Monday, November 01, 2010

General Mihailovich's things first time on display at the Belgrade Military Museum in Serbia! / Licne stvari generala Mihailovica u Vojnom Muzeju u Beogradu!

Kalemegdan Park in Belgrade, Serbia
Photo above by Dusan Bicanski
Above and below: The Belgrade Military Museum
 in Kalemegdan Park, Serbia

Aleksandra's Note: Upon entering the Military Museum in Belgrade, Serbia during my visit there in the winter of 1995, my goal was to see the Mihailovich exhibit, which I assumed would be a highlight in that museum, considering General Draza Mihailovich was a decorated, lifetime career Serbian officer as well as the leader of the legendary WWII Chetnik guerrilla forces in Yugoslavia. My Uncle Dushan was with me on my visit to the beautiful Kalemegdan Fortress and Park on the Sava and Danube Rivers in the heart of Belgrade that day. He tried to let me know, in his characteristic gentle and diplomatic way, that "there might not be a Mihailovich exhibit" in the Belgrade Military Museum. I was quite familiar, too familiar, with the way that his beloved homeland had treated Mihailovich with the rise of Josip Broz to power after WWII and ever afterwards, but it just couldn't be possible that the Military Museum was part of that injustice. I had thoughts of the American Civil War in my head. Americans had fought a terrible Civil War - the North won, but the Southern officers had their place in the legacy of America and were accorded the respect and dignity they deserved.

When I walked into the Military Museum in Belgrade and asked the host on duty that day where the Mihailovich exhibit was, a "look" crossed her face. She instantly recognized me as a "foreigner" who she presumed obviously didn't know any better. So, after composing herself, she told me there was none. "Nema", she said. Then a "look" must have crossed my face, because my Uncle Dushan, again in his gentle, diplomatic way, walked me out of the Museum and told me there were other places on Kalemegdan to see and enjoy, thus successfully preventing an international incident. As enchanted by the beauty and history of Kalemegdan as I was that day, I was also appalled and disgusted that an institution such as the main Military Museum in a country that had endured war after war after war and had produced both incredible official armed forces and incredible guerrilla warriors and officers, deliberately chose to shun one of its greatest and most deserving.

It took another 15 years, but that same Belgrade Military Museum, in honor of the 65th anniversary of the victory over Fascism, for the very first time introduced the personal things of General Mihailovich to be on public display! The display opened in May of 2010, and Mr. Bosko Ozegovic was kind enough to photograph the exhibits and share his photos. World War One exhibits as well as World War Two displays are included in the photographs below. The history embodied in the objects is magnificent. That is one of the reasons I so love "things" and value them with all of my heart: The physical being of people will eventually be lost to us, but their "things" can always remain, if we take care of them, to serve as a reminder of who they were and why they mattered.


Aleksandra Rebic


"Поводом прославе 65 година од победе над фашизмом, у Војном музеју је отворена реновирана поставка Другог светског рата"

Војни музеј
Калемегдан бб
11000, Београд
Телефон:+381 11 33 - 43 - 441
Фаx:+381 11 33 - 44 - 915

Радно време особља музеја: 08.00 до 16.00h.
Стална поставка: За посетиоце сваког дана осим понедељка од 10 до 17h.
Библиотека: Понедељак, среда и петак од 10 до 13h.

Belgrade Military Museum
Kalemegdan bb
11000, Beograd
Phone:+381 11 33 - 43 - 441
Fax:+381 11 33 - 44 - 915

Working hours of the museum staff: 08.00 - 16.00h.
Permanent Exhibition : For visitors, every day except Monday 10 - 17h.
Library: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10 - 13h




General Mihailovich's eyeglasses
Photo by Bosko Ozegovic

Uniforms of the Serbian Army
Photo by Bosko Ozegovic

Hand grenade M 35 / called the "Kragujevka"
Photo by Bosko Ozegovic

World War Two bomb
Photo by Bosko Ozegovic

Gift to General Mihailovich on August 26, 1944 from the
 Serb National Federation of America in Pittsburg, PA. The pen is
inscribed with "Dear Cica (Cheecha)" - a term of endearment
analogous to "Uncle"
for men held in high regard and affection.
Photo by Bosko Ozegovic

General Mihailovich's personal possessions, including the pen
given to him by the
Serb National Federation in America,
in August of 1944
Photo by Bosko Ozegovic

General Mihailovich's camera, a Zeiss Ikon
Photo by Bosko Ozegovic

General Mihailovich's personal guns and compass
Photo by Bosko Ozegovic

General Mihailovich's personal guns, a Colt M 1911
and a Browning M 1903 9mm
Photo by Bosko Ozegovic

General Mihailovich's personal possessions during WWII
Photo by Bosko Ozegovic

General Mihailovich's compass,
his Luger Parabellum P 08 9mm pistol,
and his cigarette holder
Photo by Bosko Ozegovic

General Mihailovich's letter to the "Uzicani"
and his appeal for unity among the Serbs
during WWII

World War One French flag of the Serbian forces

World War One display

General Mihailovich, left, with
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Robert McDowell,
center, of the 1944 "Ranger Mission"

Cap, case and rank bars of Chetnik General Svetomir Djukic

Cap, case and rank bars of Chetnik General Svetomir Djukic

The "Walther P 38" 9 mm gun of Nikola Kalabic,
a commander in the Ravna Gora Movement
during WWII

Map on the German attack on Yugoslavia in April of 1941

A German artist's rendering of captured Serbian prisoners of war

The Serbian Officer's cap

A German warning to Serbs during WWII

Another German warning to Serbs during WWII

German reward of 100,000 gold Reichsmarks for
General Mihailovich, dead or alive

World War One weapons

World War Two weapons

"Ranger Mission" (extension of the "Halyard Mission")

Sign indicating the display of the flags of the Serbian Army
regiments during the First World War

Serbian Army battle flags WWI (1)

Serbian Army battle flags WWI (2)

Serbian Army battle flags WWI (3)
Ravna Gora knives

Various photos on display. The young man in the center is
King Peter II Karageorgevich

One of the German rewards issued in Serbia
for the capture of General Draza Mihailovich

Serbia's "Politika" newspaper for the date of March 28, 1941,
the date after the fateful coup in Belgrade. Headline announces
young King Peter II Karageorgevich's rise to the leadership of Serbia.

Cap of King Peter II Karageorgevich

The uniform of King Peter II Karageorgevich


If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at


1 comment:

  1. Great article and great photos! thank you for putting this up!