THE PATH TO PARADISE...
WITH THE EYES OF GOD
EVERY CREATURE SEES THROUGH THE
WINDOW...TO THE SOUL
THIS IS A STORY OF OTHER REALITIES THAT MOST OF US MISS... INFACT WE GO TO OUR GRAVES WITH OUT KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR EXISTANCE...IT IS THE REALTIES OF OTHER PEOPLE WHO CANNOT BE PIGEON-HOLED OR STRAIGHT-JACKETED INTO WHAT IS DEEMED TO BE NORMAL AND IT IS LIKE PEEPING INTO ANOTHER WORLD (OR ANOTHER DIMENSION) WHEN THEY SHARE THEIR REALITIES.
TO BE CONTINUED...
BIG ISLAND, HAWAII, 11-11-11.
Everybody has a story to tell...that is unique them and there's alone. This is just one of the millions of stories...some told and many not told (that died with the person/persons and who's experiences were never recorded, that is as we lesser mortals can tell). What follows is an account of the experiences of Anjelia Magazinovich (Anlicised spelling) born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia on the 24th June 1920. She was the last of nine children and had four brothers & four sisters...her Mother: Danica Erich was also the last of nine children with four brothers & four sisters. She was a teacher and her father was a Serbian Orthodox priest. Anjelia's (i.e. ANGIE's) Father, Sava Magazinovich was an Arch-Priest who was brought up in Sarajevo and was in the same school & class as the boy (Gavrilo Princip) who assasinated Franz Ferdinand (but that is another story).
Well then as the final scribe, to Ennunciate Fully "Angie's Story", I should declare that I am her son Peter Hugo McClure born in Venice, Italy on the 19th August 1947...my Father being Edward McClure having a Scottish/Austrian/Serbian background.
A few years ago my Mother who was in her late 80's at the time was burgled in her home by three hooded men in her ground floor Westminster Council flat in London and fortunately for her she was awake and reading so when these three men entered her bedroom she did not panic and with a clear mind responded to their questioning and told them were her purse and other things were but boldly asked them to leave a few pounds for her next days shopping...they ramsacked her chest of drawers looking for valuables and found some golden commemerative coins which they took together with her TV & money and swiftly departed through the window where they made their forced entry...had she awakened while they were in the throws of their heinous act, it might of been a different story. So when my Mother was to relate these events to a mutual female friend with a publishing background from Chicago in the US, she said it was nothing compared to her 2nd World War expetiences in the Balkans. This finally led to Penelope (for that was her name) to ask my Mother to write of her War Time Experiences...so here it is redrafted by me with additions and corrections from the original notes & anecdotes provided by my Mother.
The sun slowly unveils its round face painting rays in the sky. This unique beauty is a gift from the ultimate creator and a gift to all. But we cannot admire or enjoy it...our small column is meandering through muddy fields...we are tired, exhausted, poorly fed and moving without a sound! The enemy could detect our presence and Fire...so silently we go with our eyes and ears fully alert. The first of the winter's snow is gently falling as we trudge silently, invisibly and without words...just focused on the pumpng of our hearts and rythem of our freezing breaths and our will to stay alive...
This is the start of The Book and future excerpts from "Angie's Story" will be added every week or so. I anticipate it will take 6-12 months to complete this project...I am your humble servant Peter Hugo Mcclure.
EXCERPT No. 2...
During the German occupation many Serb soldiers became prisoners of war but quite a large number organised themselves into guerilla groups to protect themselves & their families and of course they would from time to time find themselves engaged in battle with the Germans who were merciless and would round-up and kill a hundred civilians (including children) for every German soldier killed...the Serbs paid a very high price for their resistance! At the beginning of the war the majority of Serbs were Monarchists but as the Communists gained the upper hand and it must be said with the help of the British, in particular General Maclean who was instructed to help the communist faction and who reported back to Churchill that their would be a dictatorship in Yugoslavia if the Communists won the war and he replied: "why should you worry, you will not be living there". So there were two defenders fighting the Germans and each other. Montenegro was given to Italy by Hitler and Serbia was "left Out in The Cold"...All this would lead to a disaster in later years!
The Column is plodding silently as it enters a wooded area..."Oh where am i and what am i doing?"...and in a flash my head screams out: "Oh why my dear Lord, Oh why?"
The answer was not so simple: I was born in June 1920 the youngest of nine children and as a baby i was loved by everyone in the family...I was their pet and they took great care to make sure I was happy. I was very good in high school and also went to ballet school which I loved...all the better families sent their daughters to ballet & ball room dancing lessons. My four siters chaperoned me everywhere: to the Theatre, Concerts, Church and holidays. I was told what to do. I did not have to think or plan anything. My life was conducted for me and it was "charmed".
This is Anjelia in her student days in Belgrade just before the out-set of W.W.2...
EXCERPT No. 3...
One day a group of highly organised communists came into the town of Velinilje and nobody paid much attention. People accepted them giving them food and accomodation plus almost anything they asked for...they immediately started giving everybody duties...men and women were mobilised...even my husband because of his education was made Political Commissar and i was ordered to wash their laundry...we had no choice! It was winter with snow all around and the school had been taken over by the communists & used as a dormitary. I was ordered to clean and keep the place tidy as I was deemed to be a Bourgeois from Beldrade. I was pregnant at this time and got constant protection from my mother-in-law. As soon as the Italian presence appeared to be fairly minimal the communists soldiers went to Bosnia. As a result my husband and I Knelt down and prayed to God with thanks for our freedom. Everything looked as though it would be all-right but as the Winter set in new troop movements were observed. An Italian Officer had been killed and for this the Italians sought revenge by bombing us from the air. I and other women from the village left our homes to seeking what poor protection there was under the rocks.
Because of the killing a lot of men including my husband were manacled and taken away to Cetinje in the south. My In-laws and i did not know what had happened to them until a month later a girl was sent back. She had a red star emblazoned on her cap indicating that she was a partisan and she told us what had happened: My husband with others were murdered near Catinje in the shadow of Mount Cevo.
This is Anjelia with her Husband Sava Dukanovich (circa 1939)
N.B. Since I started these writings Anjelia, my Mother, died at the age of 91 in St. Mary's Hospital, London in late December and hopefully she is in a better place. Here is a poem by her that i found amongst her paper-work:
Oh! Grieve not for your Loved One
She's in a Happier land;
With sorrow left far behind
She awaits to clasp your hand.
We are all just visitors
To this small... Small world of ours;
We'll soon be in Paradise
Where Time's not measured...by hours.
So grieve not for your loved one
Her suffering is no more;
She greets you at... Journey's End
On that far...Far distant shore.
So i have recovered from The Grief and the account of Anjelia's Journey will continue...
The area we stopped at was under command of the "Avala Corpus" named after the Avala Mountains that ovelooked Belgrade. we thought we would be safe & protected there because the commandant was with my brother at school...alas that was not to be! I was mobilized because i was under 25 yrs old and single and that was that! Also when i was 17 i did a International Red Cross course in first aid ...so i was usefull! Because i was still sick with bronchitis i was invited to go to Zlatibor where Kolarevic (a family friend) was the commandant...i was placed under the protection of his unit and treated for my illness. One day i was told to leave Zlatibor because word had come of a large contingent of Partisans/communists were attacking...so we evacuated to Visegrad where we were again attacked...i was so ill they carried me in my nightdress. Finally someone asked me who i was and what was i doing there...when i replied that i was on the run from the Germans, i was ordered to get dressed and return to Belgrade. Well I did'nt. I ran instead in the opposite direction. I was later told that Partisans boarded the train that I was on and started killing the cadets on board because they were monarchists but some were able to escape. Kolarevic and his men avoided the massacre as they were not on board at the time. He was travelling with four US parachutists whose plane had been shot down by the Germans. The Americans were taken to a doctor and cared for and did not want to move as they were quite comfortable. So they waited for a detachment of partisans and joined them. I was with a group that were not sympathetic to the Communists and were in hiding and eventually joined the Monarchists or as they were called the "Chetnicks" that were loyal to the Government in Exile, They were made up of mainly Serbs & Montenegrans. The name comes from the word "ceta" which means "small military company" and as Royalists they formed small fighting groups against the Germans and the Partisans.
At the hospital i was ordered to take off my clothes and was sprayed with discinfectant. Then i was given men's pyjamas and put to bed. Two doctors came to examine me...i had a few red spots and was told that i had typhus which i had contracted from the lice bites. They also told me that i had pneumonia! Frankly i was too weak to care and not surprised by their diagnosis. I new what it meant to have Typhus! Very few survive and many that do end up with severe mental imparement. Only the luckiest survive fully intact. The doctor came in the next day and asked how do i feel and i replied "Nothing." "What! No pain...Your temperature is very high" he replied. I said i had been doing mental exercises...counting to 100 and backwards again...also reciting French & German verses. Everyone was laughing. The nurse came up to me and putting her arms around me said: "You will be alright!"
TO BE CONTINUED...