петак, 23. септембар 2011.

Why did Goethe learn Serbian ?

Friedrich Griesendorf, who died in 1958, was a very educated man. He was at one time a court clergyman for the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II. After World War II, he was a pastor in the Eversburg church parish where a camp of Serbian prisoners of war was located. Before retiring, he dedicated these lines to his German parishioners:

The type of a Serbian officer raised in the countryside

"Our country lost the war. The English, Americans and Russians won. Maybe they had much better equipment, larger armies, better leadership. In reality, it was an explicit material victory. They took the victory. However, here among us is one nation that won another more beautiful victory, a victory of the soul, a victory of the heart and honesty, a victory of peace and Christian love. THEY ARE THE SERBS. We knew them earlier, some a little and some not at all. But we all knew what we did in their homeland. We killed hundreds of the Serbs who defended their country for one of our soldiers who represented the occupier -- the oppressor. And not only that, we looked favorably when others shot at Serbs from all side, the Croatians, the Italians, Albanians, Bulgarians and Hungarians. Yet we knew that among us in the prisoner of war camps were 5,000 Serbian officers, who earlier were the elite of the society and, who now resembled living skeletons, exhausted and spent from hunger. We knew that among the Serbs smoldered the belief 'He who does not revenge is not sanctified'."

"We were truly afraid of the revenge by these Serbian martyrs. We were afraid that after our capitulation they would do what we did to them. We imagined murder, plunder, rape, demolition and destruction of our homes. However, what happened? When the barbed wires were torn down and 5,000 Serbian skeletons found themselves free in our midst, those skeletons caressed our children. Only now can we understand why our greatest poet, Goethe, studied the Serbian language. Only now can we comprehend why the last word for Bismark, on his deathbed, was -- 'SERBIA.' That kind of victory is more sublime than a material victory. It seems to me that only the Serbs could win such a victory, being brought up in their St. Sava's spirit and epic poetry, which our Goethe loved so much. This victory will live for centuries in the souls of us Germans. I want to dedicate my last clergyman's sermon to that victory and the Serbs who won it."
Friedrick Griesendorf.

Reprinted and translated from
the Eversburg newspaper, Eversburg, Germany

1 коментар:

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