Dr. Slobodan Lang headed the list of candidates for the Joint Movement of Good that ran for the European Union Parliament elections in Croatia last month. Although the group of candidates did not succeed in achieving seats in the EU Parliament the underlying election platform of the group lives on, in the hope that future will mean the future of Good for Europe and the World.
Dr. Lang has written the following reflection and invitation, published in tjedno. com (weekly.com) a couple of days ago and I (Ina Vukic) have translated it into English for the readers of this Blog and for all those interested in spreading the idea of creating a Good world for our children and grandchildren… in contributing to creating a Good future.
Let’s Create the Europe of Good
“We are entirely unimportant – but joining into a Europe of Good is critical.
Let’s commence immediately with the joint creation of Europe of Good, from the leading people of all religions and convictions, knowledge, ecology, media and politics, to all nations and states, all towns and villages, institutions, associations and organisations, across Europe, to every family home and individual – the vision needs to be fulfilled with individual and joint action, knowledge, arts, economy, faith and humanity – let’s start the life of good and realisation of a better world.
The colonial Europe has committed terrible crimes, murders, slavery, plunder, obstructing development and denying freedom all over the world. Because of that I contritely apologise here today. I am unhappy and I accept responsibility so that such things never happen again. I propose that a competition for raising a monument to the so little yet so large Gandhi be initiated immediately as a demonstration of such commitment. I propose that the competition includes all children and all artists of the world equally, and that the choice of the place where the monument would be erected also becomes a part of this competition. And when we eventually raise the monument, let’s start with real creation of good in ourselves and in our actions.
Still, we know that we cannot do as much harm to others as we can to ourselves. Every country and the whole of Europe can do more harm to themselves than to others or others to them. Today’s European politics are not creating good. The bearers of responsibility, planning, adopting and implementing the politics perhaps do not mean to do harm, they may themselves be confused and unhappy, even frightened at the face of the future. I believe it is like that. But I know that they did not wish hard enough, that they did not believe, imagine, learn, try and organise the Europe of Good hard enough.
I believe that there are very few leading and prominent people in Europe who regularly invite into their homes or visit the homes of the poor, the sick, the foreign, the unhappy … Leading persons of Europe do not know how to cry. The greatest debt Europe has is tears.
In June 2011 Barack Obama presented Angela Merkel with the President’s Medal of Freedom. At the ceremony, in the Rose Garden, she spoke of the moment when the Berlin Wall was raised: ” I was seven years old at the time. Seeing grown-ups, even my parents, so stunned that they broke out in tears, shook me to the core. My mother’s family, for example, was divided by the building of the Wall“. On the same day I, 44 years old at the time, walked through the wall and spent the night with women of East Berlin. To my admiration they united Europe non-violently, these women and mothers told me: “Doctor, we did that for the future of our children, and in twenty years times our names will not even be mentioned”. I speak today in the name of these women and in their name I ask that we create a Europe of good.
I am a Croat and a Jew, and through the Balkan wars of the nineties, I constantly placed my life in jeopardy through those ten years so that I could tell you today, here, that we have saved the lives of thousands of Albanians, Bosniaks, Croats, Roma, Serbs, Jews and the life of everyone else that was endangered. For them we placed our lives in jeopardy and I ask that you place yourself at disposal today and that you abandon the false morals, selfishness and power – that you engage yourself for the youth of today, for the future of Europe.
At the beginning of these wars, in Summer of 1991, I asked Mr Henry Kissinger for help. He told me that the Europe of that time did not know the Balkan, allows prejudice and does not have enough humanity to stop the war and suffering. He told me that our only real ideal is the experience of suffering, revolt and defence of people in the Warsaw ghetto. We commenced our “Challenge of good” program basing it upon these experiences.
I served the Wounded Christ during the wars that have passed, and I had not abandon him when they judged him nor when he carried the cross. The Wounded Christ stayed alive in Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Mostar, Knin…
At the Copenhagen summit in March of 1995, I asked all the heads of states to protect “the most tragic of Europeans”, to protect Srebrenica. They did not understand what I was talking about. The criminals have been convicted for genocide. Serbia has also been convicted for not preventing genocide. But no one put the question about the United Nations’ and the international community’s responsibility.
When I discovered a group of disabled children in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a 12 year old girl told me – “Doctor, we loved you all, even when you did not love each other or us, or yourselves“. I remained quiet and wept, and I’m giving you her message – do not forget to love other people.
I have learnt that the state where people are killed occurs when those involved do not know each other, and those that do not know each other send them to war.
In 1965, in Czechoslovakia, professor Ota Sik described to my father how they would attempt to achieve freedom and that they would not succeed. At my question – why attempt it then, he said to me ‘We owe it to the future to try‘.
My father, an economist, was involved at the university in the then West Germany in a debate about how large should German compensation be. After the financial appraisals by Germany economists, they asked him how much does Germany owe. He said that Germany itself must decide how much the lost lives are worth.
The European youth of today do not want to have colonies, they do not want to exploit others, they do not want to hate, accuse, enrich themselves. They are tired from evil and want to be the generation of good, they want to create new life, children, family, their villages, cities, countries and the whole of Europe.
All the powerful people are in the right when they say that the young are often not in the right, but it is a sure thing that every society that is against its young becomes itself entirely wrong.
I’m asking you here today not to think through money, allow yourself the right to be a human being, to release a tear, to want to do good and to send that message to all the countries and nations, to every home and every young person. Do not be afraid! We need you so we can create the Europe of Good together, so that you could learn, work, have children, joyfully look to the future.
There, that’s why we have united into the joint movement of good and entered our candidacy at the first Croatian elections for the European Union parliament. We did not succeed, but that is not important, because 6,000 people across the world voted for us and each and every one of them has the right to have their say for the creation of Europe of Good. All the elected members of EU Parliament from Croatia and all those they’ll meet there can pass on our message, and make it stronger, better and cleverer. We need all the people and states, which are not yet part of Europe, to create the Europe of Good together and as equals.
These are the words I wanted to say to Europe, with my belief, my actions, my knowledge, my inheritance and my experience.
Abandon money, aggression, hate, power and all false gods, they spread fear and they do not spread safety, they demolish and don’t build, they take away the present and do not open the future.
Tears, knowledge, work, youth, family, humanity and faith are the true values. Let’s create the Europe of Good upon them!”