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"Children should know the truth": A book about NATO bombing shocks parents, here's what the publisher says

A book for children about NATO's aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SRJ, Serbia and Montenegro) has caused strong reactions from parents on social networks

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Srbija protiv NATO, knjiga

Photo: Shutterstock, Dobro dete/Predrag Ikonic

The book, which recently appeared on the shelves of bookstores in the children's section, caused strong reactions among users of social networks in Serbia. "Serbs vs. NATO from 1991 to 1999" has caused many to ask whether the book is suitable for elementary school-age children.

Many parents commented on Reddit that the book was too serious, and as it was indicated that it was intended for children over 8, they wondered if such texts would influence the formation of their political opinion in the future. However, the publisher and editor of the book, Aleksandar Miljevic, tells Telegraf.rs that the edition is fully adapted to children. It is immediatelly noticeable the book is enriched with numerous illustrations, and what scares older citizens are illustrations depicting blood. Nevertheless, Miljevic says that all this is part of Serbian history and that children certainly learn about such situations in schools.

"In elementary school, children learn history and read about historical events, so it is clear that they can easily understand it. At the same time, many children have already heard a lot about everything mentioned in the book either from their parents (a huge number of Serbs either became refugees from Krajina, or know somebody who escaped from the RS or Kosovo and Metohija) or from the media, who talk and write about it abundantly every year. Everything here is already known, summarized in one place and adapted to children.

As for their political opinion in the future, I think that NATO, which attacked us, should be the ones to think about that, because that is the primary reason behind the fact that currently over 80% of Serbian citizens are against that organization, as reported by several polls lately. Therefore, this book will not influence children's opinion any more than the opinion of their parents, relatives and friends, as well as the media coverage of the NATO aggression in 1999, which we have had covered by all media for over 20 years," Miljevic stressed in his statement for our portal.

According to him, the book is entirely based on historical facts, and although he is aware of some negative comments, he says that there was a lot of interest at their stand at the (book) fair, while the point of the book is not to spread hatred as is being said on social networks, but to present facts from the side that came under attack.

"It is adapted to children by choosing 10 events that are described through short romanticized stories ((Operation) Storm, the shooting down of the French Mirage over the RS, our intelligence officer Milanovic gaining access to plans to attack the SRJ thus postponing those attacks by 6 months, Kosare, Pastrik, our army creating dummy targets (for NATO to bomb), people defending bridges, the Russians taking over the airport in Pristina, the monk Hariton in Kosovo and Metohija...). These are suitable for children, without bloody scenes, without hatred towards anyone, instead things are conveyed to children exactly as they were, meaning the truth as seen by the majority of the Serb people, and everything supported by facts and evidence.

At the end of the book, there is a documentary part about the already known historical facts surrounding the NATO aggression: the use of depleted uranium, cluster bombs, the bombing of civilian targets (hospitals, kindergartens, trains, bridges, buses...), children and civilians getting killed, the media demonization of the Serb people around Markale and Racak events in order to create reasons to attack the Serb Republic (RS) and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, where we provided children with new knowledge about the facts that have been proven and written about, and some participants admitted that what they had to write (report) was not true, so that children know that we (Serbs) didn't do that. At the end, intellectuals from the East and the West who were against attacking the SRJ are listed, so that children know that there were great minds from around the world who were against it, in spite of everything," the editor adds.

All the books published by this company have a similar theme - they convey traditional values to children, and those with patriotic content attract the most attention. Miljevic adds that it is important to present the events from the point of view of the Serb people.

"They (children) should cultivate pride in belonging to such a people, rather not growing up with a feeling of inferiority towards others because they read various proven lies about our people that make them feel bad. And finally, last but not least, they should grow up in line with traditional Serb values, of which freedom-loving is one of the most important ones," concludes the editor of this book.

Video: On this day, NATO bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade

(Telegraf.rs)

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