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Dušan T. Bataković, rođen u Beogradu 23. aprila 1957, je srpski istoričar, direktor Balkanološkog instituta SANU i diplomata, nekadašnji ambasador SRJ, SCG i Srbije u Grčkoj, Kanadi i Francuskoj. Studije istorije završio je na Filozofskom fakultetu u Beogradu 1982, gde je i magistrirao 1988. Doktorske studije (1991-1996) završio je na Sorboni u Parizu (Université de Paris - Sorbonne, Paris IV) gde je u januaru 1997. doktorirao (summa cum laude) s tezom: „Francuska i stvaranje parlamentarne demokratije u Srbiji 1830-1914.” (La France et la formation de la démocratie parlementaire en Serbie 1830-1914).
U Istorijskom institutu radio je od 1983. do 1992, kada prelazi u Balkanološki institut SANU. Posle mandata ambasadora u Grčkoj (2001-2005), Bataković je u julu 2005. imenovan za savetnika predsednika Srbije, a u oktobru iste godine izabran za direktora Balkanološkog instituta SANU, glavnog urednika godišnjaka Balcanica i posebnih izdanja Instituta. U septembru 2008. izabran je za predsednika srpskog komiteta Međunorodne asocijacije za proučavanje jugoistočne Evrope (AIESEE). Član Državnog pregovaračkog tima o budućem statusu Kosova i Metohije od novembra 2005, Bataković je u julu 2007, ukazom predsednika Srbije, imenovan za ambasadora u Kanadi, a u januaru 2009. za ambasadora Srbije u Francuskoj.
Uz seriju predavanja na više evropskih i američkih univerziteta, Bataković je, u okviru Fondacije za evropsku istoriju i civilizaciju (La Fondation pour une histoire de la civilisation européenne), sa sedištem u Parizu, bio predstavnik Balkana u žiriju za Evropsku nagradu iz istorije (1995-2000).
Bataković je objavio i priredio veći broj knjiga (monografija, zbornika članaka, memoara i građe) i preko stotinu naučnih radova. Njegova istraživanja posvećena su srpsko-albanskim odnosima, proučavanju uticaja religije i ideologije na balkanske i južnoslovenske nacionalizme, evropskiim okvirima srpske istorije kao i uticaju komunizma na razvoj Srbije. Njegova monografija o prošlosti jugoslovenskog prostora (La Yougoslavie : nations, religions, idéologies) u spisku je literature na osnovnim i postdiplomskim studijama na francuskim univerzitetima, kao i na frankofonskim univerzitetima u Švajcarskoj, Belgiji i Kanadi. Nova istorija srpskog naroda, (Beograd, 2000), koju je Bataković priredio i napisao uz saradnju još trojice srpskih istoričara, prevedena je najpre na korejski jezik 2000. g. u Seulu, a na francuski 2005. (Histoire du peuple serbe). Priredio je za štampu memoare armijskog generala Pante Draškića i dnevnik iz balkanskih ratova diplomate u Rusiji, Dimitrija Popovića.
Uz monografije na francuskom jeziku (Kosovo. La spirale de la haine), u međunarodnoj literaturi su redovno citirane i njegove monografije na engleskom jeziku: The Kosovo Chronicleskao i istorija bosansko-hercegovačkih Srba (The Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina. History and Politics). Autor dokumentarne televizijske serije Crveno doba, istorijskog serijala u pet nastavaka, Bataković je, uz saradnju mlađih istoričara, kroz brojna svedočenja žrtava i njihovih potomaka, obradio fenomen crvenog terora, komunističkih zločina u Srbiji i Crnoj Gori (1944—1947). Od 2009. do kraja 2012. godine bio je ambasador Republike Srbije u Francuskoj. U februaru 2013. godine ponovo izabran za direktora Balkanološkog instituta SANU.
The Age of Communism
With the arrival of Soviet troops in Yugoslavia, partisan units, well-armed and their ranks freshly recruited, liberated Kosovo and Metohia in the late fall of 1944, and established their rule. Local ethnic Albanian communists were entrusted with setting up power, and thousands of ethnic Albanians were drafted and sent to the front (two mutinies occurred in Vrsac and Bar). Few weeks after the establishment of communist rule major armed revolt broke out among the newly mobilized ethnic Albanian units unsatisfied with the solution that Kosovo will remain within the borders of Yugoslavia. For the quelling of ethnic Albanian revolt troops had to be brought in from other areas and in February 1945 military rule was imposed in Kosovo and Metohia.
By decree of the new communist authorities (March 16, 1945), Serbian and Montenegrin settlers who had been expelled during the war were banned from returning to their abandoned estates as they were considered exponents of the inter-war "Greater Serbian hegemonistic policy" On the other hand, international circumstances and particularly close ties with the communist leadership in Albania, prompted Tito to take a lenient attitude towards the ethnic Albanian minority: ethnic Albanians settled in Kosovo by the Italians and Germans during the war were not expelled; on the contrary, the border was open to new immigrants from Albania until 1948. The precise number of ethnic Albanians who settled in Kosovo during and after the war is yet unknown: estimates range from 15,000 to 300,000, but the first figures after the war were from 70,000-75,000. Compared with the 100,000 Serbs who had bee forcibly moved out and forbidden to return after the war, these figures show that acceptance of the situation created under the occupation created major disturbance in the ethnic structure of Kosovo and Metohia.1
The evolution of Kosovo and Metohia political status in communist Yugoslavia cannot be comprehended without some knowledge about the CPY"s national policy in the inter-war period. As a section of the Communist International (Comintern), the CPY worked after World War I to destroy the Kingdom of Yugoslavia as a "Versailles creation" in which "Greater Serbian hegemony" oppressed the other nations in the state. Following Moscow"s instructions, the CPY adopted the stand in 1924 that Yugoslavia"s non-Serbian nations should be allowed to create their own separate national states and that minorities should be allowed to join their parent states: Albania, Hungary and Bulgaria. The policy of destroying the "Versailles system" in Europe, as an instrument of imperialist powers -Great Britain and France, was to be completed in the case of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia by the breaking up of the Serbian lands.
When the Comintern changed its political course in 1935, deciding to preserve the Yugoslav community with the a view to grouping together anti-fascist forces, the CPY changed its course too, leaving the question of settlement of position and status of the minorities for a later date. Contrary to the prewar thesis that a strong Serbia guaranteed a strong Yugoslavia, the communists upheld the view that the only way to establish a stable state was by federalizing Yugoslavia and breaking the supremacy of the Serbs. In its proclamations to the people of Kosovo and Metohia, the CPY blamed the Serbian bourgeoisie for the mistreatment and persecution of the ethnic Albanian population, thus indirectly shifting the blame from the ruling structures of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia to the entire Serbian nation.2
Communist rule was thus established in 1945 with such stands regarding the national question. After a strong ethnic Albanian revolt in the winter of 1944/1945, representatives of the new authorities voted in July 1945 that Kosovo and Metohia remain within Serbia. In September that same year, a separate autonomous region called Kosmet was formed, and in northern Serbia, the autonomous province of Vojvodina. This solution set the precedent only in Serbia: the borders of other Yugoslav republics were drawn so as to remedy as much as possible the "injustices" done in the inter-war period, although their ethnic structures gave cause for creation of autonomous units. The policy of pacifying Serbia and the Serbs as a hegemonic nation was implemented by the CPY leadership, headed by Josip Broz Tito, with the slogan "brotherhood and unity" of all Yugoslav nations, Serbian communists, imbued with Yugoslavism and the proletarian internationalism, followed Tito"s political conceptions to the last without realizing its far-reaching effects.3
The extent to which Serbian lands were of the disposal of Yugoslavia"s communist leadership is evident from conceptions about the internal borders in the projected Balkan federation of communist countries. In negotiations with the leader of the Albanian communists, Enver Hoxha, Tito promised to concede Kosovo and Metohia to Albania if it entered the Balkan federation. After Yugoslavia broke with Stalin and Cominform in 1948, Enver Hoxha"s Albania became a dangerous center of propaganda and subversive activities against regime in Yugoslavia, ultimately aimed at annexing Kosovo, Metohia and parts of Macedonia to Albania, where "Albanianism", embodied in the idea of creating a Greater Ethnic Albania, entered the foundation of state ideology.4
Established under the 1946 Constitution, the autonomy of Kosovo and Metohia was considerably by the 1963 Constitution, and after inter-party strife and fall of Tito"s deputy and chief of the State Security Service, party strife and fall of Tito"s deputy and chief of the State Security Service, Aleksandar Rankovic (1966), accused in Kosovo and Metohia of taking a discriminatory attitude towards ethnic Albanians, the purging on a large-scale of Serbian cadres in high offices in the administration and police started. They were accused by ethnic Albanian communists of persecution and abuse of innocent people, particularly in drives of Security Service to confiscate weapons, although Serbs suffered from the persecutions just as much as ethnic Albanians. The Serbian Orthodox church suffered most of all. Church lands came under the blow of agrarian reforms, monastic property was confiscated, priests and monks were arrested and convicted and in 1950 in Djakovica, one of the biggest churches in Metohia was destroyed in order that a monument for Kosovo partisan be erected.5
Mass demonstrations by ethnic Albanians (mostly students) in Kosovo and Metohia in November 1968 (under the slogan "Down With The Serbian Oppressors"), showed that the struggle against abuses by the state security bodies was turning into a revanchist policy towards Serbs and Serbia, and that at its roots lax the idea of a Greater Albania. The demonstrations were staged during a major political upheaval over the reorganization of the Yugoslav federation, changes resulting from the 1974 Constitution, when the federal status of Kosovo and Metohia (renamed the Province of Kosovo, since Metohia had a Serbian and Orthodox connotations) was legally sanctioned as a constitutive element of the Yugoslav state. The autonomous province of Kosovo, a political community with many elements of statehood (it was even granted the right to a Constitution), and only formally dependent on Serbia, served the plans of secessionists who wanted to drive the Serbian population out of these regions and create an ethnically pure Kosovo. The policy of ethnically purging a territory is racist, and the means to effect it are always violent.6
The normalization of Yugoslavia"s relations with Albania in 1971 and the free exchange of ideas, teachers and school books encouraged the Albanization of Kosovo and Metohia. In less than a decade, Kosovo"s leaders managed to impose the ethnic Albanian language as the official language in the province and impose, though the system"s legal institutions, discriminatory attitude to the Serbian population. The extent of the discrimination was most evident when the so-called principle of ethnic representation was applied: job hiring and enrolment at higher institutes of learning were done according to the size of the population. For instance, out of five job vacancies only one Serb could be hired, regardless of the applicant"s qualifications and abilities. The same principle was applied at the University: only one out of every five registrated students could be a Serb. The 1981 population census showed a drastic decline in the Serbian and Montenegrin population, but also in the Turkish, Gypsy and Islamized Slav minorities in Kosovo and Metohia. While Serbs were leaving their native land for northern Serbia, many members of non-Slav minorities were pressured into declaring themselves as ethnic Albanians. Along with growing number of emigrants from Albania, this substantially increased the total number of ethnic Albanians in the Province and their representation in the local administration, schooling and culture.
The majority of Serbs (with the exception of the thin layer of high-ranking officials) were subjected to various forms of pressure, ranging from being deprived of employment and promotion, to threats and blackmail; in villages, as in the last century of Ottoman rule, by the usurping of property, physical assault, the setting of fire to houses and harvests, stealing livestock, attacks and rape of women and children, murder at one"s doorstep. The local administration gave out lands abandoned by resettled Serbs to emigrants from Albania, and many lots were illegally taken over by neighboring ethnic Albanian families. Since all administrative power, from the judiciary to the police, was in hands of ethnic Albanians, they passed verdicts in favor of their compatriots whenever deciding on inter-nationality disputes. The injured Serbian parties had no one to complain to because the Republic of Serbia did not have judicial jurisdiction over Kosovo, and when they wrote to the federal bodies, their appeals remained unanswered. Dignitaries of the Serbian Orthodox Church were, from 1945 onwards, the most persistent in lodging complaints to the highest state bodies aboud the stepped-up physical and psychological pressures suffered by Serbs, citing hundreds of examples, from the desecration of graves to the raping of nuns, but their petitions had no impact.