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definition - Dobrica_Ćosić

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Dobrica Ćosić

Dobrica Ćosić
Добрица Ћосић
1st President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
In office
15 June 1992 – 1 June 1993
Prime Minister Aleksandar Mitrović (acting)
Milan Panić
Radoje Kontić
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Zoran Lilić
15th Secretary General of Non-Aligned Movement
In office
15 June 1992 – 7 September 1992
Preceded by Branko Kostić
Succeeded by Suharto
Personal details
Born (1921-12-29) 29 December 1921 (age 90)
Velika Drenova (Serbia), Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
Nationality Serb

Dobrica Ćosić (Serbian Cyrillic: Добрица Ћосић, Serbian pronunciation: [dɔ̂brit͡sa t͡ɕɔ̌ːsit͡ɕ]) (born 29 December 1921 in Velika Drenova, Trstenik, in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, today in Serbia) is a Serbian writer, as well as a political and Serb nationalist theorist. He was the first president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1992 to 1993. Admirers often refer to him as the "Father of the Nation", due to his influence on modern Serbian politics and national revival movement in the late 1980s;[1] opponents often use that term in an ironic manner. [2]


  Early life and career

Ćosić was born in 1921 in the village of Velika Drenova and before the Second World War was able to attend vocational agriculture school in Aleksandrovac. He joined the communist youth organization in Negotin in 1939. When the Second World War reached Yugoslavia in 1941, he joined the communist partisans. After the liberation of Belgrade in October 1944, he remained active in communist leadership positions, including work in the Serbian republican Agitation and Propaganda commission and then as a people's representative from his home region. In the early 1950s, he visited the Goli otok concentration camp, where the Yugoslav authorities imprisoned political opponents of the Communist Party. Ćosić maintains that he did so in order to better understand the Stalinist mind. In 1961, he joined Marshal Tito on a 72-day tour by presidential yacht (the Galeb) to visit eight African non-aligned countries. The trip aboard the Galeb highlighted the close, affirmative relationship that Ćosić had with the administration until the early 1960s.

  In opposition

Until the early 1960s, Ćosić was devoted to Tito and Tito's vision of a harmonious Yugoslavia. Between 1961 and 1962, Ćosić got involved in a lengthy polemic with the Slovenian intellectual Dušan Pirjevec regarding the relationship between autonomy, nationalism and centralism in Yugoslavia. Pirjevec voiced the opinions of the Communist Party of Slovenia which supported a more de-centralized development of Yugoslavia with respect for local autonomies, while Ćosić argued for a stronger role of the Federal authorities, warning against the rise of peripheral nationalisms. The polemic, which was the first public and open confrontation of different visions within the Yugoslav Communist Party after World War II, ended with Tito's support of Ćosić's arguments. Nevertheless, actual political measures undertaken after 1962 actually followed the positions voiced by Pirjevec and the Slovenian Communist leadership.

As the government gradually decentralised administration of Yugoslavia after 1963, Ćosić grew convinced that the Serbian population of the state was imperilled. In May 1968, he gave a celebrated speech to the Fourteenth Plenum of the Central Committee of the Serbian League of Communists, in which he condemned then-current nationalities policy in Yugoslavia. He was especially upset at the regime's inclination to grant greater autonomy to Kosovo and Vojvodina. Thereafter he acted as a dissident. In the 1980s, following the death of Tito, Ćosić helped organize and lead a movement whose original goal was to gain equality for Serbia in the Yugoslav federation, but which rapidly became intense and aggressive. He was especially enthusiastic in his advocacy of the rights of the Serbian and Montenegrin populations of Kosovo. Ćosić is a member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and is considered by many to be its most influential member. While Ćosić has been credited with writing the Memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, which appeared in unfinished fashion in the Serbian public in 1986, he in fact was not responsible for its writing. In 1989 he endorsed the leadership of Slobodan Milošević, and two years later he helped raise Radovan Karadžić to the leadership of the Bosnian Serbs. When war broke out in 1991, he supported the Serbian effort.

  During and after the Yugoslav wars

In 1992, he became the president of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which consisted of Serbia and Montenegro.

On Eastern Orthodox Christmas Eve of January 1993, Dobrica Ćosić appeared on Serbian television to warn of demands for “national capitulation” from western governments. “If we don't accept, we are going to be put in a concentration camp and face an attack by the most powerful armies of the world.” These outside forces, he said, are determined to subordinate “the Serbian people to Muslim hegemony.”[3]

Later that year Ćosić turned against Milošević, and was removed from his position for that reason. In 2000, Ćosić publicly joined Otpor, an underground anti-Milošević organization.

As of 2010, Ćosić still supports the actions of the Bosnian Serb Army under the command of Ratko Mladić during the Bosnian War.[4]

In 2011, an internet hoax led to state-run Serbian television announcing wrongly that Ćosić had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. That honour had in fact gone to Tomas Tranströmer.[5]

  Ćosić and Chomsky

In 2006, Ćosić received support in the press for his proposal for a partition of Kosovo from American essayist and linguist Noam Chomsky. In a [1] Serbian television interview, Chomsky was asked what the best solution for Kosovo's final status is. He responded:

My feeling has been for a long time that the only realistic solution is one that in fact was offered by the President of Serbia [i.e. Dobrica Cosic, then President of Yugoslavia] I think back round 1993, namely some kind of partition, with the Serbian, by now very few Serbs left but the, what were the Serbian areas being part of Serbia and the rest be what they called "independent" which means it'll join Albania. I just don't see…I didn't see any other feasible solution ten years ago.

This interview sparked a correspondence between the two dissident intellectuals, parts of which were published in the Belgrade magazine NIN.

  Literary works

Ćosić is a prolific writer who twice won the prestigious NIN award for literature.

  • Dаleko je sunce (1951)
  • Koreni (1954)
  • Deobe 1-3 (1961)
  • Akcija (1964)
  • Bаjkа (1965)
  • Moć i strepnje (1971)
  • Vreme smrti 1-4 (1972–1979)
  • Stvarno i moguće (1982)
  • Vreme zlа: Grešnik (1985)
  • Vreme zlа: Otpаdnik (1986)
  • Vreme zlа: Vernik (1990)
  • Promene (1992)
  • Vreme vlаsti 1 (1996)
  • Piščevi zаpisi 1951—1968.(2000)
  • Piščevi zаpisi 1969—1980. (2001)
  • Piščevi zаpisi 1981—1991. (2002)
  • Piščevi zаpisi 1992—1993. (2004)
  • Srpsko pitаnje 1-2 (2002–2003)
  • Pisci mogа vekа (2002)
  • Kosovo (2004)
  • Prijаtelji (2005)
  • Vreme vlаsti 2 (2007)
  • Piščevi zаpisi 1993—1999. (2008)
  • Piščevi zаpisi 1999—2000: Vreme zmijа(2009)
  • Srpsko pitanje u XX veku (2009)
  • U tuđem veku (2011)
  • Rat u Bosni (2012)

  On Ćosić

  • Pesnik revolucije nа predsedničkom brodu, (1986) - Dаnilo Kiš
  • Čovek u svom vremenu: rаzgovori sа Dobricom Ćosićem, (1989) - Slаboljub Đukić
  • Autoritet bez vlаsti, (1993) - prof. dr Svetozаr Stojаnović
  • Dobricа Ćosić ili predsednik bez vlаsti, (1993) - Drаgoslаv Rаnčić
  • Štа je stvаrno rekаo Dobricа Ćosić, (1995) - Milаn Nikolić
  • Vreme piscа: životopis Dobrice Ćosićа, (2000) - Rаdovаn Popović
  • Lovljenje vetrа, političkа ispovest Dobrice Ćosićа, (2001) - Slаvoljub Đukić
  • Zаvičаj i Prerovo Dobrice Ćosićа, (2002) - Boško Ruđinčаnin
  • Gang of four, (2005) - Zorаn Ćirić
  • Knjigа o Ćosiću, (2005) - Drаgoljub Todorović


  • Slavoljub Đukić, Čovek u svom vremenu: Razgovori sa Dobricom Ćosićem (Belgrade: Filip Višnjić, 1989)
  • Jasna Dragović Soso, Saviours of the Nation (McGill-Queens University Press, 2001)
  • Nick Miller, The Nonconformists: Culture, Politics, and Nationalism in a Serbian Intellectual Circle, 1944-1991 (Budapest and New York: Central European University Press, 2007)
Political offices
Preceded by
New title
President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Succeeded by
Zoran Lilić
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Branko Kostić
Secretary General of Non-Aligned Movement
Succeeded by


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