Page 705 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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student journals mushroomed.50 Youngsters were dressed in “national” attire, the Dušanka and Lazarica—a kind of a domestic version of the Hungarian fur coat. The cry was: Let us go to Kosovo! in a famous speech on 4 january 1861, the Serbian liberal leader in the Vojvodina, Svetozar Mi- letić, remarked, “Our God who saved Montenegro and resurrected Serbia after four hundred years is still alive and protects us.”51 Pleading for a Balkan federation as a solution to the eastern Question, Miletić proposed “Pri- zren, die alte Rezidenz der Serbische Könige and Zaren”52 for the capital of such an eastern Switzerland.
The result of this national fervor was the merging of all student groups into one “United Serbian Youth” move- ment (Omladina) in 1866. The central journal of the soci- ety, Mlada Srbadija, preached the resurrection of ancient glory “to restore the vigor of Obilić, to heal the wounds of Kosovo, to revenge its heroes—martyrs who died for free- dom—and to break the chains of a five century slavery.”53 From 1866 until 1871 the Omladina organized six general assemblies of its members. More nationalistic in the Voj- vodina, more liberal in Serbia, the youth clashed with au- thorities in both Hungary and Serbia; soon they split be- tween nationalists and socialists, which brought about the end of the movement.
The 1876 declaration of war against the Ottomans re- ferred to the “mission of Kosovo” and the liberation of Serbian brethren from Turkish rule.54 Prince Nikola of Montenegro addressed his soldiers with a flamboyant ap- peal: “This time we have to avenge Kosovo! Under Mu- rad i the Serbian empire was destroyed—now, during the reign of Murad V it has to rise again.”55
However, the “revenge of Kosovo” was more difficult to achieve than the Serbian nationalistic public realized. Defeat in the 1876 war brought disillusionment and so- bered the spirits. The 1877–1878 war was more success- ful, particularly because of the Russian involvement. in january 1878, a detachment of the Serbian army reached Kosovo, entered Gnjilane, and came to Gračanica mon- astery. it was enthusiastically accepted by the native Ser-
49 Skerlić, Omladina, p. 157; see also Živojin Boškov, “Uloga Dan- ice u stvaranju srpskog romantizma,” in: Ujedinjena Omladina srp- ska, Zbornik radova (Novi Sad, 1968), p. 519.
50 Zora in Vienna, Preodnica in Pest, Sloga in Segedin, Sloboda in Bratislava, Srbadija and Srpska nada in Beograd. They were joined by Javor, Danica, and Vila in Novi Sad. During the second half of the nineteenth century fifty-six Serbian periodicals were published in Novi Sad. Branislav Vranješević, “Štampa Ujedinjene Omladine srp- ske,” in, Ujedinjena Omladina, Zbornik radova, p. 512.
51 Nikola Petrović (ed.), Svetozar Miletić in Narodna stranka, Gra- dja 1860–1885 (Sremski Karlovci, 1968), vol. i, Doc. 22, pp. 54–55.
52 Die Orientfrage—von Svetozar Miletić (Neusatz, 1877), also in Svetozar Miletić i Narodna stranka, Doc. 47, p. 151; Doc. 78, p. 202.
53 Djordje Bajić, “Časopis Mlada Srbadija (1870–1872)” in: Ujedin- jena Omladina, Zbornik radova, p. 538.
54 account of a volunteer in the Serbian army in 1876: jaša Tomić, Rat na Kosovu i Staroj Srbiji 1912 (Novi Sad, 1913), pp. 45–46.
55 Zadužbine, p. 268.
The Tradition of Kosovo
bian population, which from 1875 had prepared an upris- ing. Some people even volunteered in the Serbian army. However, after less than a month the detachment had to leave the region due to the decisions taken at the Berlin Congress. Serbs from Kosovo sent petitions to the great powers and to Prince Milan but to no avail.56
The situation for Serbs in the region of Kosovo and Metohija deteriorated after the 1870s’ wars and acceler- ated the further exodus of the Serbian population, which was exposed to albanian and Ottoman pressures. Nation- al dreams of joining Bosnia and Herzegovina to Serbia were crushed after the Berlin Congress, which assigned the two provinces to austro-Hungarian occupation. Dur- ing the 1880s Serbian politics turned toward the Habsburg Monarchy, which supported Serbian claims in the south in order to divert them from the western Balkans. The convention which Serbia concluded with the Ottomans in 1886 provided for the establishment of Serbian con- sulates in Salonika and Skoplje in 1887, and in Bitolj and Priština in 1889.57 after the death of the Greek metropoli- tan in the Ras-Prizren diocese, a Serbian bishop was ap- pointed in 1896. The Serbian government inaugurated a national propaganda campaign, based on the promotion of Serbian primary schools in Kosovo and the restoration of medieval monasteries that were in ruins. The activity was organized and directed by a special Department in the Ministry of Foreign affairs in Belgrade, as well as by the St. Sava Society founded in 1886.
The Serbian Orthodox seminary in Prizren, established in 1871, also became an important center of national ac- tivities. The seminary attracted students from Montene- gro, the Sandžak, Bosnia, and Serbia, especially after 1894 when the regions of Pljevlje, Prijepolje, and Novi Pazar were detached from the diocese of Herzegovina and joined to the diocese of Prizren. in the period from 1872 to 1896 the seminary enrolled a total of 1867 students.58 after graduation they were ordained or appointed as teachers. The major motive which inspired these youngsters to join the seminary in Kosovo was its location. anton Farić, one of its students and later a professor, expressed this clear- ly in his poem Prizren sonnets:
God blessed me with the good fortune To see Prizren, the tall Dečani,
56 jovan Hadži Vasiljević, Pokret Srba i Bugara u Turskoj posle srpskoturskog rata 1876 i 1877–8 godine i njegove posledice (1878–1882) (Beogad, 1908), pp. 17–36; Vladimir Stojančević, “Prvo oslobodjenje Kosova od strane srpske vojske u ratu 1877–8,” in: Naučni skup Srbija u završnoj fazi velike lstočne krize, 1877–1878 (Beograd, 1980), pp. 459–460.
57 Russia established the consulate in Kosovska Mitrovica (1902), austria- Hungary (1905), and italy in Prizren (1907).
58 The later patriarch in Yugoslavia, Gavrilo Dožić, was among the students. Spomenica 50-godišnjice versko-nacionalnog i kultur- no-prosvetnog rada bogoslovskoliterarne Družine Rastko u Prizrenu, 1889–1939 (Skoplje, 1940), p. 285.

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