Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

President Vučić Attends Presentation of Collection of Works of Milorad Ekmečić in Central Military Club

Today, President of the Republic and Supreme Commander of Serbian Armed Forces Aleksandar Vučić attended the presentation of a set of books “The Collection of Works of Milorad Ekmečić” held in the Central Military Club in Belgrade.

It is an edition of “Pravoslavna Reč” which published the collection of works of historian and academician Ekmečić in 15 volumes.
On that occasion, President Vučić reminded of the words of academician Bećković who assessed that the entire Ekmečić’s works can be phrased as a deep thought and supreme vision - it is with deep thought that he analysed the historical factography, and his supreme vision enabled him to see the future through the past much clearer than the others.

- Many years before his death, he predicted and described in detail the events that we are witnessing and living with great apprehension. He clearly saw the crisis in Ukraine and global economic downfall. Cognizant of and comprehending the causality and natural currents of historical developments, he did not have the right to be an optimist. However, he had every right, especially the moral right to warn us about all the challenges that the time would face us with. He did not base his patriotism and belonging to Serbdom on cries, and hatred, but on persistent documenting and analysing our historical material, no matter where in the world it might have been. With a delicate, almost poetic talent for details, he enriched his meticulous and studious approach to history, as a true scientific discipline - President Vučić said.

According to his words, Ekmečić bequeathed us a wish never to wage wars again.

- Deeply feeling what was experienced and survived, hoping that some who, among other, think about us, may conclude that the people who started various uprisings 11 times should not be called to arms again. The title of Ekmečić’s magnum opus is the “Long movement between slaughter and ploughing” which is at the same time the quotation of the great Andrić who had defined the long walk of the Serbian history of the postwar 1919 in precisely the same way. The title of Ekmečić’s master piece can be considered to be a one of a kind introspection, having in mind that the life of the very author moved right between those extremes - the slaughter and ploughing - President Vučić said.
“The two great wars”, underlined President Vučić, “which like the doom cut across the path of life of Milorad Ekmečić, can be observed as the breaks in ploughing, the difficult, the hardest ploughing, the ploughing and digging through our national history.”

- There are 78 holy martyrs from Prebilovci in his family, one of them being his father Ilija. That was the first slaughter in Ekmečić’s life, which he survived owing to a combination of fortunate circumstances, as still young pupil of an elementary school in Čapljina. The second time that he escaped similar or the same knife was in 1992 when he and his family got arrested by criminals and green berets. He endured with dignity shameless maltreatment after which he was released for house arrest. Knowing that he as a renowned Serb, perhaps the most renowned in Sarajevo cannot survive, he organised an escape to the territory of the Republic of Serbia - President Vučić said adding that the historian Ekmečić spent the remainder of his life in Serbia, admired as one of its most wise scientists, enjoying the world renown of an undisputed authority on the history of the Balkans, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Serbian people, Yugoslav area.

He said that ploughing was taken as a symbol of a pause in the long history of our creative work, adding that the covers of our historical books are embellished by frescoes of our rulers which always show batons, crowns and swords and a sceptre here and there.
- Contrary to that, the covers of our greatest historical best-seller shows a ploughman who, harnessing two oxen, steps on the plough thus making furrows in the rich Serbian soil that would bring vast fruits. We refer to Ekmečić’s stay in the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo, Zadar, Belgrade, Vienna and Princeton as his deep ploughing. The furrows that he made yielded many scientific studies which served for the education of the most significant scientific minds of our age. He became a member of the SANU Academy, the holder of the Order of Saint Sava, member of the Senate of the Republic of Srpska not because of his political but scientific and national work - President Vučić stated.

Expressing gratitude to everyone for this collection of works, President Vučić said that it was a great national work.

- These books should be everywhere as textbooks, in all our homes, and every house of ours should have this collection of works. Sometimes we learn something, sometimes we read it, and everything that those people underwent and left as a reminder for the future, for every child, and all those that are yet to come - President Vučić said.

Touching upon the speeches of his predecessors, President Vučić explained that in the world of supporters and in the world of emotions it is very difficult to find an angle from which one can protect and preserve the country without begrudging the heart and soul of our people.

- You speak about the Battle of Stalingrad. I am afraid that it will come to pass sooner than anyone expected. I am very concerned about the outcome, knowing what is coming from the both sides, not having doubts about anyone’s courage, resolve and audacity. I am afraid that today I can calculate and see something better. So the question remains - Where are we Serbs to go and what are we to do with ourselves? Will we manage to keep both the right and left banks of the Danube for ourselves, our people, not someone else - the President of the Republic stressed in his address.

President Vučić underlined that this should be the most important thing to us, and that we should look into the future with that oath in our minds.

- I had the honour of having two telephone conversations with Ekmečić. That was a man of peace and extraordinary strength, who perfectly felt what it is that Serbian soul and heart needs, unlike all of us, who in our political passion often go both left and right, and below the limits of propriety. Any time that he felt that he had went a bit too far, he would go back to his Serbian head and made unerring conclusions - said President Vučić.

At the end of his address, he pointed out that he was happy knowing that something had been done to ensure that the greatest among us were remembered by history, and that we took care of them, of our people and our country, Serbia.
At today’s promotion, President Vučić received a set of this capital editorial project of the “Pravoslavna Reč” as a gift.

On behalf of the publisher, the present were addressed by Director of the “Pravoslavna Reč” Zoran Gutović who underlined that the publishing of the “Collection of Works of Milorad Ekmečić” was the crown of the work done until that moment.

- Even during his life, we talked on several occasions, about publishing his entire written legacy, however, the professor was busy with continuous writing. The wish remained strong, even after his passing. Owing to the understanding of Madam Milena Ekmečić, the huge and important work was finished - Gutović concluded.

The preface of the collection of works was written by a historian and academician Vasilije Krestić who said that Serbian historian Ekmečić had understood even as a young historian that there was no the science of history without archival research.

- That is why, from the very start of his scientific work, he would roll up his sleeves, summoning huge energy, though he had a weak and delicate constitution, and he would arm himself with patience thus dedicating his entire working life to physically and psychologically by no means easy archival research. While writing his studies, he would search for required material in almost all, not only the largest but small archives all over former Yugoslavia - Krestić said underlying that he would find the material abroad as well in numerous cities all over the world such as Vienna, London, Moscow, Paris, Budapest, never losing sight of the main researcher’s thought, the golden thread of truth that he searched for.

Academician Slavenko Terzić, one of the initiators of the idea to carry out this project, said to the gathered that the publication of the collection of works of academician Milorad Ekmečić, the great man of Serbian science of history, was an extraordinary scientific and cultural event.

- In his persona and in his work, Professor Ekmečić combined the best intellectual traditions and virtues of our people, unfortunately sharing at the same time its Golgotha, from impossible to overcome tragedy of Prebilovci in 1941, to the confinement in Sarajevo in 1992. In front of us is by all means an exceptional and unique scientific work of Professor Ekmečić, in a wide scientific scope, from the uprising in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to the history of the Serbs from the end of 15th to the end of 20th century. Professor Ekmečić was a great master of scientific synthesis, as the highest achievement of historiographical thought and of broad scientific interests - said Academician Terzić.

The Editor in Chief of “Večernje novostiˇ magazine, Milorad Vučelić, who had interviewed Ekmečić on several occasions underlined that he was honoured to speak at the promotion of the collection of his works.
- First of all, we got closer because Ekmečić spent the last part of his life primarily publicly working as the associate of “Pečat” with two exceptions when he cooperated with “Večernje Novosti” and when he became the first winner of the award “Pečat Vremena”. I am especially pleased that today we have here the man at whose expounded initiative one street in Belgrade got the name after our Milorad Ekmečić. I hereby thank President Vučić because he is the one who did it - Vučelić underlined.

The astuteness of the wise great man did not sow prophecies, or mere descriptions of hardships, or road signs, but modern guidelines, Vučelić stated.

The Collection of works of Milorad Ekmečić contain all written legacy of the renowned academician, books that were published before, and scientific works that have not been published so far. Academician Milorad Ekmečić was a good connoisseur of general and national history, who managed with exceptional ability to analyse the present looking from the past, and to anticipate the future observing the present.
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The promotion