Activities - Comments

Swedish Royal Academy
Foreign and domestic public

Honorable Dan Larhammar, President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences,
we kindly ask you to use this letter of the Serbian intellectuals not only as a support to the writer, Nobel Prize winner in literature to Peter Handke, but as a defense of the freedom of political thinking of the artist.

Prof. dr Zoran Avramovic, scientific researcher, Belgrade, Srebia

(Serbian authors and scholars defending Handke)

From the moment the Nobel Committee for Literature announced its decision to award this year’s prize to Peter Handke, a political campaign against that decision was launched in a segment of the media in the former Yugoslav republics, in many Western countries, and even in Serbia itself. That campaign was directed against a decision concerning literature, but its thrust was aimed at the nonliterary, publicly stated positions of the Austrian writer. Such vitriolic attempts to demonize the prominent author’s views on social and political issues present a threat to the freedom of thought, which does rejects any approved assessments and predigested conclusions on the times, people, and events. Handke’s case provides an example of the attempt to abolish the right to free and critical thought.

Two far-reaching features of the campaign to demonize the Nobel laureate deserve attention. Most critics in the West and in the region of ex-Yugoslavia do not refer to his writings, but to his openly presented political statements about the role of the Serbs during the disintegration of the Yugoslav state, and about the late President Slobodan Milošević. It is particularly noteworthy that self-styled liberals and democrats are eagerly adopting totalitarian methods in their attacks on Handke the writer. Many writers who had the courage to write freely were routinely persecuted by various totalitarian regimes, and at times paid with their lives for doing so. Today’s critics of Handke’s views on the Serbs in the final decade of the twentieth century only renew the tools and methods used against writers in totalitarian times: trying to disqualify the writer for his views, not works.

Another consequence of such attacks is the worst possible accusation directed against the Swedish Academy, as well as Handke himself. Some critics allege that Handke justified genocide and the Swedish Academy accordingly discredited itself by awarding him the prize. This accusation demands two responses. All striving for the truth has to be based on scientific tools and not on the political, media, or judicial verdict reached by the judges’ majority vote. The term “genocide” denotes the extermination of entire national communities. In the twentieth century its victims had been Armenians, Jews, and Serbs. Secondly, no genocide occurred during the wars in the former Yugoslavia in 1991-95 and 1999. Any politically motivated manipulation of the term “genocide” in Handke’s case is an insult to the millions of victims in this part of the world who had perished in the course of the previous century.

Handke has never talked or written about genocide. He is being drawn into the narrative of genocide in order to demonize the Serbs, contrary to any true account concerning the exceptionally complex conflicts which accompanied the disintegration of Yugoslavia.

We raise our voice in defense of the freedom of thought, and against the harangue directed at Handke in some Western media. At the same time, we oppose the renewal of totalitarian methods which seek to deny the right of people to say what they think without being crucified for doing so, and without having their awards denigraded for reasons which have nothing to do with the literary merits of their artistic creation.
Serbian university professors, scientists, writers
Serbia, Belgrade, November 30, 2019

1.Prof. Dr. Avramovic Zoran, scientific researcher
2.Prof. Dr. Antonić Slobodan, University of Belgrade
3.Aničić Mikan, art artist
4.Arbutina Petar, writer
5.Dr Antić Deajan, University of Niš
6.Prof. Dr. Alečković Mila, University of Kosovska Mitrovica
7.Prof. Yves Bataille (Iv Bataj) Paris-Belgrade
8.Prof. Dr Bazić Jovan, University of Kosovska Mitrovica
 9.Beckovic Matija, Academician
10.Baković Blagoje, writer
11. Biković Miloš, film actor
12.Beсkovic Danilo, film director
13.Prof. Dr. Brdar Milan, scientific researcher
14.Prof. Bratina Boris, PhD, University of Kosovska Mitrovica
15.Barna Laura, Penwoman
16.Prof. Dr. Bojović Dragiša, University of Niš
17.Prof. Dr. Božović Zoran, University of Belgrade and writer
18.Prof. Dr Vladušić Slobodan, University of Novi Sad and writer
19.Vitezović Milovan, writer
20.Prof. Dr Vratusa Vera – Zunjic, University of Belgrade
21. Vojnov Dimitrije, film script
22.Prof. Dr Grubor Nebojsa, University of Belgrade
23.Dimić LJubodrag, Academician
24.Dugic Bora, music artist
25.Prof. Dr Danilović Nejo, president of the International Association of Methodologists of Social sciences
26.Prof. Dr Despotović LJubiša, scientific researcher
27.Prof. Dr Govedarica Milanko, University of Belgrade
28.Prof. Dr. Dušanić Jovan, University of Belgrade
29.Prof. Dr Davidović Lazar, Faculty of Medicine, Belgrade
30.Dr Damnjanović Jelena, professor
31.Đogo Gojko, writer
32.Đidić Ljubisa, writer
33.Prof. Dr. Đukanović Borislav, University Donja Gorica, Podgorica
34.Prof. Dr. Đurković Miša, scientific researcher
35.Djordjevic Mladen, film director
36.Prof. Dr Zivanović Nenad, University of Niš
37.Zlatić Bogdan, publicist
38.Ignjatovic Srba, writer
39.Dr Jovanović Bojan, scientific researcher
40.Dr Jankovic Slobodan, research fellow
41.Jovanovic Zivadin, diplomat
42.Prof. Dr Jokic Aleksandar, University of Portland
43.Prof. dr Jevtic Miroljub, , University of Belgrade
44..Prof. Dr. Jevtović Zoran, University of Niš
44. prof. Dr Jovanović Aleksandar, University of Belgrade
45.Jovovic Dušan, visual artist
46.Kanjuh Vladimir, Academician
47.Dr. Kanjuh Snežana
48.Kusturica Emir, film director and writer
49.Dr. Kanjevac Slobodan, president of the Serbian Philosophical Society
50.Kecmanovic Vladimir, writer
51.Prof. Dr. Kostić Aleksandar, University of Kosovska Mitrovica
52..Prof. Dr. Ković Miloš, University of Belgrade
53.Prof. Dr. Kovačević Miloš, University of Kragujevac
54.Prof. Dr. Kovacevic Voja, University of East Sarajevo
55. Kojčić Dragoljub, philosophy professor
56.Knezevic Milos, political scientist
57.Prof. Dr Kočović Dragoljub, University of Belgrade
58.Mr Kovac Andjelka, piano professor, East Sarajevo
59.Prof. Dr. Kostić Tmusić Aleksandra, University of Kosovska Mitrovica
60.Dr Koljević Bogdana Griffith, research Fellow
61.Lapčević Nebojša, writer
62.Lilic Milica, Penwoman
63.Prof. dr Lompar Milo, University of Belgrade
64.Prof. dr Marković Miodrag, Academician
65.Prof. Dr. Milošević, Bozo, University of Novi Sad
66.Prof. Dr Miljković Ema, University of Belgrade
67.Prof. Dr. Milosavljevic LJubinko, University of Niš
68.Maksimović Miodrag, writer
69.Dr. Miloradovic Nenad
70.Prof. Dr. Miladovic Sofija, University of Kosovska Mitrovica
71.Prof. Dr Milašinović Srđan, University of Belgrade
72.Prof. Dr Mitrović LJubiša,  University of Niš
73.Novović Dragan, lawyer, Novi Pazar
74.Nikčević Želidarg, writer
75.Dr Novakovic Nada, research fellow
76.Prof. dr Piper Predrag, Academician
77.Prof. Dr. Petrović Aleksandar, University of Belgrade
78.Prof. Dr Prelević Duško, University of Belgrade
79.Petrovic Miloš, writer
80.Petković Bratislav, playwright
81.Prof. Dr Pavlovic Biljana, University of Kosovska Mitrovica
82.Prof. Dr. Petrović M. Aleksandar, University of Kosovska Mitrovica
83.Prof. Dr. V. Popovic V. Radomir, Faculty of Seminary
84.Prof. Dr. Pitulić Valentina, University of Kosovska Mitrovica
85. Prof. dr Pijanović Petar, University of Belgrade
85.Dr Raković Aleksandar, scientific researcher
86. Рadonjić Miodrag, film actor
87.Prof. Dr. Radosavljević Ivan, University of Belgrade
88.Prof. Dr Rastović Aleksandar, scientific researcher
89.Prof. Dr Rakić Branko, University of Belgrade
90.Dr Raduski Nada, scientific researcher
91.Prof. Dr Reljić Mitra, University of Kosovska Mitrovica
92. Radulović Selimir, writer
93. Rosić Tiodor, writer
94.Prof. Dr. Radoš Jovo, University of Novi Sad
95.Prof. Dr. Reljić Slobodan, University of Belgrade
96.Prof. Dr. Stepić Milomir, scientific researcher
97.Prof. Dr Stanić Dragan, University of Novi Sad
98.Sladoje Djordjo, writer
99.Suđić Bojan, music artist
100.Dr. Srebro Milivoje, professor at the University of Montenj in Bordeaux
101.Prof. Dr Stankovic Vuk Dejan, University of Belgrade
102.Prof. Dr. Dragana Sarajlic, University of Kosovska Mitrovica
103.Selimovic Salih, prof. history, Sjenica
104.Prof. Dr Tanasković Darko, University of Belgrade
105.Prof. Dr. Tanasić Sreto, member of ANURS
106.Prof. dr Trifković Srđa, University  ST, FPN, UBL
107.Tešić Milosav, Academician
108.Terzic Slavenko, Academician
109.Uljarević Radomir, writer
110.Dr Hamovic Dragan, writer
111.Cvetkovic Petar, writer
112.Prof. Dr. Čolić LJiljana, University of Belgrade
113.Prof. Dr. Šljukić Srđan, University of Novi Sad
114.Prof. Dr. Šljukić Marica University of Novi Sad
115.Prof. Dr. Šijaković Bogoljub, Faculty of Seminary
116.Prof. Dr Šćepanović Mihailo, University of Belgrade
117.Prof. Dr. Šuvaković Uroš, University of Belgrade