SATURDAY, December 5, 1964, the wider company of Ivo Andrić, Dušan Matić, Rodoljub Čolaković with his wives and Krista Đorđević gathered in the apartment of Aleksandar Vuč. Juliana, Lula Vuc’s wife, a famous surrealist, prepared a gala dinner. The host, as usual, during such sessions, which were almost regular, had a special task to inform his guests about what was happening in the Belgrade bazaar, and beyond. He was full of news and he knew everything.
Vučo: – Brana Crnčević came to the Literary Club in Zagreb and asked: ‘Who is the Ustasha on duty in the club tonight’. People understood at first as a joke, but when he repeated it, they reacted and threw him out.
Colaković: – Measures were taken immediately in Belgrade: the drama was removed from the television program and a party commission was formed. I like such a quick and efficient reaction.
Ivo Andrić, takes off his glasses, wipes them, is embarrassed, smiles confusedly and as if he won’t, says: -You know (they say that’s how he always started sentences) recently in Derventa, under the window of the hotel where I stayed, two horses (neighbors) are talking:
– ‘You heard that thunder last night and did you fall?
– Oh, how could I not hear, and I thought it couldn’t be worse. Thunder and lightning, and in my house all the members of the party.
And EXACTLY ten years earlier, almost a day before this week at which the future Nobel laureate would devise a typical Bosnian joke about the Party, Andrić was admitted to the League of Communists of Yugoslavia on December 13, 1954, at his own request.
It was the crown of his activities in the limited years of 1944 and 1954. Andrić invested great energy and conscientiously fulfilled the duties of a member of the Board of the Writers’ Association in Belgrade, then the Board of the Writers’ Association of Serbia, and then president of the first Yugoslav writers’ organization; he is a Member of Parliament for the Travnik District, a member of the Third Session of ZAVNOBiH, a member of the Constituent Assembly and the Presidium of the National Assembly of BiH, a Member of the Council of Peoples of the National Assembly of the FPRY; he is a member of delegations staying in the Soviet Union in 1948 and in Turkey in 1953; he is the vice-president of the Society for Cultural Cooperation Yugoslavia-USSR, a member of the Board of Directors of the Society for Cultural Cooperation Yugoslavia-France; he is a member of the Federal Commission for the Registration of National Loans; Committee on Foreign Affairs; he is a member of the Art Council for Cinematography, a member of the Council for Literature at the Ministry of Science and Culture in the Government of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia; he is a member of the National Commission of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia for UNESCO; member of the Federal Committee of the Popular Front of Yugoslavia (headed by Marshal Tito) …
According to the available bibliography, this is his most fruitful period. In addition to three novels and a new collection of short stories, 162 of his works were published – stories, reports, travelogues, excerpts from the novel, speeches and notes, to which should be added numerous lectures held on various occasions and occasions.
SUCH a life is such that a person often has to be ashamed of what is most beautiful in him and to hide it from the world, even from those closest to him – Ivo Andrić wrote in “Signs by the Road”, as if he wanted to indirectly clarify certain “signs” from his rich life as writers and diplomats about which little is known and which have remained insufficiently clarified.
Ivo Andrić lived and died with many secrets. Even today, some of his commitments in life and politics are difficult to explain. From disappointment in Zagreb and the Croats, and adherence to the Serbs, through a high position in the diplomacy of all the governments of the Kingdom, to cooperation with the post-war government and admission to the Communist Party of Yugoslavia in 1954.
The WAR years of Belgrade of the famous Nobel laureate are also shrouded in mystery. When, as a Yugoslav ambassador in Berlin, at the time of the German attack, he was returned to Belgrade, he was offered, as a Croat, that he could go to Zagreb and join the diplomatic service of Pavelić’s state. He resolutely rejected this offer and decided to spend the war years in the Serbian capital. While the war is raging throughout Europe, Ivo Andrić arrives in occupied Belgrade.
ON THE FIRST day of June 1941, he moved into a tenant’s room with lawyer Brane Milenković and his mother Kaja, in an apartment on the first floor, at 7 Prizrenska Street. He entered with only two suitcases. And there, between those four walls, he will have the composure and liveliness to write “On the Drina Bridge”, “The Travnik Chronicle”, “Miss”, works for which he will bring him the Nobel Prize two decades later.
HIS biographers, writing about those years, noted that Andrić “kept a low profile” and tried to emphasize his unrest with the occupation, and referred to his refusal to sign the anti-communist appeal to the Serbian people and the proposal of the Serbian Literary Association to publish a selection of his stories. . With these decisions, he showed his attitude towards the occupiers and Nedić’s Queensland “state”.
The Red Army liberated the arrival of the liberators in Belgrade on October 20, 1944, at Terazije with Milan Djokovic and Rasko Dimitrijevic. They were standing at the beginning of Prizrenska Street, about fifty meters from Andrić’s apartment. When the predecessor, five Red Army soldiers, passed by them, Andrić said:
– What should we give them? The winners should be given away – Milan Djokovic wrote in his Diaries.
IMMEDIATELY after the liberation and establishment of Tito’s partisan rule, civil Belgrade and all those who could not come to terms with the new reality began to talk about Andrić as a “water carrier to the communists”, to “harness himself to the communist yoke and pull uphill”. Part of the bazaar started talking about his inconsistency, disguise, betrayal of moral principles, capriciousness and adaptation to political circumstances, convertibility. That he had forgotten how he served the royal regime devotedly and obediently. Many wondered if he “had to humiliate himself so much ?! Is it because of some” files that the communists have, with which they blackmail him? “They labeled him” Jesuits “,” Fr. Ivan-beg “,” Don Ivo “…
In such circumstances, it is not surprising that no one remembered that Andrić was more than consistent in his Yugoslavness. It was from the moment he started thinking politically. And at the very beginning, as soon as he felt the spread of the anti-Yugoslav mood in Croatia, he published a programmatic article in Zagreb’s “Novosti” on November 8, 1918, entitled “The Uninvited should be silent”. And when the Serbian army liberated Belgrade, he spent the whole day walking the streets of Zagreb wearing the Serbian flag. After all, all his young Bosnians were basically Yugoslav nationalists, even those who were not in favor of “mixing Serbian wine with Yugoslav water”. And then most of them ended up in one of the variants of socialism.
The man of Andrić’s sense of subtle historical nuances and deep reflection on the causal relations between the present and the past had to be aware of the entire tragedy of the war and the unprecedented fall of civilization caused by nationalist hatred. Why then would they doubt his sincere thought that he once again tried to integrate willingly into the construction of a new order, to give his contribution to the new Yugoslavia, even if it was with the communists.
TOMORROW: FLIRT WITH GENERAL DRAŽ MIHAILOVIĆ
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