Page 726 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 726

alex Dragnich and Slavko Todorovich
public opinion molders such as Wickham Steed and R. W. Seton-Watson, were plainly annoyed with Serbia’s stub- bornness. The latter twosome envisioned the new state of the South Slavs in terms of a Central europe constellation. They feared Serbian “hegemonism” and fell for italian scare tactics, portraying the Slav monster as “stretching from Vladivostok to the adriatic.” To them, the fact that em- peror Dušan (1331–1354) had one of his palaces adjacent to Scutari, that that city was the capital of the Montenegrin ruling family of Crnojević (1465–1490), that the widow of Serbia’s King Uroš (1242–1276) built her monastery there and lived there as a nun, that Scutari had a Serbian school as late as 1850, and that the city was ecclesiastically part of the Prizren Orthodox diocese until 1913—all this meant nothing, or very little.
Once again, the Serbs had an image problem in West- ern europe. again, the British Foreign Office had suspi- cions regarding Serbian motives. Serbian historian Milo- rad ekmečić writes: “The Serbian Government could not get rid of the burden which history has placed upon her shoulders—the prejudice in Western europe about the his- toric mission of Serbia, which is to open the door to the Russians in the south of europe ... Britain viewed Serbia exclusively from that perspective.” (Ratni ciljevi Srbije 1914 [War aims of Serbia], Belgrade, 1973, p. 437).
The albanian authors, Stefanaq Pollo and arben Puto (The History of Albania, London, 1981, p. 182), assert that there were other considerations. in explaining the admis- sion of albania to the League of Nations in 1920, they write:
“The unexpected interest in the albanian cause on the part of London was not unconnected with the petroleum wealth to be found in the albanian subsoil ... The Foreign Office told the Tirane Government that it could count on Britain’s firm support if it allowed the anglo-Persian Com- pany exclusive rights to prospect and exploit the petro- leum resources in albania. The Government accepted [the offer] and so, on December 17, the British representative, H. a. L. Fisher, declared to the General assembly that his delegation had undertaken ’a new and thorough study of the albanian situation’ which has convinced it that albania should be admitted immediately.”
La Journée Serbe by Steinlen
World War i poster, published in Paris in 1916, shows a group of Serbian civil- ians and soldiers as they head into the mountains. When invading forces from austria-Hungary and Germany pushed into Serbia in 1915, they occupied the capital city of Belgrade, and drove the Serbian army and accompanying civilian refugees across the borders into Montenegro and albania. One of the major engagements of the campaign took place at Kosovo, the scene of a battle in 1389 between a medieval Serbian army and an invading Ottoman force. The first Battle of Kosovo became an important symbol of Serb identity in the 19th century. Serbia Day was celebrated in june, to coincide with the approximate date of that battle. During World War i, Serbia was an ally of Britain, France, and Russia. Serbia was a bitter enemy of austria-Hungary. This poster is by Théophile alexandre Steinlen (1859–1923), a Swiss-born French painter who was one of the leading poster artists in the period of the Belle Époque (1871– 1914) in France.

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