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Religious Wars? Southern Slavs’ Orthodox Memory of the Balkan and World Wars

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Abstract

In the context of the Balkan Wars and following the First World War, the veneration of old religious lieux de mémoire changed, for example with regard to Kliment Ohridski, Sveti Sava, Cyril and Methodius, and the Kosovo myth. Within the framework of Serbian and Bulgarian national movements, these memory sites had become important carriers of secular identities or visions of modernity during the nineteenth century, although initially their traditional veneration had been—in the cases of Cyril and Methodius—to a great degree Slavonic, or transnational. During the Balkan Wars and the World War, these discourses of remembrance became militarized and relevant means for the mobilization of the masses. They were used to legitimize territorial claims and military action against neighbors with religious fervor and nationalized historic narratives.

Keywords

  • Nineteenth Century
  • Church Leader
  • National History
  • National Movement
  • Territorial Claim

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    There are extensive chapters on medieval and early modern practices of veneration pertaining to the lieux de mémoire mentioned here and the relevant international research in Stefan Rohdewald, Götter der Nationen. Serbische, bulgarische und makedonische religiöse Erinnerungsfiguren (ca. 800–1944) (Cologne: Böhlau, 2014), 41–152.

  2. 2.

    Martin Schulze Wessel, ed., Nationalisierung der Religion und Sakralisierung der Nation im östlichen Europa (Stuttgart: Steiner, 2006). On Cyril and Methodius, see Stefan Rohdewald, “Figures of (Trans-)National Religious Memory of the Orthodox Southern Slavs before 1945: An Outline on the Examples of SS. Cyril and Methodius,” Trames. A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 12, no. 3 (2008), 287–98, http://www.kirj.ee/14120/?tpl=1061&c_tpl=1064, accessed 11 July 2016.

  3. 3.

    Jan Winter and Emmanuel Sivan, eds., War and Remembrance in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999); Nikolaus Buschmann and Dieter Langewiesche, eds., Der Krieg in den Gründungsmythen europäischer Nationen und der USA (Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2003).

  4. 4.

    Leontije Pavlović, “Korišćenje kulta Stefana Prvovenčanog u XIX veku u političke svrhe” [The Usage of the Cult of Stefan the Firstcrowned for Political Purposes during the 19th Century], in idem, ed., Neki spomenici kulture. Osvrti i zapažanja [Some Monuments of Culture: Reviews and Notices] (Smederevo: Narodni Muzej, 1964), 65–94, here 65.

  5. 5.

    Makedoniia, no. 10, 1 February 1869, 1.

  6. 6.

    Ibid.

  7. 7.

    Marko Balabanov, “Deloto na dvamata solunski bratiia mezhdu Slovenete izobshcho i Bulgarete osobito” [The Deeds of the Two Brothers from Salonica among the Slavs in General and Especially among the Bulgarians], in Sbirka ot rechii i skaski, narochito prigotveni i skazani pri urecheni sluchai prez turzhestvoto ot 6 Aprilij 1885 g. v Sofiia [Collection of Lectures and Speeches, Prepared and Held at the Celebrations of 6 April 1885 in Sofia]. Osobna priturka kum XIV knizhka ot Periodichesko Spisanie i na Bulgarskoto Knizhovno Druzhestvo v Sredec [Special Supplement to Vol. 14 of the Periodical Journal and the Bulgarian Literary Association in Sredec]; part 2 (Sredec 1885), 51–87, here 53.

  8. 8.

    Christopher Walter, The Warrior Saints in Byzantine Art and Tradition (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003).

  9. 9.

    M. V. Radonjić, “Borba za narodnost, s naročitim pogledom na prošlost polapskih Slovena, Slovina, Čeha i Srba” [The Fight for Nationalism, with a Special View of the History of the Elbe-Slavs, Slovens, Czechs, and Serbs], Bratstvo, no. 3 (1887), 50–104, here 88.

  10. 10.

    Ibid., 92. On Sava see Bojan Aleksov, “Nationalism in Construction: The Memorial Church of St. Sava on Vračar Hill in Belgrade,” Balkanologie, vol. 7, no. 2 (2003), 47–72.

  11. 11.

    E.g. Miodrag Popović, Vidovdan i Časni krst. Ogled iz književne arheologije. Drugo, dopunjeno izdanje [The Day of Vid and the Cross of Honor: An Essay of Literary Archeology. Second, enhanced edition] (Belgrade: Slovo Ljubve, 1977); Branimir Anzulovic, Heavenly Serbia: From Myth to Genocide (New York: New York University Press, 1999).

  12. 12.

    Andrew Wachtel, Making a Nation, Breaking a Nation: Literature and Cultural Politics in Yugoslavia (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998), 55–60; Maria Meštrović, The Making of a Master (London: Stacey International, 2008), 51–59; Predrag Marković, “Die ‘Legitimierung’ der Königsdiktatur in Jugoslawien und die öffentliche Meinung 1929–1939,” in Erwin Oberländer, ed., Autoritäre Regime in Ostmittel- und Südosteuropa 1919–1944 (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2001), 577–631, here 626–27.

  13. 13.

    Jovo Bakić, Ideologije jugoslovenstva između srpskog i hrvatskog nacionalizma 1918–1941 [The Ideology of Yugoslavism between Serb and Croat Nationalism, 1918–1941] (Zrenjanin: Gradska Narodna Biblioteka “Žarko Zrenjanin,” 2004), 181–87; Wolfgang Höpken, “Zwischen nationaler Sinnstiftung, Jugoslawismus und ‘Erinnerungschaos’. Geschichtswissenschaft und Geschichtskultur in Serbien im 19. und 20. Jh.,” in Walter Lukan, Ljubinka Trgovčević, and Dragan Vukčević, eds., Serbien und Montenegro. Raum und Bevölkerung—Geschichte—Sprache und Literatur—Kultur—Politik—Gesellschaft—Wirtschaft—Recht (Österreichische Osthefte, Sonderband 18) (Berlin: LIT-Verlag, 2005), 345–91.

  14. 14.

    Ivo Banac, The National Question in Yugoslavia: Origins, History, Politics (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1984), 202.

  15. 15.

    Höpken, “Zwischen nationaler Sinnstiftung, Jugoslawismus und ‘Erinnerungschaos,’” 358.

  16. 16.

    Noel Malcolm, Kosovo: A Short History (London: Pan, 2002), 252; Holm Sundhaussen, Geschichte Serbiens. 19.–21. Jh. (Vienna: Böhlau, 2007), 213.

  17. 17.

    Pavle Sofrić, Tri priloga za poznavanje narodne duše kod nas Srba [Three Speeches about the Cognition of Our Serbian People’s Soul] (Niš: Pavlović i Stefanović, 1909), 18.

  18. 18.

    Ibid., 12.

  19. 19.

    Tsurkoven Vestnik, no. 19, 10 May 1903, 2. Cf. Roumen Daskalov, Images of Europe: A Glance from the Periphery (Florence: EUI Working Papers in Political and Social Sciences, 94/8, 1994), 6–7.

  20. 20.

    “Sv. Sv. Kirili i Metodij—borci za pravoslavie i slavjanstvo” [SS. Cyril and Methodius—Fighters for Orthodoxy and Slavdom], Blagovestitel’, vol. 4, no. 3 (1906), 121–23.

  21. 21.

    Ibid.

  22. 22.

    Pencho Slavejkov, Kurvava pesen’ [The Bloody Song], vol. 2 (Sofia: Pridvornata pech., 1913), 45.

  23. 23.

    Ivan Vazov, Subrani suchineniia [Collected Works], ed. Georgi Tsanev, vol. 4, Lirika 1913–1921 [Poetry 1913–1921] (Sofia: Bulgarski Pisatel, 1976), 95–96.

  24. 24.

    Ernst Moritz Arndt, Lieder für Teutsche im Jahr der Freiheit (Leipzig: Fleischer, 1813), 114–15.

  25. 25.

    Katrin Boeckh, Von den Balkankriegen zum Ersten Weltkrieg. Kleinstaatenpolitik und ethnische Selbstbestimmung auf dem Balkan (München: Oldenbourg, 1996), 119–20.

  26. 26.

    Banac, The National Question, 292; Melissa Bokovoy, “Scattered Graves, Ordered Cemeteries: Commemorating Serbia’s Wars of National Liberation, 1912–1918,” in Maria Bucur and Nancy M. Wingfield, eds., Staging the Past: The Politics of Commemoration in Habsburg Central Europe, 1848 to the Present (West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2001), 236–54, here 239; cf. Melissa Bokovoy, “Kosovo Maiden(s): Serbian Women Commemorate the Wars of National Liberation, 1912–1918,” in Nancy M. Wingfield, Maria Bucur, eds., Gender and War in Twentieth-Century Eastern Europe (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006), 157–70.

  27. 27.

    Vesnik srbske crkve, October–December (1912), vol. 23, 841–53, reprinted in Nikolaj Velimirović, Izabrana dela [Chosen Works], ed. Ljubomir Ranković, vol. 12 (Belgrade: Glas Crkve, 1997), 102–13, here 105. About Nikolaj, see Klaus Buchenau, Kämpfende Kirchen. Jugoslawiens religiöse Hypothek (Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 2006).

  28. 28.

    Ibid., 107.

  29. 29.

    Ibid., 109.

  30. 30.

    Glasnik Pravoslavne Crkve, no. 12 (1913), reprinted in Velimirović, Izabrana dela, 20–21.

  31. 31.

    Ibid.

  32. 32.

    Thomas Welskopp, Das Banner der Brüderlichkeit. Die deutsche Sozialdemokratie vom Vormärz bis zum Sozialistengesetz (Bonn: J.H.W. Dietz, 2000), 56–57.

  33. 33.

    Vaskrsenje. Kalendar za prostu 1914 godinu [Resurrection: Calendar for the Year 1914] (1913), 52.

  34. 34.

    Cf. Ljubomir Durković-Jakšić, Kult slovenskih apostola Ćirila i Metodija kod Srba [The Cult of the Slav Apostles Cyril and Methodius among the Serbs] (Belgrade: Prosveta, 1986), 85.

  35. 35.

    Claudia Weber, Auf der Suche nach der Nation. Erinnerungskultur in Bulgarien von 1878–1944 (Berlin: LIT-Verlag, 2006), 198.

  36. 36.

    Tsurkoven Vestnik, no. 19, 10 May 1914, 217–19, here 217.

  37. 37.

    Ibid., 218.

  38. 38.

    Ibid., 219–20.

  39. 39.

    Tsurkoven Vestnik, no. 20, 17 May 1914, 238–39.

  40. 40.

    Ibid., 239.

  41. 41.

    Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodi 24/11 Maj 1921 god [SS Cyril and Methodius, 24/11 May 1921] (Sofia: Ministry of National Education, 1921), 8.

  42. 42.

    Benjo Tsonev, Slava Kirilu i Metodiiu! [Praise Cyril and Methodius!] (Sofia: Glushkov, 1915), 3; cf. Weber, Auf der Suche nach der Nation, 172–73.

  43. 43.

    Ibid., 12–13.

  44. 44.

    Ibid., 15.

  45. 45.

    Dmitry I. Polyviannyi, “The Foundation of the Third Bulgarian Tzardom: Ferdinand von Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in Bulgaria (1887–1908),” in János M. Bak et al., eds., Gebrauch und Missbrauch des Mittelalters, 19.–21. Jh. (Munich: Fink, 2009), 109–19, here 119.

  46. 46.

    Jörn Leonhard, Bellizismus und Nation. Kriegsdeutung und Nationsbestimmung in Europa und den Vereinigten Staaten 1750–1914 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2008), 823.

  47. 47.

    Danail T. Laskov, Zhivot i deinost’ na sv. Kliment Ohridski s edna negova propoved [Life and Deeds of S. Kliment of Ohrid] (Sofia: Sv. Sinod, 1915), 4.

  48. 48.

    Tsurkoven Vestnik, no. 20, 27 May 1916, 197–98, here 197.

  49. 49.

    Ibid.

  50. 50.

    Ibid.

  51. 51.

    Rumjana Koneva, Goljamata sreshta na bulgarskija narod. Kulturata i predizvikatelstvata na Vojnite 1912–1918 g. [The Great Encounter of the Bulgarian People: Culture and the Evocation of the Wars, 1912–1918] (Sofia: Akad. Izdat. Prof. Marin Drinov, 1995), 67; Björn Opfer, Im Schatten des Krieges. Besatzung oder Anschluss—Befreiung oder Unterdrückung? Eine komparative Untersuchung über die bulgarische Herrschaft in Vardar–Makedonien 1915–1918 und 1941–1944 (Münster: LIT–Verlag, 2005), 111; Weber, Auf der Suche nach der Nation, 199–200.

  52. 52.

    Aleksandur Teodorov-Balan, Sv. Kliment Ohridski v knizhevnjia pomen i v nauchnoto direne [Saint Kliment Ohridski in Literary Memory and Scientific Research] (Sofia: Durzhavna Pechatnica, 1919), 3–4.

  53. 53.

    Penčo Snegarev, Veliko svetilo nad bulgarskata zemja (Sv. Kliment Ohridski i negovoto duchovno-kulturno znachenie) [A Great Light over the Bulgarian Land (Saint Kliment of Ohrid and His Spiritual-Cultural Significance)] (Sofia, 1917), 21.

  54. 54.

    Ibid.

  55. 55.

    Ibid., 21–22.

  56. 56.

    Ibid., 22.

  57. 57.

    Velika Srbija, no. 427, 15 June 1917, 1.

  58. 58.

    Politika, no. 5091, 28 June 1922, 1.

  59. 59.

    Glasnik, no. 20, 15 [28] October 1922, 320–25, here 324.

  60. 60.

    Ibid.

  61. 61.

    Srpsko Kosovo, no. 22, 15 November 1925, 9.

  62. 62.

    Srpsko Kosovo, no. 12–13, 15 [28] June 1925, 6.

  63. 63.

    Ibid., 7.

  64. 64.

    Srpsko Kosovo, no. 18, 15 September 1925, 5.

  65. 65.

    Bokovoy, Scattered Graves, 242.

  66. 66.

    Politika, no. 10448, 28 June 1937, 6.

  67. 67.

    Politika, no. 10449, 29 June 1937, 8.

  68. 68.

    Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodi 24/11 Maj 1921 god., 3.

  69. 69.

    Weber, Auf der Suche nach der Nation, 214–15.

  70. 70.

    Makedoniia, no. 144, 23 May 1921, 1.

  71. 71.

    Makedoniia, no. 145, 29 May 1921, 1.

  72. 72.

    Nezavisima Makedoniia, no. 36, 14 December 1923, 4.

  73. 73.

    Tsurkoven Vestnik, no. 27–28, 29 June 1935, 322–23.

  74. 74.

    Todor Krajnichanec, Kiril i Metodii i slavianstvoto [Cyril and Methodius and the Slavs] (Sofia, 1936), 3.

  75. 75.

    Zvezdelin Tsonev, Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii. Epokha na slavjanskoto prosveshtenie [Cyril and Methodius. An Epoque of Slavic Enlightenment] (Sofia: Ignatov, 1940), 6.

  76. 76.

    Boris Jotsov, “Den’t na narodnitе buditeli,” Uchilishten pregled, vol. 41, no. 9 (1942), 1119–24, here 1122.

  77. 77.

    Nashenets, no. 123, 22 May 1943, 1.

  78. 78.

    Nashenets, no. 146, 30 October 1943, 1.

  79. 79.

    Cf. Weber, Auf der Suche nach der Nation, 349–62, especially 359.

  80. 80.

    Hugh Seton-Watson, Eastern Europe between the Wars 1918–1941 (Cambridge: Macmillan, 1945), 320–60.

  81. 81.

    Leonhard, Bellizismus und Nation, 823.

  82. 82.

    Gerd Krumeich, “‘Gott mit uns’? Der Erste Weltkrieg als Religionskrieg,” in Gerd Lehmann, ed., Gott mit uns. Nation, Religion und Gewalt im 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2000), 273–83, here 282–83. During the First World War, the cult of “Christ the King” and Sacré Coeur were important for German and French Catholics: see Claudia Schlager, Kult und Krieg. Herz Jesu–Sacré Coeur–Christus Rex im deutsch-französischen Vergleich 1914–1925 (Tübingen: Tübinger Vereinigung für Volkskunde e.V., 2011), 479–83.

  83. 83.

    Helmut Walser Smith, German Nationalism and Religious Conflict (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995), 233.

  84. 84.

    Richard Steigmann-Gall, The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919–1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003); Anton Grabner-Haider and Peter Strasser, Hitlers mythische Religion. Theologische Denklinien und NS-Ideologie (Vienna: Böhlau, 2007).

  85. 85.

    Alan Davies, The Crucified Nation: A Motif in Modern Nationalism (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2010).

  86. 86.

    E.g. Heinrich Grosse, “Niemand kann zwei Herren dienen.” Zur Geschichte der evangelischen Kirche im Nationalsozialismus und in der Nachkriegszeit (Hannover: Blumhardt-Verlag, 2008); Horst Junginger, ed., The Study of Religion Under the Impact of Fascism (Leiden: Brill, 2008).

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Rohdewald, S. (2016). Religious Wars? Southern Slavs’ Orthodox Memory of the Balkan and World Wars. In: Boeckh, K., Rutar, S. (eds) The Balkan Wars from Contemporary Perception to Historic Memory. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-44642-4_11

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