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Monday, 10 September, 2001, 22:54 GMT 23:54 UK
Milosevic written out of the picture
Slobodan Milosevic has been written out of Serbian history
13 years in power but now excised from official history
By the BBC's Balkans correspondent Paul Wood

Pupils in Serbian schools have been given a new history textbook which takes account of political changes in the country - but makes no mention whatsoever of the former President Slobodan Milosevic, who is now facing a war crimes trial at The Hague.

As far as Serbia's school system is concerned, Slobodan Milosevic has been written out of history.

Federal elections in September and polls in the republic in December 2000 lead to a change of power and a modification of domestic and foreign policy

Textbook on Milosevic's downfall
The last section of the new textbook is called "contemporary problems of Yugoslavia".

It catalogues the break-up of the old Federation in the early 1990s and the ensuing wars of cessation.

Its explanation of what happened makes no mention of Mr Milosevic.

The October Revolution, which saw him swept from office, is described as a "change of power" and a "modification of domestic and foreign policy", again making no mention of the former president.

History re-written

School textbooks have often been part of the ideological struggle in the old Yugoslavia.

It was this way under Tito and during the Bosnian war.

All three sides portrayed other ethnic groups as stereotypical villains in children's stories, a practice the international authority in Bosnia has been trying to stamp out.

It is not clear if this new Serbian textbook has been written under the influence of the country's new political masters, or if by common consent the subject of Mr Milosevic is still too controversial to be confronted in the classroom.

See also:

30 Jun 01 | Europe
Analysis: Milosevic's legacy
01 Apr 01 | Europe
The downfall of Milosevic
06 Oct 00 | Europe
Timeline of an uprising
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