One of the most inflammatory and disgusting incidents against Kosovo Serbs occurred in 1985.
Djorde Martinovic became a symbol of the human rights abuses committed against Kosovo Serbs. He became a “martyr” for Kosovo Serb Christians. In a painting by Miodrag Popovic, 1 Maj. 1985, Martinovic was shown being crucified like Jesus Christ by Albanian Muslim separatists. His case became symbolic of a perceived sense of Serbian Christian “martyrdom” in Kosovo. Wouldn’t you be outraged and angry if someone shoved a bottle up the ass of an American? In other words, this horrific attack came to symbolize Serbian grievances and a sense of victimization in Kosovo. For this reason, the story needed to be quashed. It had to be made to appear like it was all made up. Fearing a backlash, the Yugoslav government and the US and the Western media colluded in manipulating and censoring and falsifying the incident. What followed was a massive cover-up by the Communist Yugoslav government.
On May 4, 1985, the Martinovic case appeared in the Yugoslav Communist political publication "Politika". The headline read: "A civilian employee of the JNA in Gnjilane, Djordje Martinovic, attacked and injured on a stake on May 1 on his own land Jaruga, two kilometers from Gnjilane. This crime was committed by Albanian terrorists".
What happened in the Martinovic case? It all depends on who tells it. This is one version or “narrative” of the “storytelling”. Djordje Martinovic was ambushed by several Albanians who attacked him while he was working in the field on his own private property. He was placed on a stake or spike. He was then sodomized with a bottle, impaled with a bottle. The Albanian attackers forced the bottle in his anus. Martinovic managed to run to a nearby road where he was able to flag someone down. He was taken to the hospital in Pristina where he received emergency surgery. His injuries were serious.
This is where the plot thickens. He was then visited by Novak Ivanovic, an official from the civil branch of the Yugoslav Army, the JNA. Ivanovic then told him that he had not been sodomized by ethnic Albanian Muslims in an ethnically and religiously motivated hate crime. This is only what appeared to be the case on the surface. He told Martinovic that he was a homosexual and that he had inflicted the injury on himself. It was a self-inflicted injury. The bottle was a dildo Martinovic used in homo-erotic self-gratification. Once the exercise in homosexual auto-eroticism went awry, Martinovic decided to blame the Albanian separatists. That was quite a story.
After a year passed, Novak Ivanovic gave an interview in the publication "Intervju" admitting that the whole homosexual “explanation” was concocted and fabricated on the orders of a General of the Yugoslav Army or JNA. The homosexual angle was a hoax. This is the part of the story that never seemed to reach the US and Western media. The US media stuck with the discredited homosexual angle because it could be true even though shown to be false.
Martinovic obtained the signatures of five doctors in Pristina that attested to the fact that such an injury could not be self-inflicted. He was operated on by British surgeon Peter Holly twice in London who also confirmed that a self-inflicted injury was not possible. A Slovenian doctor in Yugoslavia, in an effort to buttress the Communist regime, however, had argued that a self-inflicted injury was possible. This injury became politically charged. The Communist regime did not want to acknowledge that a Kosovo Serb, a Serbian Christian, was sodomized in an ethnically and religiously motivated hate crime. To do so would only strengthen Serbian “nationalists” within Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav Communist regime then falsified the evidence and the facts, indeed, made up its own “reality”. This was all done in the name of preserving Yugoslavia and in covering up any Serbian grievances.
We would call this “reality control” today, PR and spin. We are no strangers to “reality control” in the US and the West. This perhaps best explains why these outlandish and outrageous lies and fabrications were accepted in the US and the in the West as etched-in-stone facts and as truths. Who would believe Djordje Martinovic anyway? He is a Serb. He is a Christian. And he is a homosexual too. Or is he?
Yugoslav interior minister Stane Dolanc, who was from Slovenia, made the “official” conclusions on Television Ljubljana in 1987: “The Djordje Martinovic case is over. My police have shown that the injury was self-inflicted and there is no legal recourse. Djordje is the first Serbian Samurai who has committed on himself hara-kiri." Preposterous? Outrageous nonsense? Not so to the US and Western media. It could happen?
In the May 22, 2004 article “Chronicle of an enduring enmity” in the Guardian Unlimited, Nicholas Lezard recalled the Djordje Martinovic tragedy in the context of the broader conflict between Christianity and Islam. Lezard reviewed the book Infidels by Andrew Wheatcroft, which analyzed centuries of confrontation and conflict between Christendom and Islam. Lezard queried: “How could we have imagined this conflict could ever have gone away?” Lezard then wrote about the Martinovic sodomy in the context of Christian-Muslim relations:
“When the Serb Djordje Martinovic claimed in 1985 that two Albanians had shoved a bottle up his bum, some newspapers pointedly referred to the old Ottoman punishment of impalement, even though it was possible Martinovic had performed the deed himself for private reasons.”
He could also have been the victim of an alien abduction. Lezard played the spin game too. Anything is possible, especially when you want to engage in a bit of “reality control” and spin. The key to the game is to create ambiguity and uncertainty. Then the game is won. It becomes a farce of he said/she said. Facts are suspended and meaning is deferred. Ultimately, we get to decide the facts for ourselves. We create our own “reality”. That is where all the fun is. Ignorance is, indeed, bliss. Who needs reality when we can manufacture and create our own reality? This is the key in understanding the Kosovo conflict.
In 1990, a court in Belgrade found the Yugoslav government liable and that Martinovic be awarded 100,000 Marks in damages. He never received that award. The court did, however, exonerate Martinovic. But no one noticed. Or cared.
Djordje Martinovic died on September 6, 2000 in Citluk near Krusevac. His wife was Jagodinka. He had three sons, Srecko, Dragan and Gradimir, and one daughter, Olga.