Serbian Historians Must Enter Western Archives


    Historians and representatives of the Republic of  Srpska institutions studying the events of the past Defense-Fatherland War support the idea of Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić, who said that historians from Serbia should take a closer look at British and other archives from other countries in recent history.

    Dačić came up with this idea after the recent release of documents from the British archives showing that the top of the Republic of  Srpska had no plans to even conquer Srebrenica, let alone commit a crime in that enclave.

    Director of the Republican Center for Research on War, War Crimes and Searching for the Missing Milorad Kojić says historians at the center are already working to classify and study the available documents from the archives of the UK, as well as other countries. Kojic reveals that he has recently reached an agreement on joint work with the director of the Institute for Contemporary History in Belgrade, Predrag Marković.

    – A joint declaration is being prepared to define things more precisely, including the issues of access to foreign archives and joint work on the study of available archival documents – says Kojić.

    He supports the idea of ​​the head of Serbian diplomacy and says he is convinced that he made it public after speaking with Marković, who is a senior official of Dačić’s SPS.

    – We at the Republic Center are already downloading documents from the British and other archives that are publicly available and are working on their classification. I am convinced that after the signing of the declaration I mentioned, this work will be further intensified – says Kojić.

    Historian and professor at the Faculty of Philosophy in Banja Luka, Boško Branković, says that Srpska has the capacity to study foreign archives, noting that it hopes the authorities will recognize the importance of the work.

    – At both public universities in Srpska are enrolled students in the second cycle of studies dealing with the closest history and who are certainly capable and willing to study archives. However, one should not shy away because each country has its own rules and laws on archives, so in some archives they open after 25 years, sometime after 50, and sometimes after only a hundred years – says Branković.

    He adds that the British documents recently disclosed come from diplomatic archives and are certainly eligible for the study.

    Director of the Republic of Srpska Archives, Bojan Stojnić, supports the idea presented by the Serbian Foreign Minister, pointing out that the Institute of Contemporary History and the Institute of Contemporary History of Serbia are certainly the most relevant institutions for this work.

    – Of course, in the Republic of Srpska, when it comes to historians, we have the capacity to do that, but there is also a material moment. No archives can be explored in a day or two, and our historian’s stay in London or any other destination costs. In any case, and no matter what might be found, I support the idea – Stojnić says.

    Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić said that “the English, Americans and even the Russians will not give us things from their archives”.

    – Someone from Serbia has to go and study, to search. These archives do not contain information on Srebrenica alone. One can certainly also find in them whether Richard Holbrooke really promised the then RS President Radovan Karadžič that he would not go to The Hague – Dačić said.


    Source: Glas Srpske


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