratic, constitutional monarchy. Again, this aspiration had its roots in the pan-Slavism of nineteenth century independence movements, and was bolstered by fears of German domination and Italian ambitions..."
More on the Corfu declaration.
See also [annoying pop-ups warning]:
"The disintegration of the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary in the final months of World War I gave tremendous impetus to the South Slav independence movement. In October 1918 representatives from the various South Slav dependencies under Austrian and Hungarian sovereignty assembled at Zagreb. After organizing a provisional government, the delegates approved a resolution for union with Serbia. The national assembly of Montenegro took similar action in November. Alexander, Prince of Serbia, pending recovery of his ailing father, King Peter I Karageorgevich of Serbia, accepted the regency of the provisional government on December 1, 1918. The new state, officially titled the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, was then proclaimed."

I think that this particular experiment in a limited "pan-slavism" was subverted from day one by all sorts of external factors. For example I still believe that Germany's policies in the late '80's and early '90s were a major factor in causing the war in Yugoslavia- and that H.D. Genscher should be in the Hague now next to Milosevic. But that's a different story maybe...
posted by talos at 3:20 AM on February 6, 2003

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