Accepted Paper:

The contentious heritage of WWI and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes  

Author:

Bozidar Jezernik (University of Ljubljana)

Paper short abstract:

The newly nation-state of the South Slavs established as a result of WWI was seen as a realisation of a thousand-year-old dreams. The burden of the war heritage, though, showed to heavy for this to happen.

Paper long abstract:

When the Great War was finally over, a large part of Europe was questioning its sense. The issue likewise arose during numerous commemorations dedicated to the memory of the fallen soldiers, which in the early post-war years took place day after day on different parts of the Continent. Like everyone else, the people of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes were faced with contemplating the purpose of the terrible war and the harrowing loss of human life. Their self-reflection and their quest for answers, though, were additionally burdened by the fact that many citizens of the nation of three names had during the war been fighting for armies on the opposing sides of the front. This circumstance alone was a sizeable obstacle for reaching an "official," unanimous war memory, further compounded by the fact that the issue was never truly addressed with sober deliberation, but was instead left to an unbridled mixture of triumphant self-satisfaction on one side, and the fumbling search for an embellished image on the other.

Panel Heri04
Contentious war cultural heritage