Nikola Tesla arrived in Belgrade on June 1, 1892, for the first and only time in his life.
He came to Belgrade at the invitation of Đorđe Stanojević, the rector of the University of Belgrade. In the big hall of the Great School, Tesla was greeted by students. And then he gave a speech that is still remembered today.
“I cannot express my joy, which I feel at the moment, but I am glad that I can always express my dearest pleasure to you, dear brothers, on this occasion, that I was and always remain only a Serb and nothing more. ..
It happens, gentlemen, that a man, far from his homeland, engaged in the business in which I am interested, sometimes forgets his name, his nationality and his homeland. But that, gentlemen, has never happened to me, and I hope it will not and never can happen.
Even if I am not among you, so that, like you, I can economize on the altar of Serbian thought as much as possible, I do another job, I celebrate the Serbian name in another way, and in another way, I work and try to economize as much as I can to my people and to my dear brothers.
And if there is any glory and merit for humanity, to be attributed to my name, then that honor belongs more to the Serbian name, to the Serbian people from whose environment I originated.
Brothers and comrades! Thank you for so much attention and decoration.
I see in you a young Serb, who has to work on the general task of all Serbs. You are the future of Serbia. As you can see and hear, I remained a Serb across the sea, where I am doing research. It should be the same for you, and with your knowledge and work, you should raise the fame of Serbs in the world, ” he said to those gathered.
Nikola Tesla died on January 7, 1943. He never saw Belgrade again, but he certainly had a love for his origin in his heart for the rest of his life.