Sunday, January 04, 2009

Cetinje. Is This Jovan Simonov Plamenac? Cetinje Memorial, Monastery area. WWI, WWII, Leader. Strove for Independence, Montenegro

The Firing Squad Memorial
Is This Jovan Plamenac
Jovan S. Plamenac

Behind the monastery at Cetinje is this memorial of a man tied and apparently killed by firing squad. We think we have found his identity, finally, through Wikipedia, at

See his biography at Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Princedom of Montenegro, Serb Land of Montenegro, History of Montenegro OnLine, at

Spellings from the Cyrillic alphabet and any foreign language into English produce many variations, so we will continue to look for his history.

This tentative identification has been years coming, and was found in front of our noses - Wikipedia. We were there in 2006.

Why the silence about him, an academic, a humanitarian? There is a splendid array of Cetinje photos in an online gallery at - see all the old embassy buildings - but even there no identification of the man at the stake here.
This does seem to be, from the background information given, Jovan Plamenac. Click on the photo caption and see the enlarged picture and read the caption in Cyrillic to check for us. Please.
Rough Biography of Jovan Plamenac, through WWI. We need to continue to WWII
1873-1944 - Information framework from Wikipedia, to be augmented as we learn more, here vastly condensed, giving gist only:
  • Montenegrin Serbian,
  • teacher,
  • Minister of Education,
  • Minister of the Interior, involved as such in the Balkan Wars,
  • berated King Nicholas for leaving the country WWI, 1916,
  • became Speaker of the Serbian National Assembly, Kingdom of Montenegro,
  • 1918 opposed unification of Serbia with Montenegro,
  • gathered armed forces to fight, Italian units repelled (here we get mixed with who were allies and who were axis in WWI in the Balkans, Italian as axis),
  • led the "Christmas Rebellion" at Cetinje against Italian forces, rallied peasants and others,
  • this time Allies including French defeated them,
  • guerrilla attacks went on for years,
  • Plamenac fled to Albania,
  • Nicholas in exile was critical of the insurgents, but appointed Plamenac to his government (alliances fluid during those times, apparently) in exile,
  • Plamenac continued to work for independence, against Serbian annexation,
  • League of Nations no help, none came,
  • blame for unrest fell on Italians and Plamenac,
  • Britain no help,
  • Plamenac wrote Woodrow Wilson,
  • and this goes on for more than we can learn now - have to go back to the WWII era
  • ultimately in WWII Plamenac apparently collaborated with the Nazis and was killed by firing squad, by the Allies
  • have to go back and read all that to see what happened. We are interested here: If the Allies were no help in Montenegrin independence from Serbia, and obtaining Montenegri independence were the life's work of a patriot, wouldn't a patriot go for help to the other side, regardless? Germans/Nazis were all over the Balkans - look at the Ustach government in neighboring Croatia. He was killed for collaborating with the Nazis? The Vatican collaborated also. See Croatian entries, Jasenovac death camp, Cardinal Stepinac, etc.
  • See Plamenac entry at
Much more to be found out here - independence was achieved in 2006.
So: patriot, educated, cosmopolitan, sought independence.  The Axis Italians beat them back WWI, on the one side: Allied French beat them back when they tried again. 
WWII: Montenegro went with Germany that was occupying at the time in WWII, in this land that has been occupied by at least 8 nations in the last 1000 years, always occupied it; and the Allies kill him for collaborating.
There has to be more sense than that. Hold on.

No comments: