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April 8, 1999.


We speak to you from the very heart of Belgrade, perhaps from its most beautiful part, Tasmajdan.

In our close neighborhood you can see the greatest of Belgrade parks, these warm days of April always full of children and their pets. There is also the magnificent church of St Marc, one of the most grandiose holy places in Belgrade, which is now getting ready to welcome thousands of Belgrade citizens to celebrate one of the greatest Orthodox holidays - Easter. Right next to these places, is our school, Fifth Belgrade High, standing there proudly for almost a hundred years.

It has been through several wars, but has always survived to give us the greatest wits of our country. Will it be the same this time?

In the last fifteen days we have been witnesses of our small but proud country and everything we have shed our blood for, being destroyed. They claim those are military objects, representing danger for NATO forces.

Are all those schools, nurseries, hospitals, even monasteries, that have been damaged or destroyed in the last fifteen days also dangerous for NATO forces?

At least 190 school building has been destroyed or damaged.

We could also add the hospitals in Nis, Leskovac, Military Hospital, Serbian Clinical Center Maternity hospital, the six hundred years old monastery of Gracanica which is being ruthlessly destroyed day-in-day-out.

The list is infinite! Will our Fifth Belgrade High be an equally dangerous object for NATO forces as those mentioned above?

Just a few yards from our school is the building of National Television, which, we believe, might be a possible target for NATO air strikes.

In case of this building's bombing, our school will also be destroyed, the bombs will fall on Tasmajdan park and the great holy place of St Marc might undergo the same.

Is destroying the National television building worth taking such a risk, the risk of committing the worst of sins - taking away the lives of hundreds of weak and defenseless in one day, crashing their sacred places?

Isn't anything sacred on this planet any more?! Do not shut your eyes before this humanitarian disaster, and don't allow yourselves to go against your own conscience.

If you allow this madness to continue, you should know, that no humanitarian organization, and especially not yours, will be able to justify its existence.

Help us, for your sake, and for your own conscience' sake.


Mrs Verica Rakonjac Pavlovic
Fifth Belgrade High