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February 21, 1994
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 126

The Immortals

A group of 24 members of the Serbian Academy of Arts an Sciences (SANU) sent a letter to French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe last week, saying among other things: ``We were not surprised that, following the meeting of the EU Council, NATO has discussed and adopted the request to prepare air strikes against Serbs in the former Bosnia Herzegovina for an atrocity that they have not committed. What has embittered and enraged us was the fact that the request was made by You, on behalf of the French people, which freedom-oriented traditions the Serbs have always appreciated. You have by this act not only betrayed the Serbs' admiration for the French people, but also trampled the highest values of France's history and traditions. The question that poses itself now is where is France headed for, or where are You and other members of its government leading it. We want to believe that France would not betray its tradition and send its planes to bomb the Serbs.'' The letter was signed by Mihajlo Markovic, Dobrica Cosic, Mica Popovic, Antonije Isakovic, Niksa Stipcevic, Irinej Bulovic, Vasilije Krestic, and others.

Meanwhile, academician Niksa Stipcevic went to Paris to attend, in the capacity of a prosecutor, a slander process against the publisher and author of "Histoire Terminal''the history textbook for senior grades in secondary schools in France. SANU brought the slander process against the Hatier publishing house, and Pierre Mills and Serge Bersteinthe authors of the book. The excerpt that aroused the strongest indignation among the Serbian academicians is the one relating to the war in exYugoslavia: ``The gravest conflict is the one confronting Serbia with other republic, with an aim to create a `Greater Serbia' by the means of ethnic cleansing.''

The last straw was the definition of "ethnic cleansing'' as a "theory launched by members of the Academy of Science in Belgrade, implying the intimidation of other nations and national groups for an eventual annexation of territories by Serbia.''

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