About the War and the CampsnMilovan Djilas: Wartime; translatednby Michael B. Petrovich; HarcourtnBrace Jovanovich; New York andnLondon.nJ. K. Zawodny: Nothing butnHonour: The Story of the WarsawnUprising, 1944; Hoover InstitutionnPress; Stanford, California.nAbram Tertz (Andrei Sinyavsky):nA Voice from the Chorus; translatednby Kyril Fitzlyon and Max Hayward;nFarrar, Straus & Giroux; New York.nRobert Conquest: Kolyma: The ArcticnDeath Camps; Viking Press; NewnYork.nby Leo F. RaditsanJL hese four books teach seriousnessnand courage. No one who reads themnwith any care can look upon the worldn—and also his world—with quite thensame eyes, rather with quite the samenillusions. They teach soberness—andnthey teach without meaning to—whichnis the way history teaches.nIn order to tell the war in Yugoslavianfrom 1941 to 1945, Djilas has to looknat himself, which says something aboutnhim and the kind of war he fought. Henbegins by stating that it is harder tongive an account of the past actions thannto act. This sentence would be classic,nif it were generally true. Djilas’ accountnof the various guerrilla wars in Yugoslavianand the fighting against the Germansnand the Italians is not a history,nbut a reliving of what he saw and didnand the reasons he gave himself thennand his understanding now. But for thenmost part his understanding now is notnmore profound than his rationalizationsnthen—except that now he does not be-nDr. Leo Ferrero Raditsa is a historiannwho teaches at St. John’s College, Annapolis,nMaryland.n8nChronicles of Culturenlieve the reasons he gave then. But henwill not admit it.nFor instance, although Djilas and hisnfellow leaders needed communist ideologynto hold themselves together and tonact, it is clear from his narrative thatnmuch of the strength of resistancenamong the guerrillas and in the populationnsprang not from ideology but fromnlove of country, honour and independence.nDjilas hints at this and at thensame time tries to talk himself out of itn—again with reasons he used with himselfnduring the war. But two crucialnextemporaneous speeches, he recalls,nshow that when he led men he addressednthem in the language of courage andnhonour, not in the marxist-leninist ideologynwhich sustained him.nDjilas speaks of the “insane grandeur”nof the events which he was in—and itnis evident that the memory of themnoverwhelmed him in the writing. Hengives the impression of a man trappednin his past, in the most difficult partnof his past, when he killed and wasnready to be killed—and counted on nobodynbut himself and the party. Therenis little here I can call courage: partynmembers who surrendered and returnednwere executed. There is a sense throughoutnthe narrative never expressed thatna man who has done the things Djilasndid while living with an ideology whichndenied good and evil, as well as innocence,ncan never return. At most hencan remember. Unlike Solzhenitsyn,nwho began to suspect he had been somethingnelse as well as a soldier when henwas arrested on the Prussian front inn1945, Djilas does not—perhaps he cannot—whispernthe dreadful question tonhimself, “Were we after all right, entirelynright.”” To fight, to die, to murdernyet not to be a hero—that is the storynhe tells, and to some extent—but onlynto some extent—it is the story of thenwhole Second World War and explainsnwhy it has not led to peace but to anothernwar, more pitiless, more all-nnninvolving than the last, more deadlynbut less obviously so. There is nothingnreassuring in this narrative, that is thenclosest it comes to nobility:n”Killing is a function of war and revolution.nOr could it be the other waynaround.””nDjilas’ narrative raises a historicalnquestion it never answers. Did the communistnguerrillas in Yugoslavia fightnthe war against the Germans and thenItalians because they saw it as an occasionnfor seizing power in civil warn(“revolution”).”nBecause he does not face this questionnhe does not understand all the consequencesnof the war he fought. He understandsnthe readiness of the communistsnin Yugoslavia to fight on their own (andnin ideological dependence on Moscow)nmade it possible to stand up to Stalin inn1948. But he does not grasp the connectionnbetween the kind of war he foughtnand his fall from power a few years later.nBut it is just his expulsion from thenparty in 1955 and his first imprisonmentnin 1956 which answers the question.nFor with the refusal of thenCommunist Party in Yugoslavia tonallow any opposition—shown in thenarrest of Djilas—and to risk the lossnof power in elections, it became clearnthat the war against the Germans andnthe Italians had been subordinate to thencivil war, that the lust for power (rathernthan the ambition for elected office)nand the guilt that comes with it had predominatednover the love of country.nBecause he does not face these questions,nDjilas writes autobiography, notnhistory. He understands the war notnpolitically, but in terms of what it didnto him. He is constantly aware of himself.nHe never lost himself entirely tonthe world because of ideology and thenfighting. Something in him held back,ntold him what he said and thought henthought—and still thinks he thinks—n