Re: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill/National Geographic textbook “The World and Its People: Western Hemisphere”

by William Dorich on February 12, 2014

in books, Bosnia, education, enemy propaganda, William Dorich (team member), World War I, World War II

Re: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill/National Geographic textbook “The World and Its People: Western Hemisphere” Page 479-480, The Former Yugoslav Republics

February 9, 2014

Dear Educators:

As the author of 6 books on Balkan history I also spent 15 years as a correspondent for The American Srbobran, the oldest Serbian newspaper in the United States published in Pittsburgh since the turn of the century. I covered the Bosnian and Kosovo Civil Wars extensively. I wish to bring to your attention the errors in the above-mentioned textbook: World and Its People: Western Hemisphere, The Former Yugoslav Republics…

I did not think I had the time to waste going over a children’s textbook… until I read The World and Its People pages 479 through 480. How a publisher with the reputation of McGraw-Hill could insult Serbians and demean a thousand years of their history in the span of two pages surely takes a special bigoted talent. Perhaps educators today are accustomed to brainwashing children, its so much easier than enlightening them with the drama and beauty of history. Your bird’s eye view falls short of this task.

Do you have many children from the Balkans in your school systems that have access to this book? Even if you have no children from the Balkans this book appears to be written by the same corrupt, contemptible “collective guilt” propagandists that has demeaned the Serbian people for the past 20 years. The exception here is that it took skill to rewrite history that people of Serbia would find repugnant and insulting.

The first paragraph wallows in disinformation. It reads: “Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mountainous and poor, the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina has an economy based mainly on crops and livestock. Sarajevo, the capital, has the look of an Asian city, with its marketplaces and mosques, or Muslim houses of worship.” I remind the moron who wrote this trah that Serbian Orthodox Christian churches outnumber mosques 35 to one in the Balkans.

My 1992 book, Kosovo, was the first book published in the U.S. on this region of the world, it was co written by 7 Balkan historians including the late Dr. Alex Dragnich, the recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award for Outstanding Scholarship at Vanderbilt University. He wrote a dozen books on Balkan politics and history. My Kosovo book covers the Serbian people from their entry into the Balkan region in the 7th century through to The Battle of Kosovo in 1389 and contains images of some of the 1,500 Serbian Orthodox Churches built in the past 1,000 years. Kosovo is an area the size of Rhode Island.

At the Congress of Berlin in 1878 Serbia was internationally recognized as a nation. In that agreement, Bosnia and Herzegovina was treated as a “protectorate,” much like what NATO has done in Kosovo after the 1999 illegal bombing of Serbia that violated the United Nations Charter, The Helsinki Final Act, The Geneva Conventions and the NATO treaty. If such violations have no meaning to you then stop reading now, as none of this letter will change the mindset of illiterate or mean-spirited educators.

The Austrian Empire agreed to protect Bosnia and Herzegovina for 44 years at which time they would return the land to Serbian rule. In 1914 the Austrians refused to abide by the treaty they signed and the Archduke came to Sarajevo and was assassinated. WWI began 3 weeks later. For the publisher to pretend now that the Muslims ruled Bosnia 95 years ago turns history on its head.

As part of the settlement of WWI, the Serbs agreed with the major powers to give up Serbia’s nationhood to form a new nation called The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (1918). Notice there was no mention of Muslims in that name. Muslims in this newly created nation.

What your textbook has concealed is that for 400 years the Serbians were slaves during Ottoman occupation, an Empire that was crushed by the Serbs in 1918. Serbians lived under the Muslim motto of “Convert or Die” and tens of thousands refused to convert and indeed were murdered for their faith. Croatian Catholics during WWII also converted Serbs to Catholicism promising to save their lives, but once the Serbs came out of the shadows to reveal their real religious identity the Croats slaughtered them by the tens of thousands. My Book Jasenovac Then & Now: A Conspiracy of Silence covers the Croatian Concentration camp in which more than 700,000 Serbs, 60,000 Jews and 70,000 Roma were put to death.

Your insulting text also does not reveal that Bosnian Muslims were all converted Serbians during the 15th through 17th centuries following The Battle of Kosovo in 1389. Therefore, your stupid copy that says, “Bosnian people are Muslims,” is a total misrepresentation of the facts. Bosnia has 3 distinct ethnic peoples, Serbians, Muslims and Croatians, so that sentence was meant to be distracting. There also is no “Bosnian language,” they all speak “Serbo-Croatian” as they have for centuries. Your book implies that since the Serbs “started the war” in 1992, Bosnian Muslims created a new language. That is an absurd claim.

Serbians were converted to Islam by force and any pretty words used in any textbook to children glosses over the RAPE of SERBIA. During Ottoman slavery Serbian families lived under a special tax that took the eldest son from their family at the age of 5 and shipped that child off to Turkey where he was trained as a Janissary, the elite fighting force of Turkey. These Serbian sons as young men were sent back to the Balkans to murder their parents who they no longer recognized. As for your so called “privileges,” for 400 years the Serbs were denied the right to an education, the right to own property and even the right to use musical instruments. The writers of this piece of junk should be driven from the publishing and textbook industry unless the goal here is to dumb-down children for political reasons.

As for the text that said “Serbs started the war.” That is simply not supported by any facts on the ground. When the Muslims in Bosnia seceded they needed a pretext for war. The war started at a Serbian wedding in Sarajevo when 4 Muslim terrorists attacked the wedding party and told the guests that they were now Muslims and no longer allowed to carry the Serbian flag …(a tradition at Serbian weddings for centuries). Violence broke out and the father of the groom was killed and the priest seriously wounded along with 14 other wedding guests. The Sarajevo media told the international press that Serbs fired on a “spontaneous peaceful demonstration from the roof of the Holiday Inn.” It was discovered days later that 70 buses were used to bring Muslims into Sarajevo from surrounding areas, so there was nothing “spontaneous” about this demonstration. Men on the ground in a van were recorded by Sarajevo television shooting and killing demonstrators. When Sarajevo Television realized that they were recording their own Muslim gunmen they stopped recording but not before that footage was beamed onto British television.

Finally, I will attempt to maintain my hostility to address another Muslim hoax called Zlata’s Diary. Serbians joined the Jews of the world in their outrage of this hideous propaganda stunt. Zlata’s Diary alleged to have been written by an eleven year-old makes a mockery of The Diary of Anne Frank written during the Holocaust. Zlata Filipovic (a Muslim with a Serbian name) is no author and experts who reviewed this piece of trash have agreed that an experienced hand wrote the book. Most likely Ruder/Finn Public Relations in Washington.

In an August 1995 article by Lee Adair Lawrence of National Geographic, he mentions the “Rebuild Dubrovnik Fund.” Mr. Lawrence also mentions the name of “Nazli Weiss, executive vice president of the Washington D.C. based organization.” Mr. Lawrence omits the fact that Ms. Nazli Weiss held a similar position with the “Buy A Tile Fund,” and deliberately omitted the fact that both of these organizations operated from the same address as Ruder/Finn at 1615 M Street, Washington D.C. 20036. Ruder/Finn is the public relations firm for the Croatian government.

Ms. Pamela Taylor of Voice of America tried to convince her readers that on December 6, 1991, in a “… 12-hour barrage which dropped an estimated 2,000 shells inside the city walls, killed 193 people.”

Conde Nast Traveler magazine, one week earlier, claimed that on December 6, 1991, “600 shells had exploded in the Old Town. Luckily, another four hundred were duds. Only two people died inside the wall, but another dozen died in the suburbs.” Apparently, in the smorgasbord of news pandering in Bosnia and Croatia, journalists were given a license to lie. U.N. documents however indicate that on December 6, 1991, “About 90 shells hit Dubrovnik.”

In the media fraud that the “Serbs destroyed Dubrovnik,” Anthony Lewis of the New York Times wrote this lie six times in one year. The story however backfired and the effect of this propaganda all but destroyed tourism on the Dalmatian coast and in Croatia.

Spielberg inspired special effects of “Dubrovnik burning” were beamed throughout the world—these images were a hoax. We now know that strategically placed burning auto tires, pleasure boats set a blaze in the harbor and the use of long lenses deceived us. The truth is, Dubrovnik was not burning, it was only smoking. Ruder & Finn’s fingerprints were all over this outrageous public relations stunt, just as their fingerprints are all over Zlata’s Diary.

Ruder/Finn and the Croats convinced the world that miraculously they rebuilt Dubrovnik in four months. Ms. Taylor of Voice of America claimed the rebuilding of “563 out of 824 bombed buildings” in four months, setting a record for construction that would be the envy of the world. It implies the rebuilding 142 structures per month or 4.7 per day—accomplished in the middle of a war with the Serbians. Convincing the world that food and medicine were not getting through Serbian lines, but building materials were, only revealed the depth of the propaganda cesspool. Meanwhile the “Buy A Tile Fund,” and the “Rebuild Dubrovnik Fund” collected tens of millions of dollars from the naïve and ignorant world.

As for our eleven year-old Zlata, no child in pre-war Sarajevo had the vocabulary exhibited in this book or the command of the Serbo-Croatian language. With 20/20 hindsight we now know that Ruder/Finn fanned the flames of prejudice and hate using such lies to promote anti-Serb bias. The book jacket suggests that Ms. Filipovic and her family were “allowed” to move to Paris in 1993 as though they were being held against their will! Their famous daughter disappeared from the public spotlight as quickly as a rat fleeing a sinking ship. American taxpayers who spent billions of dollars on the Bosnia war effort should be outraged that their support of this war was won through political Charlatans like Ruder/Finn and the publisher who created this piece of trash called The World And Its People

William Dorich, Beverly Hills

The writer is the author of 6 books on Balkan history and music.

He is the recipient of The Order of St. Sava, the highest recognition bestowed on a layperson by the Holy Synod of Serbian Orthodox Bishops and An Award of Merit from the Serbian Bar Association of America. His articles have been reproduced in The International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal and in the Serbian press.


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