Malvina Hoffman is one of the best known American women sculptors. She created a whole "Hall of Man" for the Chicago Field Museum that included 35 full figure statues, 30 busts and 39 heads. She is also the author of several books about Mankind.
Shown here with one of her statues in England.
Malvina witnessed unbelivable tragic things while traveling in Serbia's Kosovo and reveals she knew the Kosovo legends quite well.
This is from her book entitled: HEADS & TALES
The sole surviving monk from the Gracanica Monastery had given Malvina TWO candles to take back to New York to thank the American people for saving his people from starvation. It was no easy task to keep the candles safe during the next few months while she traveled either in her Ford, or with the Ford on a Railway Flat Car on her way back from Kosovo.
This is the St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York, where the candles given to them from the monk in Kosovo were lit June 15, 1918 for special "VIDOVDAN" commemoration. The service was attended by 5,000 people who wanted to see the candles their Dean, V. Rev. Howard C. Robbins had talked about. All across America, bells pealed and churches paid homage to the Serbian people, their fight for Kosovo, and an end-of-the war Victory celebration.
Serendipity? Or perhaps it was my Guardian Angel working overtime!
Something made me go to EBAY’s website last night after an absence of several weeks. I was perusing half-heartedly when something struck my eye. Offered for sale was a handwritten letter from the famous American sculptress and authoress, Malvina Hoffman to the Rev. Howard C. Robbins.
The cost listed for this Ebay item ($699.00) was too high for me, but the descriptive words were priceless to all of us Serbian Americans who haven’t given up the fight for historic Kosovo to remain a part of Serbia.
Malvina Hoffman (1887-1966) studied with Auguste Rodin (considered the progenitor of Modern Sculpture) in Paris, and indeed, was called “The American Rodin.” Hoffman was also instrumental in helping Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic (who also loved the Serbian Legends of Kosovo) reach his full potential, but she is most known for her incredible work featuring 35 full figures, one half figure, 30 busts and 39 heads at the Chicago Field Museum and its “Hall of Man.”
Howard Chandler Robbins was the Dean of the incredibly exquisite Episcopalian Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC form 1917 until 1929. (See photo)
In the letter offered on EBAY, Malvina Hoffman thanked the minister who led Americans in celebrating Kosovo Day, in 1918!
The ad offered this explanation along with the “Buy It Now” price tag:
"This is the reduction of the original declaration which you saw last Sunday. Thank you for the copy of your beautiful address, and for all the trouble you and Mr. Nash must have taken to make the Liberty Service such a success. Some day when perspective permits us to be judges of what has actually occurred during these momentous five months, I think we will be more glad than ever that we celebrated Kossovo [sic] and Victory day for the peoples in Europe. Very cordially". MALVINA HOFFMAN.
Ebay item # 290138015953 was offered by “historydirect”, a UACC Registered Dealer and proud member of the Manuscript Society. His Ebay store is called “History For Sale” and boasts a 99.5% satisfaction rate with hundreds of dealings since 2003.
The dealer offered more in his explanation: “The Kosovo region of the former state of Yugoslavia, detached from Serbia by a NATO intervention in the 1990s and now on its way to independence with a majority population of ethnic Albanians, has become a symbol of ethnic strife.
"During World War I, however, the people of Serbia were themselves praised by American and Allied populations as heroic models of the struggle for independence of oppressed peoples. On June 18, 1918, memorial services across the US commemorated the Battle of Kosovo (1389), in which the Serbian Prince Lazlo died attempting to resist conquest by the Ottoman Empire.
"Reverend Howard Chandler Robbins, Dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and recipient of this letter, delivered an address comparing the Serbs to the people of Israel. World War I ended five months after these celebrations, hence Hoffman's reference to ‘these momentous five months.’ This letter's reference to a date once celebrated but now long forgotten by most Americans helps explain Serbia's dogged determination to hold on to Kosovo, a region central to its sense of national identity. Fine content! Mailing folds. Pencil notes (unknown hand) on blank integral leaf. Overall, fine condition.”
It’s great being retired. Your time is your own to spend as you wish. Further research indicated there are many photographs taken by Malvin Hoffman of the Serbs in the Online Archive of California. Papers 1897-1984, Box 75 has her Serbian War Photographs. There is another box that looks real interesting for all researchers there in sunny CA, of Box 64, F2.
St. Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich taught us about the soul of Serbia suffering through 500 years of Turkish slavery: “With belief came hope, with hope strength, and so the Serbs endured the hardest and darkest slavery every recorded in history, not so much by their physical strength as by the strength of their soul. It was a great temptation for the Serbs to abandon the Christian faith and to accept the faith of the Crescent. Under this condition only, the Turks promised freedom to the Serbs and equal rights. Several of the aristocratic families could not resist this temptation and became renegade to the faith of their ancestors in order to save their lives. But the mass of the people fearlessly continued to be faithful to the belief in the Cross.”
Just the way most of today’s Americans forgot about the rescue of the 500 U.S. Airmen during WWII, they forgot that everyone in America during WWI knew of the heroic Serbs and their struggle for Kosovo. Then, America led with prayers for the Serbs and their Kosovo, not with threats and bombs.
Mars Na Drinu
From Aleksandra Rebic we have this information:
This was one of the very first songs I remember from my childhood and the video below, posted by "cveti007" on YouTube, includes a great version of the song, a photo slide show, and actual live film footage! You cannot help but feel deep national pride and patriotic passion upon listening to this timeless tribute to the military bravery so embedded in the soul of the Serbs. The music is by the famous composer Binicki, and the words are by Miloje Popovic. (Thanks, Sasa Stojsin for this info.)
YOUTUBE VIDEO <----click here
To battle, go forth you heroes,
Go on and don't regret your lives
May Cer see the front, may Cer hear the battle and river Drina glory, courage
And heroic hand of father and son!
Sing, sing, Drina - of cold water,
Remember, and tell of the ones that fell,
Remember the brave front,
Which full of fire, mighty force
Expelled the foreigner from our dear river!
Sing, sing, Drina, tell the generations,
How we bravely fought,
The front sang, the battle was fought
Near cold water
Blood was flowing,
Blood was streaming
By the Drina for freedom!
У бој, крените јунаци сви
Крен'те и не жал'те живот свој
Цер да чује твој, Цер нек види бој
А река Дрина славу храброст
И јуначку руку оца, сина.
Пој, пој Дрино, водо хладна ти
Памти, причај кад су падали
Памти храбри строј
Који је пун огња, силне снаге
Протерао туђина са реке наше драге.
Пој, пој Дрино, причај роду ми
Како смо се храбро борили
Певао је строј, војев'о се бој
Крај хладне воде
Крв је текла, крв се лила
Дрином због слободе.
U boj, krenite junaci svi
Kren'te i ne zal'te zivot svog
Cer da cuje tvoj, Cer nek vidi boj
A reka drina slavu hrabrost
I junacku ruku oca, sina.
Poj, poj Drino, vodo hladna ti
Pamti, pricaj kad su padali
Pamti, hrabri stroj
Koji je pun ognja, silne snage
Proterao tudjina sa reke nase drage.
Poj, poj Drino, pricaj rodu mi
Kako smo se hrabro borili
Pevao je stroj, vojev'o se boj
Kraj hladne vode
Kra je tekla, krv se lila
Drinom zbog slobode.
"Mars Na Drinu" was the finale of a wonderful concert featuring the Serbian people in a concert for Serbian New Year's Day for the United Nations, thanks to Serbian President of the General Assembly, Vuk Jeremic. Viva Vox performed ten songs ranging from "Bohemian Rapsody" by Queen and "Mamma Mia" by Abba, but also traditional Serbian songs such as "Hajde Jano" and "Tamo Daleko.
From Balkan Insight:
"Jeremic dedicated the concernt to "all of those who dream about world peace... millions of people of good faith of all colours and religions.
"They are the true owners of this noble home. We serve them, so that future generations may live as one," Jeremic told guests.
All of his fellow monks had been massacred when the monastery at Gracanica, Kosovo was attacked and destroyed in WWI. (These photos were taken by Malvina Hoffman, herself, perhaps America's foremost Woman Sculptors.
This young boy lost a hand during the war and most likely, both of his parents.
Malvina Hoffman made this famous WWI poster which helped raise funds for the suffering Serbian people. America responded beautifully, especially led by the wonderful efforts of the Dean of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York and his parishioners in 1918.
Here are some excerpts from an old Coraopolis School District textbook I found entitled THE SPIRIT OF DEMOCRACY: Patriotism Through Literature, by Lyman P. Powell, copyright 1918, Rand McNally & Company. (I wrote about this for the SRBOBRAN in July, 1998).
The poems inside, Mr. Powell asserts "were selected for their intellectual comprehensiveness, moral elevation, restrained feeling and rhythmic quality. There were FOUR selections offered about Serbia and the Serbian people, beginning on p. 180. This is important "treasured gold" proof for our younger generations, as today's shameless rewriters of history would have them and us believe that the Serbs (and not the Germans and Austrians) wore the "black hats" in WWI because of the death of Archduke Ferdinand. Not so, my young ones.
Go to this website's webpage called "Serbia's Sacrifice" to the far left of this column, above "Interesting Tidbits."
The American Red Cross hired the famous Lewis Hine (known for his documenting of child laborers and the Ellis Island immigrants) to document its European Relief efforts in the waning months of the war after the Armistice in 1918.
There's a photo taken by him in the back of the July 2009 issue of a young Serbian refugee from Grdjelitza. Hines notes: "With not even a roof over their heads, these families were finding their ways back home on foot from northern Serbia where the Austrians and Germans had sent them to produce food for the enemy....When these people reach home, it will not be home, but simply ruins."
Thanks to Carl Savich for pointing out the above.
The main story about the SERBS in the July 2009 issue of National Geographic is nothing but propaganda rubbish like the magazine has been producing for the last 20 years. Lies, lies and more lies. Read carefully readers!
Like Carl pointed out there is no photo of the TOWER OF NIS, but the text says how the Turks "DECORATED" the wall with the cut-off heads of the Serbs. You judge for yourself!
Some WWI books in my collection:
The illustration above is from the book THE BOY SCOUTS OF SERVIA by Capt. John Blaine. It was illustrated by E. A. Furman, published by the Saalfield Publishing Company of Chicago, Akron and New York, 1915.
"In a moment they were alone in the heavens, racing toward Servia."
Serbia: American Allies in WWI, WWII!
Don't let REVISIONISTS change history!
Scottish Woman's Hospital Unit
Thank you to all who dedicated themselves to helping others!