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the middle ages as political capital
The speech was delivered to 1 million people at Gazimestan on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo polje (also known as Campus Turdorum/Merularum, Amselfeld, Rigómező), on 28 June, 1989. The unabridged version of the present text was compiled by the National Technical Information Service of the Department of Commerce of the U.S.

[...] Today, it is difficult to say what is the historical truth about the Battle of Kosovo and what is legend. Today this is no longer important. [...] If we lost the battle, then this was not only the result of social superiority and the armed advantage of the Ottoman Empire but also of the tragic disunity in the leadership of the Serbian state at that time. In that distant 1389, the Ottoman Empire was not only stronger than that of the Serbs but it was also more fortunate than the Serbian kingdom. The lack of unity and betrayal in Kosovo will continue to follow the Serbian people like an evil fate through the whole of its history. Even in the last war, this lack of unity and betrayal led the Serbian people and Serbia into agony, the consequences of which in the historical and moral sense exceeded fascist aggression. Even later, when a socialist Yugoslavia was set up, in this new state the Serbian leadership remained divided, prone to compromise to the detriment of its own people. [...] Disunity among Serb officials made Serbia lag behind and their inferiority humiliated Serbia. Therefore, no place in Serbia is better suited for saying this than the field of Kosovo and no place in Serbia is better suited than the field of Kosovo for saying that unity in Serbia will bring prosperity to the Serbian people in Serbia and each one of its citizens, irrespective of his national or religious affiliation.
[...] Serbia has never had only Serbs living in it. Today, more than in the past, members of other peoples and nationalities also live in it. This is not a disadvantage for Serbia. I am truly convinced that it is its advantage. National composition of almost all countries in the world today, particularly developed ones, has also been changing in this direction. Citizens of different nationalities, religions, and races have been living together more and more frequently and more and more successfully. Socialism in particular, being a progressive and just democratic society, should not allow people to be divided in the national and religious respect. The only differences one can and should allow in socialism are between hard working people and idlers and between honest people and dishonest people. Therefore, all people in Serbia who live from their own work, honestly, respecting other people and other nations, are in their own republic.
[...] The crisis that hit Yugoslavia has brought about national divisions, but also social, cultural, religious and many other less important ones. Among all these divisions, nationalist ones have shown themselves to be the most dramatic. Resolving them will make it easier to remove other divisions and mitigate the consequences they have created. For as long as multinational communities have existed, their weak point has always been the relations between different nations. The threat is that the question of one nation being endangered by the others can be posed one day -- and this can then start a wave of suspicions, accusations, and intolerance, a wave that invariably grows and is difficult to stop. This threat has been hanging like a sword over our heads all the time. Internal and external enemies of multi-national communities are aware of this and therefore they organize their activity against multinational societies mostly by fomenting national conflicts.
[...] At the time when this famous historical battle was fought in Kosovo, the people were looking at the stars, expecting aid from them. Now, 6 centuries later, they are looking at the stars again, waiting to conquer them. On the first occasion, they could allow themselves to be disunited and to have hatred and treason because they lived in smaller, weakly interlinked worlds. Now, as people on this planet, they cannot conquer even their own planet if they are not united, let alone other planets, unless they live in mutual harmony and solidarity.
Therefore, words devoted to unity, solidarity, and cooperation among people have no greater significance anywhere on the soil of our motherland than they have here in the field of Kosovo, which is a symbol of disunity and treason. In the memory of the Serbian people, this disunity was decisive in causing the loss of the battle and in bringing about the fate which Serbia suffered for a full 6 centuries. Even if it were not so, from a historical point of view, it remains certain that the people regarded disunity as its greatest disaster. Therefore it is the obligation of the people to remove disunity, so that they may protect themselves from defeats, failures, and stagnation in the future.
[...] Six centuries ago, Serbia heroically defended itself in the field of Kosovo, but it also defended Europe. Serbia was at that time the bastion that defended the European culture, religion, and European society in general. Therefore today it appears not only unjust but even unhistorical and completely absurd to talk about Serbia's belonging to Europe. Serbia has been a part of Europe incessantly, now just as much as it was in the past, of course, in its own way, but in a way that in the historical sense never deprived it of dignity. In this spirit we now endeavor to build a society, rich and democratic, and thus to contribute to the prosperity of this beautiful country, this unjustly suffering country, but also to contribute to the efforts of all the progressive people of our age that they make for a better and happier world.
Let the memory of Kosovo heroism live forever!
Long live Serbia!
Long live Yugoslavia!
Long live peace and brotherhood among peoples!
Medieval events are often used to create historical foundations for modern international agreements. The regional cooperation of the so-called Visegrád countries was inaugurated by a summit of the heads of state and prime ministers of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland on February 15, 1991. The model for this was provided by the "royal meeting" of Charles Robert of Hungary, John of Luxemburg (Bohemia), and Casimir III of Poland concluding a triple alliance at Visegrád in August 1335, so it was signed in the medieval palace complex (not contemporary with the historical event).
Similarly, the millennium of the death of St. Adalbert in 1997 provided the opportunity for the meeting of seven heads of state in Gniezno, coordinated with the pilgrimage of Pope John Paul II, where all agreed to propose St. Adalbert, who connected different cultures, defended human dignity and served to the poor, as an additional Patron of Europe, along with St. Benedict and St. Cyril and Methodius.
On March 12, 2000, another celebration took place in Gniezno: the Millennary of the Congress in Gniezno (the meeting of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III and Boleslaus the Brave, King of Poland in the year 1000). This meeting of presidents – Valdas Adamskus (Lithuania), Aleksandr Kwaśniewski (Poland), Árpád Göncz (Hungary), Rudolf Schuster (Slovakia) and Johannes Rau (Germany) – discussed the "Unity of Europe in the culture and through culture".
The similarity of the situation that has evolved over the past decades has determined for these three countries convergent basic objectives:
• full restitution of state independence, democracy and freedom,
• elimination of all existing social, economic and spiritual aspects of the totalitarian system,
• construction of a parliamentary democracy, a modern State of Law, respect for human rights and freedoms,
• creation of a modern free market economy,
• full involvement in the European political and economic system, as well as the system of security and legislation.

The signatories of the Declaration shall jointly undertake the following practical steps:
• in accordance with the interests of the particular countries they shall harmonize their activities to shape cooperation and close contacts with European institutions and shall hold regular consultations on the matters of their security,
• they shall endeavor to create free contacts between citizens, institutions, churches and social organizations,
• in order to support free flow of labor force and capital, they shall develop economic cooperation, based on the principles of the free market, and mutually beneficial trade in goods and services, moreover they shall strive to create favorable conditions for direct cooperation of enterprises and foreign capital investments,
• they shall focus on the development of the infrastructure in communications, with regard both to links between the three countries and those with other parts of Europe, mainly in the north-south direction, and shall coordinate the development of their power systems and telecommunication networks,
• they shall increase cooperation in the field of ecology,
• they shall create favorable conditions for free flow of information, press and cultural values,
• they shall jointly develop multilateral cooperation to ensure optimum conditions for full realization of the rights of national minorities living on the territories of their countries,
• they shall support mutually beneficial cooperation of interested local self-governments of their countries and establishment of sub-regional contacts.
The signatories of the Declaration state that their cooperation in no way will interfere with or restrict their relations with other countries, and that it will not be directed against the interests of any other party.
The cooperation of the signatories will be realized through meetings and consultations held at various levels and in various forms.
Done in Visegrad on February 15th, 1991 in three identical originals in the Polish, Czech and Hungarian languages, equally valid.