Awareness of the Different: Yugoslav Students in France in 1945–1950. Between Parisian Challenges and Loyalty to the Party Cover Image

Awareness of the Different: Yugoslav Students in France in 1945–1950. Between Parisian Challenges and Loyalty to the Party

Author(s): Miroslav Perišić
Subject(s): History
Published by: Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije

Summary/Abstract: After Yugoslav students had come to Paris in the late 1945 they started a kind of their lives in the city which resembled past rather then the present.Everything felt and learnt about in that city spoke more about epochs and events and more about continuance then about the transient. Spirit of the times in the country they came from was not alike spirit of the times in the country where they were to start their university studies, notwithstanding that the period was the same. France kept on being devoted to its tradition, cherishing all former values, i.e. it proceeded from where it had stopped in the beginning of the World War II. In spite of these years of poverty, Paris itself was, as compared to some of the other parts of Europe, the very confirmation that neediness which was mutual to the post-war world was not even approximately equally distributed at all. Maybe the quality of life in Paris was not any better, or rather not much better then in some European capitals, but the very context of it surely was different from the most of Europe, creating better chances for everybody. What was impossible in Moscow, was possible in Paris. Feasibility of the alternative, personal freedom of both choice and different mind were among its features. Naturally, all of that influenced personal lives. Yugoslav students in Paris, alike the others in the time of late 1946 and throughout 1947, lived better lives then their colleagues in Yugoslavia, and especially when compared to those in the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia. To tell the truth, it was possible partly thanks to the help given by their country’s Government and the better sustenance organization, and partly thanks to the help of the French Government institutions, as well as because French social environment enabled both personal freedom and opportunities for making some additional money – which was, let us say, unthinkable for the foreign students in the Soviet Union.[...] Outstanding French intellectuals, The Communist Party of France members, would not experience any problems when expressing what was not pleasant for the Party leadership to hear. The Party gave them the right to say. It was not uncommon if someone of them would publicly state: “If I had to make choice between Torez and Stalin, I would choose Stalin”. Paris was an ideal spirit-stirring environment, favorable for initializing confrontations between ideology and knowledge, as well as between ideology and the way of life. All of the above strongly influenced numerous Yugoslav students which enthusiastically embraced Parisian breadth, albeit there were some of them who remained devoted to both the Party and its ideology.

  • Issue Year: 2006
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 100-123
  • Page Count: 24
  • Language: Serbian