Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Miroslav Michael Djordjevich, President of the Studenica Foundation, remembers the 6th of April, 1941 in Belgrade as the bombs began falling early that morning.

Miroslav Michael Djordjevich
Director and President of the Studenica Foundation

Aleksandra's Note: Mr. Michael Djordjevich is someone I've known many years now, who epitomizes what it means to be a real Serb. 75 years after the bombing of Belgrade by the Germans on an early Sunday morning in the spring of 1941, Michael Djordjevich still remembers a childhood in which he woke up to the nightmare of the Nazi attack on his homeland.

Aleksandra Rebic
April 2016


Miroslav (Michael)
 and his father Dragoslav Djordjevich [Georgevich]
in Belgrade, early 1941.
Photo courtesy of Michael Djordjevich

"This date, April 6, I will never forget in this (or any other) life. Early that morning, I woke up petrified by the sound of bombs being dropped on Belgrade by the German air force, the Luftwaffe. Our house was shaking as if in a great earthquake.  I was only 5 years old, but I still essentially recall everything that took place that day. My life changed in a minute, as did the lives of millions of Serbs.  A new life, a tragic one began.

So much for that anniversary. I believe that this criminal Nazi attack on civilians without a declaration of war against the Serbs should not be forgotten. Moreover, it should also not be forgotten by Serbs that NATO, with the participation of the Luftwaffe and once again without a declaration of war, also bombed Belgrade and Serbia  on the same date some 17 years ago, in 1999.

April 6, 2016


Miroslav Michael Djordjevich was born in Belgrade, Dorcol, where he graduated from high school “Prva muška gimnazija”, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1956. Working as a manual laborer, he saved enough money for his education and enrolled the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated in Banking and Finance in 1960, and met his future wife Marie from San Francisco. When he finished his post-graduate studies in 1993, they got married. They have three children.

During the 80’s, with the partnership of the several major financial companies in America, he founded two financial firms: USF&G Financial Security and its successor - Capital Guaranty Company, which entered at the New York Stock Exchange in 1993. During the first decade, under his leadership, Capital Guaranty was involved in financing $18 billion in various infrastructure projects in America.  Later on, he founded an international bank in the United States and expanded operations successfully in former Yugoslavia.

In late 1999, to help unite the democratic opposition to implement the transition to democracy in Serbia, he initiated and organized the Sentandrea Congress in Hungary, which was the first official meeting between all-Serbian diaspora and democratic leaders in Serbia since 1944.

Together with two distinguished Serbian families, Vidak Chelovich’s from Detroit and Bora Vukovich’s from Denver, in 1993, he founded the
Studenica Foundation, and has been its chairman since.

In 1969, Djordjevich received the Americanism Medal from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and in 1967 the Excellence Award of the American Security Council.

Djordjevich’s endeavors were also recognized in his homeland.  In 2002, he was honored with The Order of the Yugoslav Flag of the second degree for his patriotic work abroad, and later he was awarded with the Order of Nemanja (II Degree) for “nurturing and expanding ties between the Serbian Diaspora and the Homeland and for selfless aid and humanitarian contributions to his people.”

Since 1983, he has been included in Who’s Who in America.

Along with his extremely active business and public life, Djordjevich was the author of many professional and other publications. Among them is his book of essays, “About Happy Living” and book of poetry.


If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com


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