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[Yugoslav Childhood]

by Alenka Puhar, The Journal of Psychohistory 22(2) Fall 1994


1. Milovan DjiIas, The Unperfect Society, London: Unwin Books, 1972, pp.122-123; Djilas' quote of Simon the Beauvorr comes from Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber, Le Defi Americain, Pans, 1967, p.274
2. Ibidem, p.123
3. Milovan Djilas, Land Without Justke, New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1958, pp.71-72
4. DIllas covered several pages wIth detailed descriptions of various evil spirits, ap-paritions and devils.
5. Gavrilo Princip, letter to a friend, quoted in Vladimlr Dediler, The Road to Sarajevo, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1966, p.190.
6. Mihailo Lalic', Hajka, Llubliana: Mladinsl:a Imliga, 1966, p.23
7. Alenka Puhar, Childhood Origins of the war in Yugoslavia: Infant Mortality; The Journal ofrsychohistory, 20,(4) Spring 1993; Alenka Puhar: Childhood Origins of Violence in Yugoslavia, The zadruga family, unpublished.
8. By far the most famous Is still Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Gray Fakon ,London: The VIking Press 1941 or: Penguin Books, 1 984
9. Lloyd de Mause, The Immortal Ataturk, The Journal ofPsychohistoi}r, 15 U)~ Sununer 1987
10. Wayne Vucinlch: A zadruga in Bilec'a Rudine, in: Communal Families in the Balkans, ed. Robert F. Byrnes, Indiana 1 976, pp.1 78-1 79.
11. Vera Stein Erlich, Family in Transition, A Study of 300 Yugoslav Villages, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966, p.76. 12. ibidem, pp 76-84
13. Quoted in Ivo Banac, The Fearful Asyrrunetry of War, Daedalus, Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Spring 1992, p.144. The article offers an excellent insight into the problems of Yugoslavia, past and present.
14. Zel Jko Trebiesanin, Precklava 0 deteta a sipskoj kulturi, Beograd, Srpsl:a lcn)izevnazadruga, 1992, pp.263-268
I5. Erlich, Family in Transition, particularly chapters on the status of the father, the hus-band and the reshaping of the family. The author provided several interesting graphs.
16. This can be seen in all the media and all forms of art, but particularly in the so-called new folk songs, one of the most popular forms of expression. Of course, it can be detected in numerous interviews given by promment public figures. They often boast of never intruding into thek children upbringing, or helping with household chores etc., as this is definitely not a man's job.
17. For instance, the groups of young men, planning acts of terrorism against the Austrian authorities in liosnia at the begliming of the century, were convinced that the Habsburg authorities were deliberately fomenting the moral corruption of the population. Even the chance to get the education and to traveL which greatly im-proved during the decades of Austrian rule over Bosnia, were seen as the means for corruption, as these young men are losing the most striking features of the beauty of our race, absorbing in the gutters of Vienna, Berlin and Pans the ugliest side of Europe, which they later bring back among us. See Dedijer, pp.208-209. The same views were repeated by the right-wing parties during the thirties and are widespread in contemporary Serbia, with Europe usually -described as whore or bitch.
18. Erlich1 p.102. The possibility for sexual aggression and molestation was far greater in the communal families than in the conjugal families. Most of the 1 9th century travellers from Slovenia, coming fiom a different background, were shocked over the Imiliorality and corruption of the zadruga family life in Croatia; they expressed particular concern over the fate of children in the overcrowded households. They include Janez Trdina, Josip Jurcic and Fran Erjavec, writing their reports between 1852 and 1882.
19. Erlich,p.318
20. Erlich, p.320.
21.For instance Ivo Andric, the Nobel laureate, or Petar Segedin. Both wrote searing portraits of their early years, Andric in a collection of short stories Otrnc~ and Segedin in his autobiograph ical novel Djeca bozia.
22. They include authors like Miodrag Bulatovic, Danilo Kis, Andjelko Vuletic, Mihailo Lalic, Jovan Radulovic, Petar Saric, Milisav Savic, Dragoslav Mihailovic, Rastko Scepanovic, Millca Novkovic. The ones that showed some reticence were often asked for the reason. Here is the answer by Mirko Kovac, born in 1938 In Bosnia- Hercegovina: ~If I wrote down this biography of childhood It would be horrible. I often ask my-self nowadays, recalling those Incredible pictures: has it really happened? Whenever I try to view this life of mine, all those scenes, but particularly my childhood, I come to think It had not happened, that it was not my life at all." Interview with Mirko Kovac, Knjizevna rec, Beograd, March 25, 1 984.
23. Millsav Savic, Bolgarska baraka ,Beograd, 1969. The author was fiercely attacked for this hook, but Jast year he won the prestigious MN award for his fourth book.
24. Petar Saric, Sutra stize gospodar ,Beograd: Prosveta, 1982. The novel takes place in Montenegro.
25. My quotes come from the Slovene translation Jutri pride gospodai; pp.77,78,1 5 7.
26. The most shocking fictional accounts were written by Andjelko Vulefic In Dan haps-enja Vile Vukas, and by Miodrag Bulatovic in his many novels whose tifles in English are: The Devils are Coming, War was Better, The Red Cock is Flying Towards the Sky.
27. Milovan DIllas, Land withoutiusfice, p.86
28. Dragutin Subotic, The origin of Serbo-Croat ballads, The Slavonic Review1 no.25, June 1930. The recent English work on the subject is: John Miles Foley, Traditional Oral Epic, The Odyssey, Beowuif and the Serbo-Croatian Return Song, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.
29. Jovan Cvijic, Studies in Jugoslav Psychology, The Slavonk Review, 1932133, p. 382-385.
30. Ibidem. Similar views were expressed in many works, for instance in Dinko Tornasic, Personality and Culture in Eastern European Politics, New York: George W. Stewart, Inc, 1948.
31. Milovan Djilas, Land Without'ustice, p.39
32. Paul Parin, a psychoanalist horn Switzerland, born in Slovenla, served as a physician in Yugoslavia during WW2, mostly in Montenegro. He wrote several articles on the subject of emotionally disturbed partisans, as well as a book of memoirs, Zanesljiva znamenja spreminjanja, Liubi jana: MIC 1989.
33. lstvan Deak, Beyond Nationalism, pp26. It is an understatement to say they were al-lowed to preserve the zadruga4ype of life, as they were actually prohibited to a~i-ish it, until 1881, when the Military March or Border was finally abolished. This should be stressed as It clearly reveals the deep differences between the conjugal and joint families: the latter functioned as nearly perfect military units, although they were often described as democratic. The best recent studies were published in Vojna krajina, Zagreb 1984 and by Mtrjana Gross, Poceci moderne Hrvatske, Zagreb,1985. It seems important to add that the current war In ex-Yugoslavia, be-fore moving into Bosnia -Hercegovina, was waged predominanfly on the ground of former Military Border, meaning about two thirds of today Croatia, and a lot of it is stifi under occupation.
34. Jovan Cvijlc1 Studies in Jugoslav psychology, The Slavonic Review, 1933.
35. Milovan Djilas, Land WithoutJustice, p.49-SI. The copy of the book I read and quot-ed from was used by VIadirur Dedijer years ago. As he was Djilas' friend and was in-terested In the violent men of Yugoslavia, wishing to write a proper study of these bewildering heroic personalities, he put down interesting remarks on the margins of the book. The passage I quote is accompanied by his statement that Milovan Djilas used to beat his wife brutally, aimost killlng her on at least one occasion.
36. Such a scene was described by Miodrag Bulatovic from Montenegro, In Najveca tajna sveta, published in Vuk I zvono, Beograd-Zagreb, 1983, p.74. The horrible scene takes place In 1937 and the baby is born crippled.
37. Rebecca West Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, London: Penguin books, 1984, p.492.
38. Lynn Barber, A real slow bum, a portrait of John Malkovich, The Independent on Sunday, London, 5 April 1992, p.10-12.
39. Based on many interviews the author gave for various newspapers, for instance Delo (October 2,1976), Jana (May 8, 1985), Interv'ju ('anuary 4, 1985), Danas (1une 27, 1989), MN Qanuary 1,1992).
40. To quote just one example: Treci put na pogresno) strani, Osmica, Beograd, Apri 1 22, 1992.
41. A. Makarenko wrote Pedagogical Poem, a long account of his work with the bezpri-zomi, orphans and abandoned children of post-revolution Soviet Union. He es-tablished a rehabilitation center1 based on strict discipline and hard work, which functioned under the patronage of the Cheka or secret police. Makarenko firrnly believed in collectivist values and was crincal of the urban family's overprotectivechild-rearing, After WW2 he was put on the pedestal of leading authority ali over Eastern Europe.
42 Momo Kapor, Provincijalac, Zagreb,1976
43 Ibidem, 46-SO.
44. Ibidem1 50-51
45. Ibidem, 259, 278-280
46. The best example are to be found in short pieces Kapor -has been publishing reg-ularly since the introduction of UN sanctions against Serbia, May 1992. Printed every Sunday in the Belgrade Politika1 they have a comrnon subtitle "After the first (second, third etc) week of the blockade" and are enormously popular. To quote the introductury sentences on December 27, 1992: "On the 30th week of blockade, instead of our losing the nerves the West lost theirs completely. It offered the strictest ultimatum: if Belgrade does not change its be-haviour in fifteen days, they will not only bomb our brothers in the hills, they will bomb us as well! We have been waiting for 30 weeks for them to do lust that at long last the way a man condemned to death awaits the steps of the priest, the judge, the witnesses and the executioner. The Germans, in their time, were much more humane: they bombed us without the declaration of war. When in 1941 the house crushed on my head, I did not even have the time to get frightened, let alone to develop trauma.
53. Erlich, pp. 184-18S
54. In The Journal of Psychohistory 20 (4), Spring 1993
55. I refer to the so-called first wave of nationalism, which was crushed In 1971. The problem Involved tells a lot on the nature of Yugoslav federal state run as radruga type of family: the more developed republics, mostly Slovenia and Croatia, voiced their resentment over paying their brothers' bills for ever and demanded to see at least what it was spent fon This should be stressed because of the frequent and over-simplified label of nationalism. Much of it is simply the quest for what is regard-ed quite normal in the West.
56. Alenka Puhar, Slovenski avtoportret (Liubijana: Nova revi ja, 1992), covers the de-velopment from 1918 to 1991; a short piece on the current war was published in The Journal ofPsychohistory 19 (3), Winter 1992 as A letter from Yugoslavia, in the raw.
57. See, for instance, Ivo Banac, Yugoslavia: The Fearfull Asymmetry of War, Daidalus, Spring 1992, accompanied by some cartoons as "a gallery of modem Setian Iears~,
58. Casper Schmidt personal letter to the author, August 7, 1984
59. I am referring to Richard L. Rubenstein: The victim as non-person, The Journal of Psychohistory1 vol. 11, Spring 1984. p. 60. Jenold Atlas, Understanding the Correlation Between Childhood Punishment and Adult Hypnotizability as It Impacts on the Command Power of Modem "Charismatic" Political Science, The Journal ofPsychohistory, 17 (3), Winter 1990.
61. Ruth S. Kempe and C. Henry Kempe, Child Abase, London: Fontana Books 1978.
62. The first stage of the process is covered by Banac in Daedalus
63. See, for Instance, a report by Clive Sinclair, -Self-righteousness and the Sets, The Times Literaqi Supplement, November 22, 1991.
64. Content analysis was published in Vreme, September 2, 1991.
65. 'clara Mandic, Evropska razbojnlcka demolcratija necenikad slomiti Srbe, Osmica, May 6, 1992.
66. Statement by Biljana Plavsic, a prominent politician, as reported in Vreme, May l 1993.
67 Reported in Delo, Srbija si zeli stare Rusije, March 18, 1993
68. Novoe ~emja, February 8,1993
69. Casper Schmidt, Trial Actions, TheJournal ofPsychohistory 1 1 (2), Fall 1983.
70. My English quotes come from Ivan Colovic', New Folidore and the Language o Hate, Bulletin Voice, Centar za antrratnu akciju, Belgrade, April 1993.
71. The most notable among them is Jovan Raskovic', whose pronouncements can be read in Lade godine, (Crazy Years), Belgrade, 1990.
72. From a rich collection I have created over the years, clippings mostly from MN, Duga, Polet, Danas, NON, Delo, Osmica, Nedeija, Miadina etc.
73. Translation from Colovic', New Foildore and the Language of Hate.
74. Quoted in Banac, Daedalus.
75. Aleksandra Sekulic', Pismo Evropt Vreme, June 1, 1992.
76. Alenka Puhar, Slovenski avtoportreL
77. Compare my Letter from Yugoslavia, in the Raw.
78. Quoted in Banac, Daedalus, p.151
79. Neal Ascherson, First, let's listen to what Serbs and Goats say, The Independent on Sunday, London, November 17, 1991.