THE LAST SERMON OF FRIEDRICH GRIESENDORF,
the 14,000 Serb officers who, if they agreed to submit to Germany,
were offered their freedom to return home to their families,
only 800 accepted..."
"The Serbs choose war"
by Ruth Mitchell, page 247
Friedrich Griesendorf, who died in 1958, was a very educated man. He was at one time a court clergyman for the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II. After World War II, he was a pastor in the Eversburg church parish where a camp of Serbian prisoners of war was located. Before retiring, he dedicated these lines to his German parishioners:
country lost the war. The English,
Americans and Russians won. Maybe they
had much better equipment, larger armies,
better leadership. In reality, it was an
explicit material victory. They took the
victory. However, here
among us is one
nation that won another more beautiful
victory, a victory of the soul, a victory
of the heart and honesty, a victory of
peace and Christian love. THEY ARE THE SERBS.
We knew them earlier, some a little and
some not at all. But we all knew what we
did in their homeland. We killed hundreds
of the Serbs who defended their country
for one of our soldiers who represented
the occupier -- the oppressor. And not
only that, we looked favorably when others
shot at Serbs from all sides;
the Italians, Albanians,
Bulgarians and Hungarians. Yet we knew
that among us in the prisoner of war
camps were 5,000 Serbian officers, who
earlier were the elite of the society and,
who now resembled living skeletons,
exhausted and spent from hunger. We knew
that among the Serbs smoldered the belief
'He who does not revenge is not sanctified'."
"We are truly afraid of the revenge by these Serbian martyrs. We were afraid that after our capitulation they would do what we did to them. We imagined murder, plunder, rape, demolition and destruction of our homes. However, what happened? When the barbed wires were torn down and 5,000 Serbian skeletons found themselves free in our midst, those skeletons caressed our children. Only now can we understand why our greatest poet, Goethe, studied the Serbian language. Only now can we comprehend why the last word for Bismark, on his deathbed, was -- 'SERBIA.' That kind of victory is more sublime than a material victory. It seems to me that only the Serbs could win such a victory, being brought up in their St. Sava's spirit and epic poetry, which our Goethe loved so much. This victory will live for centuries in the souls of us Germans. I want to dedicate my last clergyman's sermon to that victory and the Serbs who won it."
When Father Griesendorf said "This [moral] victory will live for centuries in the souls of us Germans" he had no idea that not only would German memory not last "for centuries" but the German sense of morality would not let German memory last even half a century. In 1999, German Luftwaffe, as a part of NATO aviation contributed in bombing Serbia, day and night, for 78 days. That was the third unprovoked attack of Germany on the Serbian people in the same century.
Once NATO conquered Kosovo, the cradle of the Serbian civilization, the German troops contributed in the injustice once again. They formed true concentration camps for surviving Serbian men, women and children. *RIGHT NOW* in the German occupied sector of Kosovo there is such camp. Please, follow this link to see the story of yet another Serb Golgotha suffered at the hands of the Germans.
But more shocking is what Americans, the Serbian nominal allies have done to the Serbian people. Close to the end of the war, on April 16, 1944, during Serbian Orthodox Easter Sunday the Americans bombed (not Nazi Croat capital of Zagreb but) the Serbian capital of Belgrade.
Where am I? PATH:
The truth belongs to us all.
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Last revised: February 29, 2004