with Baba Mim....
Check out my other websites too:
Not Retired From Learning! http://www.notretiredfromlearning.com
Bizic Education Enterprises.
"The Power of Three"--> www.mimbizic.com
And the Moon Township Historical Society website:
A Message from
HRH Crown Prince Aleksandar:
Statement of HRH Crown Prince Alexander II
to the Serbs in America
"This is to thank the three generations of Serb descendants in America who have for the past forty three years respected, honored, and protected the tomb of my father, King Peter II, at the Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Libertyville, Illinois. Many of you I know personally having lived in Chicago as a young family man and from my many visits these past sixty years. In some cases I also knew your parents and even grandparents just as my father knew many of them.
"My father’s resting place these past four decades has been among his friends, soldiers and fellow refugees from World War II at our cemetery in Libertyville. Whatever tragic consequences my father, King Peter II, suffered as a result of World War II, they were no greater than those suffered and endured by your own parents and grandparents who, like him, were wrenched from their beloved country and thrown out into a strange and sometimes hostile world. These blessed souls, your families, my father’s friends, arrived and lived with him in the United States after World War II as refugees and “displaced persons” sometime pejoratively called “DPs”.
"My father was born a King and fulfilled his duties faithfully as best as he could under the circumstances. During World War II your parents and grandparents chose whether to be Royalists. They were the military professionals of the Royal Army who became prisoners of war in 1941, or they chose to join the Chetniks and other members of the Royal Yugoslav Army of the Homeland under General Dragoljub Draza Mihailovich rather than join the Partisans. For the choice your parents and grandparents made I know my father was grateful just as I am grateful today for that exercise of free will and display of loyalty.
"To bring my father home required some difficult decisions in the face of possibly long and unsettling proceedings. The circumstances of my father’s death and funeral in 1970 are best left to history. Thus, a quiet and dignified transfer was arranged. I know all who respect the monarchy and my father’s memory understand that his return was necessary and long overdue. King Peter’s final resting place at the Royal Mausoleum at Oplenac nearby his father King Alexander I in the now free and democratic Serbia will be open to you at all times to come and pay the respect you were unable to demonstrate last week. Thank you again for your past and continued loyalty."
Parts of the Crown Jewels were created in 1904 for the Coronation of King Peter II's grandfather, King Peter I, were made from material that included some bronze from Karadjordje's cannon. Very symbolic, because 1904 was the 100th Anniversary of the First Uprising by Karadjordje in 1804.
From WIKIPEDIA: Feb. 11, 2012 at 9:36 PM
"Although Peter II and his advisers opposed Nazi Germany, Regent Prince Paul declared that the Kingdom of Yugoslavia would join the Tripartite Pact on 25 March 1941. Two days later, King Peter, at age 17, was proclaimed of age, and participated in a British-supported coup d'état opposing the Tripartite Pact.
Young King Peter
"Postponing Operation Barbarossa, Germany simultaneously attacked Yugoslavia and Greece. From 6 April the Luftwaffe pounded Belgrade for three days and three nights in Operation Punishment. Within a week, Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary and Italy invaded Yugoslavia and the government was forced to surrender on 17 April. Yugoslavia was divided to satisfy Italian, Bulgarian, Hungarian and German demands and puppet Croat, Montenegrin and Serb states proclaimed.
"Peter was forced to leave the country with the Yugoslav government following the Axis invasion; initially the King went with his government to Greece, and Jerusalem, then to the British Mandate of Palestine and Cairo. He went to the United Kingdom in June 1941, where he joined numerous other governments in exile from Nazi-occupied Europe. The King completed his education at Cambridge University and joined the Royal Air Force."
And I couldn't put more history here, because I do not think the information from Wikipedia is correct.
King Peter was only 19 years old when he was invited to visit with President Franklin and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt on June 25, 1942. He was surrounded by well-wishers.
Royal Standard of King Peter II:
"On 22 January 2013, Peter's remains were returned to Belgrade.  They will lie in state in the Royal Chapel in Dedinje before reburial later in May. Serbian Royal Regalia were placed over Peter's coffin. Present in the return ceremony were the Prime Minister Ivica Dačić, Peter's son Alexander with his family and the Patriarch Irinej of Serbia. The latter openly advocated for the restoration of the Serbian monarchy."
Rest in Peace: Vjecnaja Pamjat, King Peter II!
It is interesting to note that my mother,
Laura Mamula Karlo,
was the President of the King Peter II Club
of South Side, Pittsburgh, PA,USA
while she was a still a senior in South High School and he was about the same age.
At first, 5,000 people were expected to attend King Peter II's funeral in Libertyville, Il. Instead, newspaper accounts say between 15,000 and 20,000 people were in attendance, many of them who had served the King's late father and him before WWII in Yugoslavia. Among them was Major Aleksandar Crepajac, who saved these articles for posterity.
Bishop Irinej's (Later Metropolitan Irinej)
"King Peter staunchly stood by the ideals of Liberty. He could have chosen an 'easier way,' the way of many others who believe it is possible to make a deal even with the devil. But King Peter sacrificed everything he had in the world to remain a symbol of freedom, not only for his people, but for all ENSLAVED NATIONS! He did so also because he detested dictatorships, be they left or right. He was above them: HE LOVED FREEDOM!"
Rest in Peace. Memory Eternal. Vjecnaja Pamjat.
St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville, IL is where King Peter II was interned since his funeral in 1970. This photo is from Wikipedia, posted by B. Garrett from Kenosha, WI on Feb.7, 2008.
King Peter was forced to flee Yugoslavia in WWII after the Axis invasion. He traveled widely, but settled in the USA, and died at the young age of 47 after a failed liver transplant.
From the official Royal Family of Serbia website:
His Majesty King Peter II
"King Peter II of Yugoslavia was the firstborn son of King Alexander I and Queen Maria of Yugoslavia. King Peter II was born in Belgrade 6 September 1923 his Godparents were King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (later Queen Mother of Great Britain). His education commenced at The Royal Palace after which he went to Sandroyd School in England, which he left after his father's assassination in 1934. Since King Peter II was 11 years old and underage at the time of his father’s assassination, a regency was formed consisting of three regents including his great uncle Prince Paul Karadjordjevic.
"In 1939 at the beginning of the Second World War, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia found itself surrounded by countries that had joined the Axis as allies of Nazi Germany. Prince Paul's decision in 1941 to sign a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany resulted in severe protests in the country and this led to a government crisis and a coup d’état by Yugoslav officers on 27 March 1941. As a result of the coup, King Peter II was proclaimed of age.
"The Yugoslav Army was unprepared to resist the ensuing invasion by Nazi Germany and Yugoslavia was occupied within eleven days. King Peter II was forced to leave the country along with the Yugoslav Government - initially to Greece, Palestine and then to Egypt. King Peter II joined other monarchs and leaders of German occupied Europe in London in June 1941. There King Peter was regarded by the people of Yugoslavia as the symbol of resistance against Nazism. King Peter II completed his education at Cambridge University and joined the Royal Air Force.
"Despite the collapse of the Yugoslav army two rival resistance entities were formed. The first resistance entity was the loyalist one led by Yugoslav Army Colonel Dragoljub Mihailovic who was later promoted to General and made the Minister of Defence of the Yugoslav government in exile. The other resistance entity was that of the communist Partisans led by the communist party leader Josip Broz - later known to the world as Tito. A bitter civil war followed during the German occupation.
"The Allies, having initially supported General Mihailovic later threw their support behind Tito. The Partisans entered Belgrade in 1944 in the wake of Soviet tank brigades and illegally established a communist Government. In November 1945, the monarchy was illegally abolished without a referendum and Yugoslavia remained a totalitarian single party state under the League of Communists for more than four decades.
"King Peter II never abdicated. Initially King Peter II lived in exile in London with his wife (he married the Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark in 1944, she was the daughter of King Alexander of the Hellenes and Aspasia Manos) and his son Crown Prince Alexander was born in 1945."
(Be sure to check out all of my WWII pages with the Chetniks to learn more about this period of history!)
This is the beautiful St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Oplenac, where King Peter II will be buried along with other members of the royal family.
My Danilovich relatives in Belgrade gave me this book of the Karadjordjevich Dynasty they guarded from the 1940's when I visited there for the 600th Anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo in 1989. Here are only a few of the many photos inside......Enjoy!
Mim Bizic's photo of her dad, Milan Karlo, then editor and photographer of the English section of the American SRBOBRAN; King Peter II visitng the Serb National Federation Headquarters at 3414 Fifth Avenue in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, PA in the very early 1960's, and Rev. Fr. Velimir Kovachevich, later Bishop and then Metropolitan Christopher.
Milan Karlo was working at the Diocesan Observer at the time of King Peter II's death. He took most of the funeral photos you see here.
Michael Sneed, writing in the Chicago TRIBUNE of Sunday, Nov. 15, 1970 wrote about the funeral, with the headlines of EXILED YUGOSLAV KING BURIED; 15,000 GATHER TO SAY GOODBYE.
Sneed began: "A king was buried in American soil yesterday in a small countryside chapel three miles north of Libertyville. 'Bury me in Liberty,' King Peter II of Yugoslavia had said, preferring to leave the 'ville' off his favorite town. 'I want to rest near my freedom-loving people. I must always share their destiny.'
"A throng of 15,000 people dressed in black filed past his bier, kissed the cross that lay across the top and wept. His body lay in a brown, metal coffin, the upper half covered with glass."
In another section, Sneed acknowledged "King Peter II helped thwart Hitler's movement into Russia" said a WWII amputee who had served with him in the Yugoslav Air Force."
"When the doors of the chapel were closed, 75 Serbian religious leaders and dignitaries from throughout the world were escorted in, the funeral services began, and it started to snow.
"Candles were lit, the smell of incense filled the room, and Serbian changing began as four bishops prayed for their dead king."
Near the end of the article he quoted a 17-year old girl for his article: "He was our king. He hated Communism and all the evil that goes with it. He loved freedom. He was a symbol of hope. Now he is gone."