Everyone says You love the country of the Serbs. I say: Above
all, You love Yourself in this country.
I also love Tofu the cat (…). But
when Tofu brings a bird and eats him triumphantly before my eyes
and then kills him with relish, then all my love goes to the
bird! And if the poor thing is just hurt or shocked, then I
hurry and act! I try everything to save him, to help him, to
heal him. As a preventive measure, Tofu now wears a bell around
her neck. A tinkling alert signal for the birds.
Where is Your tinkling bell
for the countless Kosovars massacred, displaced, and
Gone with the wind your words, Poet?
Aren't you equally responsible for this war? You have done
nothing to give a chance to peace! Why not? One-sided, You
concentrate only on Yourself,
more and more.
Here is Handke photographed in front
of a shelled factory in Belgrade. Oh, what a vain fuss, what
ridiculous, empty pathos! The Indian on the
warpath as the last Serbian. Do You feel like a hero in Your
"dugout", and keep paddling?
Remember our story of "maneuvers"! It
was twelve years ago, precisely on April 14, 1987, just before I
left you forever, we went on the path in the Yugoslav Karst. All
of a sudden we were startled by rumbling tanks and loud banging
of gunshots. We were caught in the middle of a staged war. Back
then You told me: “Everything is better in the war. One knows
what it's at stake. '' Everything's better now, poet? I guess
You are now feeling much better. To some extent, You should be
grateful to this war because it satisfied Your perverse and
insatiable thirst for public recognition. Your ego bloating far
and wide makes me sick.
25,000 DEAD and two millions
displaced out of Bosnia! Over a million people displaced out of
the Kosovo! You the blind fool justifying the utterly
nationalist, chauvinist, and racist regime! By the absurd
twisting of reason and facts You legitimize a genocide and
deportation. Deliberately You have swapped the role of the
victims and perpetrators. And what is even more cynical and
infringing, You've taken the images of horror responsible for
the horror itself.
Are You not ashamed? When You go to
Belgrade and are awarded for Your piece staged over there or for
Your own person, noble Knight unfairly criticized, You
deliberately approve the bloodthirsty regime of the dictator
Milosevic! That is Your contribution to the “ethnic cleansing”!
Sure, I can still hear Your banal and vulgar words: I shit on
your Human Rights. I shit on your threatened people. Up your ass
Whom do You think You are, to believe
so in Your own importance? You are weak and without nobility,
neither humble nor sincere. A vain author, that's what You are,
who blinds himself while playing the part of the lonesome
preacher. That's all there is now, Your call to join a criminal
regime. You are an ideologue of modern Balkan
One more time Your kitschy, biased,
and unfortunately simplistic worldview receives too much
attention, and I wonder very much on what ground Your vulgar,
drunken followers support You. Your little dramatic plays do not
represent the real face of the war. They do not stand against
the huge obliteration of individuality (and even the faces of
the dead disfigured by baseball bats): they are only a discharge
of Your aggressive vanity. I am a pacifist. And If I had my way,
there would not be one single weapon on earth! But I know that
as long as there are men on this world, men like You: one-eyed,
relentless, hungry for power with an oversized ego, there will
be weapons and thus wars.
I can still hear my head bouncing on
the stone floor. I can always feel the hiking boot in my belly
and Your fist on my face. No! You are not a man of peace!
in the original German
This article was reported in an Austrian publication, May 21, 1999
(In German - use Google Translate for English)
about Peter Handke