Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia
 
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16.06.2020

Promotion of the book “The Journal of a War Surgeon” by Dr. Miodrag Lazić held at the Officers' Club in Niš




Today, the Minister of Defence, Aleksandar Vulin, attended the promotion of the book from the “Ratnik” (Warrior) edition, “The Journal of a War Surgeon” by Dr. Miodrag Lazić, published by Media Centre “Odbrana” of the Ministry of Defence, held at the Officers' Club in Niš.

A moment of silence was observed at the beginning to commemorate surgeon Miodrag Lazić, who died recently.

As the Minister of Defence pointed out at today’s promotion, this event is the opportunity to remember once again the true heroes of our lives – “all those quiet, patient, peaceful people who you don’t notice until things become really hard and unsolvable. Only then do you realize that there are people who are so brave and valuable”.   
- Dr. Lazić is a man who indebted not only the city of Niš, but all the Serbs, wherever they live. This is our opportunity to thank him. We published his journal in the “Ratnik” edition, where memories of our greatest soldiers and commanders are published. Dr. Lazić was one of them, one of the best and bravest, one of those people you wish you had known when you hear about him from those who spent their lives with him. This is a way for the Serbian Armed Forces to say what values we advocate, what kind of people we fight for, what kind of people we want to remember forever. This is our way, and I believe that everyone else and the city of Niš have reasons and ways to thank their fellow citizen even longer and louder, and to tell him how much they respect his life and his sacrifice – said Minister Vulin.

At the beginning of the promotion, the editor of the publication, Miroslav Toholj, pointed out that it is a book written by a great man and patriot, a great savior doctor who saved the lives of many civilians, wounded soldiers and fighters of Republika Srpska. Toholj noted that this is the 12th book in the "Ratnik" edition, which was Minister Vulin’s original idea, and the edition refers to both the armed forces and Serbian culture, which are intertwined.
 
Speaking about Dr. Lazić, as well as about the circumstances in which the journal was written, the author of the afterword, Prof. Goran Maksimović, pointed to three dimensions of this journal - historiographical, which depicts the events that marked the time when Dr. Lazić worked as a war surgeon, the second dimension is the inner emotional experience of a man who felt great pain because of human suffering and sympathy with their families and the third dimension, which refers to the geopolitical sphere, i.e. the events behind the war scene.
  Speaking about the importance of the book, he pointed out that this publication, 25 years after the described events, provides a new experience of reading and a stronger and more authentic impression of the journal manuscript.
 
- It covers the period of war from August 1991, when Dr. Lazić went as a volunteer surgeon to the Republic of Serbian Krajina, the spring of 1992 when he started to actively write his journal, until his arrival on the Sarajevo battlefield where he kept a journal until the end of 1995 and at the beginning of 1996, and described more than 3,500 surgeries performed at the war hospital near Sarajevo - said Dr. Maksimović and emphasized that the book describes a series of unusual destinies that make it "dense, dynamic, emotional and strong" and represents Dr. Lazić just the way he was.
 
- This is his book of deep devotion to the Serbian people. This journal largely demystifies the false war propaganda against the Serbian people in Sarajevo and the story about the false blockade of Sarajevo, because this is a story from within - said Dr. Maksimović and said that by reading the book "one learns a lot of truths".
  Addressing the audience on behalf of the family of the recently deceased doctor at today's promotion, Čedomir Ljubisavljević, Dr. Lazić's nephew, thanked for another opportunity to pay tribute to the famous doctor. He pointed out that the farewell to Dr. Lazić was unusual, in the midst of the epidemic and the ban on movement and gathering, but also magnificent, because an individual and society can find ways to adequately say goodbye to the heroes who indebted them.
 
- This book is his attempt to leave a mark and to erect another monument to these quiet, unknown heroes, but also to breathe a sigh of relief. That paper was his friend whom he looked forward to in difficult times –said Ljubisavljević. 

He thanked the Serbian Armed Forces and the Media Centre “Odbrana” for publishing the book and added that Dr. Lazić had great respect for the military and that he learned that in his childhood, because he was the son of a senior officer.
 
Before the book promotion in Niš, Nina Vujošević, Dr. Lazić’s daughter, pointed out that it means to her that the promotion of the new edition of the book is an opportunity for people to hear about the book, as well as about the suffering of the Serbian people and their sacrifice firsthand.  
 
She pointed out that during his life, she was aware of how much people in this region respected him, adding that she heard that he was “the most mourned and respected man, along with Patriarch Pavle, in modern Serbian history”.
- But I did not expect so much sadness, that the two countries in which the Serbian people live, as well as the Serbian people around the world, would mourn for him. Serbs around the world mourned with us and his colleagues. I am glad that he got the fame he deserved - said his daughter, Nina Vujošević.
 
The journal of the recently deceased Dr. Miodrag Lazić from Niš, from which passages were read to the audience, describes the struggle to break through the Posavina corridor, called the "the corridor of life", in June 1992, and then the struggle to save the lives of wounded civilians and soldiers at the Sarajevo battlefield where he spent four years as a war surgeon.
 
Members of the Lazić family, the Mayor of Niš, Darko Bulatović, the President of the City Assembly of Niš, Rade Rajković, the representatives of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed forces and numerous citizens of Niš also attended the promotion in the Officers' Club in Niš.