BELGRADE – The Archive of Serbia opened an exhibition titled ‘First World War in Archive of Serbia documents’ on Friday as part of observation of Serbia’s Statehood Day, by which it officially begun celebrations of 100 years since the outbreak of the Great War.
The exhibition presents a total of 35 documents, including the original copy of the ultimatum Austria-Hungary sent to the Kingdom of Serbia, the original copy of Serbia’s response and probably the most important document of that time – the Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on Serbia, Dejan Ristic, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Culture, said while opening the exhibition.
The Archive keeps half a million pages of documents about the First World War on the territory of Serbia and Europe, which testify to the destruction, hatred, misunderstanding and hostility between nations and countries, said Ristic.
Ristic said that, in hindsight of 100 years later, we need to accentuate reconciliation and understanding and promote a system of values that should never again allow an outbreak of a new war.
Archive of Serbia Director Miroslav Perisic said that the exhibition is the first in a series of Archive’s World War I content events for this year, adding that the central exhibition will take place on July 28, the day when the First World War broke out 100 years ago.
The exhibited documents speak about Austro-Hungarian policy and positions concerning Serbia taken by great powers at the beginning of the 20th century, Austro-Hungarian military preparations at the beginning of 1914, military maneuvers in Bosnia on June 24-27 1914, the Sarajevo assassination, the July crisis and the start of the war.
The exhibition’s opening was attended by Austrian Ambassador in Belgrade Johannes Eigner.