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upon the atrocities committed by the Austro-Hungarian army during the first invasion of Serbia

Rodolphe Archibald Reiss

Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., Ltd., London
Published in 1916.

by Petar Makara:

    Professor R.A. Reiss was teaching criminology at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. In today's terms he would be called a forensic expert. He was world renowned expert in the field. To see list of some of his published work, please follow this link.

    This book/report Professor Reiss wrote after visiting sites of massacres in Serbia. He interviewed the Serbian survivors and studied the documents left after the invading Austro-Hungarian army was expelled by the brave Serbian people.

    "REPORT upon the atrocities committed by the Austro-Hungarian army during the first invasion of Serbia" was written in January - March 1915 and submitted to the Serbian government. The report has 192 pages. We have only a small subsection retyped for you here. We hope to present more in time.

    One has to keep in mind that here described atrocities were committed in World War One -- not World War Two -- but they are certainly reminiscent of atrocities that were perpetrated on the Serbian population, a generation later, during WWII cataclysm.

    It is no secret that the Serbs suffered horribly in the Great War also. It is only not politically correct lately to say that the Serbs suffered ever. According to the Western media Serbs are paranoid people who fear their neighbors without any reason whatsoever.

    This photograph is from:
    "World War I in Photographs,"
    by Adrian Gilbert,
    Barnes and Noble, New York,
    Amber Books, 2000
    page 33

    The caption under the photograph reads:
    Serbian civilians - both women and men - are hanged with military precision by Austro-Hungarian forces in Machva [North-East part of Central Serbia]...

    Notice that the photograph was made by the Austro-Hungarian soldiers themselves. They were not hiding these crucifixions they perpetrated on the Serbian Christians. Notice also that these are Serbian peasant women - as found in their homes - in their hand-embroidered suits.

    The atrocities of this kind were unknown of at the time of the Great War and the Western allies of Serbia were happy to use them to illustrate the merciless nature of the enemy they are facing. For the Serbian King who was dreaming (as well as the Serbian people did) about the times when all South Slavs will be free and united - this was bad news.

    In talking about Austrian soldiers committing the atrocities -- including on the unarmed, defenceless Serbian population that fell to their hands -- Dr. Reiss stresses that the soldiers who were Croats or who were of Mohammedan religion (Bosnian Muslims) were especially brutal and leading in the massacres.

    What could make these people who speak the language which is the same as the language of their victims do such things? How were the Serbs to unite with these people and call them brothers? The King wanted to suppress the Report. It was published anyhow. And it was referred to in many other Western books.

    True to their astonishing tolerance and altruism the Serbian Parliament declared "liberation of our Western Slav brothers" to be one of the main goals of the war.

    On December 7, 1914, the Skupstina [Serbian Parliament] had unanimously resolved that "Serbia's only aim is the liberation and union of all our Serb, Croat, and Slovene brethen".

    The above quote is from:
    (year: 1986), Volume 29, Macropedia,
    page 1075
    Entry: Yugoslavia, World War I

    One has to keep in mind that the Serbian Parliament did it AFTER and with the full knowledge of the atrocities here described.

    So intolerant people these Serbs?

    In retrospect the Serbian people did tremendous mistake and even a big disservice to Croats and Bosnian Muslims by leaving their butchers unpunished. No revenge was ever needed but the simple, decent justice certainly was.

    No justice met the perpetrators at the end of WWI. The conclusion they drew was that slaughtering Serbian women and children will always be for free. Any time a foreign might would invade the Balkans they would join the invader and repeat the orgy.

    The same butchers will commit unspeakable atrocities at least two more times in the same century. And every time they will remain unpunished.

    The second chance to slaughter the Serbs was during WWII. Then -- under Hitler's supervision, who was himself born in Austria and passionately hated the Serbs -- all Serbian lands West of river Drina (Krajina and Bosnia) were left to be under Croat/Bosnian Muslim Nazi control. Those lands would be soaked in Serbian blood.

    The perpetrators were not punished in the name of Croatian Communist Tito's declared eternal "Brotherhood and Unity." He protected them.

    And the third time for slaughter was at the end of twentieth century as the Evil American Empire decided to rule the Universe under Humanitarian Pretence. America, Germany (again!) and now tiny Austria (again!) were to moralize and protect their Croat and Bosnian Muslim murderers. Again.

    So cyclic the history of this tortured region has become that frequently the very same Serbian families in Bosnia would be slaughtered by the very same Bosnian Muslim and Croat families.

    Dr. Reiss' book is invaluable exactly because the evil empires of this planet would like us to forget. They would like us to forget - again and again - so that they can repeat the history of injustice - again and again.

    In his wish to put "river of blood between Serbian and Croatian people" Hitler could count on the wish of unpunished murderers among Croats and Muslims to continue their job of Serb slaughter. He was walking on already established path.

    In its desire to conquer the Balkans and to dismantle multiethnic Yugoslavia imperial America knew it could count on left over murderers of the previous wars. This is why America (with help of Germany, Austria and other Western satellites) revamped Croat Nazism and Bosnian Muslim religious fundamentalism.

    America was walking on the path set by Hitler. Balkans was to be Balkanized (cannibalized) again. Future evil empires can hope that bloodied people will not have time to recover and mend their wounds. Would enough hatred survive for the next conquest?

    Here is the content and a few (very few now) chapters we retyped:

    Chapter titles:

    1. Explosive bullets
    2. Bombardment of Open Towns and Destruction of Houses
    3. Massacres of Soldiers taken Prisoner or Wounded
    4. Massacres and Atrocities perpetrated on Civilians
    5. Pillage
    6. Causes of the Massacres
    7. Treatment of Austrian Prisoners

    Biographical note

    After the war Professor Reiss wanted to live among the Serbs. His will was to have his hearth buried on Kajmakčalan mountain, a place of heroic battle and the Serbian break-through at Southern ally (Salonica) front. Before WWI "Macedonia" was integral part of Serbia and Kajmakčalan was at the border between "Macedonia" (Southern Serbia) and Greece. This was the first foothold of the liberated Serbian land.

    Ever grateful was the Serbian people to Dr. Reiss. Serbian poet Vojislav Ilić Mlađi dedicated following rimes to him:

          Zavetna želja dr Rajsa

          "Kad mi se ovde, u zemlji srpskoj,
          Završi staza životnih dana,
          Želim da moje srce počiva
          Visoko iznad Kajmakčalana."

          I zaspao je s tom toplom željom
          I svoje lepe oči za navek sveo,
          Pošto je dao Srbiji dragoj:
          Snove i mladost i život ceo.

          Amather translation by Petar Makara:

          The final wish of Dr. Reiss

          "When here, on the land of the Serbs
          my path of days reach their end
          I wish my heart to rest
          high above Kajmakčalan." ...

          He fell asleep with the warm wish
          and his dear eyes closed for ever
          but only after he offered to Serbia he loved:
          his dreams, his youth and his life entire.

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Last revised: June 11, 2004