Time Heals No Balkan Hearts, a book review of Robert Kaplan's Balkan Ghosts

Essay by bobitUniversity, Bachelor's March 2004

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The Balkans have been known as place of conflict since its first population. Historic records show that most, if not all of the great European empires have originated or occupied the Balkans. These empires are not just of other nation-states but were religions as well. This dark history of occupation and persecution could be seen as the same as the reasons for the America Revolution. Unlike the United States though, the Balkan states would not let these hatreds, that are hundreds of years old, disappear into the past. This ability to maintain these hatreds, as if they only happened yesterday, is a feat that is beyond comparison with any other part of the world. To find a solution to discontinue the hatred between the Balkans, better understanding of why it is there is necessary.

The Balkans are located on the lower eastern corner of Europe. Nations that wanted have access to Asia by land had to cross through the Balkans.

This made the Balkans a major target for any nation who was seeking world domination. The Greeks, the Germens, the Russians, the Ottoman to name a few empires who have claimed the Balkans as their own. One of the largest empires known was created by Alexander the Great, who conquered from Italy through most of Turkey and as far south as Egypt.

Balkan states have been involved in both World Wars. During the second, the Nazis controlled all of the Balkans. During this time, some of the hatred between religions grew stronger. One of the religious conflict was between the Catholic Croatians and Orthodox Serbians. One of the most controversial events during this time was the massacre of the Serbs by the Croats.

Under the authority of the Nazis, a Croatian cardinal and Zagreb arch-bishop, Alojzije Stepinac ordered the mass...