Serbia and Kosovo: From Myth to Genocide Essay

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“The taking of hostages was an immoral act. We had to do whatever we could just to eliminate that dirty story from the history of Serbs.” (Slobodan Milosevic in an interview for the Time magazine, 1995).

In the 1990s Yugoslavia was the battlefield of Europe’s bloodiest war since 1945. This notorious culmination was a product of an interconnected chain of events which began in the mid-1980s with the deepening of the conflict and the extremely strained relations between the two major ethnic groups in Kosovo: Albanians and Serbs. Kosovo was the most problematic region in the whole federation due to the large number of Albanian population in the province and the heterogeneous ethnic picture of the area. In parallel with that,
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Combining this power with the control of media provided political leaders with the desired tools for manipulation of the public.
Therefore, the main objective of this study is to analyze the ideological use of history as a tool for fostering nationalism and “the benefit of the nation” in the hands of the leaders of the former Yugoslav republics during the period of the last two decades of the twentieth century. In light of the information gathered, this paper will argue that the two cornerstones of the Yugoslavia crisis are the reinterpretation of historical events through the use of myths and the influence of media which framed the events in Yugoslavia in the manner preferred by the political leaders. The assertions will be backed up by analysis of primary sources (speeches, interviews and video footage), and secondary sources and case examples from the republics. The paper will also assert that the presence of the past is still visible in most of the republics. As an outcome of the different instances of uses of history the consequential induced rise of nationalism led to the belligerent consequence: the collapse of the SFRY.
This paper will follow a linear structure where key former Yugoslav republics are reviewed in turn
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