The hundred-year legacy and educational journey of Miloje Čiplić Elementary School in Novi Bečej, documented through a monograph that reveals its history, community contributions, and lasting impact on generations of education.

Explore the hundred-year evolution of Miloje Čiplić Elementary School in Novi Bečej through comprehensive monographs that trace its development since its founding in 1908, highlighting significant milestones, community contributions, and continuous impact on education. Emphasizing a lasting legacy that inspires future generations within the local community.

Miloje Čiplić

Milоје Čiplić was born on February 25, 1912, in Novi Bečej. His parents, teachers in Novi Bečej, provided conditions for their three sons, of whom Milоје was the youngest, to prepare themselves in a well-ordered, quiet family environment to occupy higher positions on the social hierarchy than they did.

Miloje ČiplićHowever, Milоје, by nature daring and curious, a lover of life and eager to live it with all his being, as he saw true life as "a life of passion, heroism, and bold efforts," broke out of the framework of that idyllic family haven at the age of fifteen and realized that the reality he lived in was full of misery, fear, and violence. He learned, as he would later express in his poems, "how peasant heads crack when they fall on hard, cracked earth plowed shallowly," how "insanely the human, that unfortunate blood flows" and wondered "must a man bite the ground to avoid dying of shame."

Namely, Milоје’s intellectual maturation occurred during the years when in the former Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, persecutions, arrests, and murders were destroying the last remnants of national and democratic freedoms, and in the years of King Alexander's hurried preparations to carry out a coup and impose his personal dictatorship. But although the time when Milоје began to observe the world around him with his own eyes was bleak and dark, he, an optimist and passionate lover of life, did not believe it was the end of life, but that life, which was "in itself exciting, colossal, beautiful, romantic," had to be fought for and conquered. And it was precisely this conviction that revolution was the first idea that completely consumed him.

The second obsession of his life became literature, both as a powerful means in the revolutionary transformation of society and as a sense of personal life, as compensation for everything that the harsh times took from a man — "O, night, never of dead poets /... o, night of Pushkin, o his work instead of bright events / instead of springs, green meadows, crystalline fountains / instead of white boats, moonlight, and songs..."

Understanding that the relationships in the world were becoming increasingly complicated and burdened with the danger of international armed conflicts, Milоје considered it the duty of everyone who "wants to remove evil, darkness, and save both themselves and others from agony" to master some means of combat as soon as possible. This conviction was the driving force of his work. He studied and worked persistently, feverishly, and at the same time invested enormous willpower to overcome the weaknesses of his upbringing and to resist the numerous temptations and pressures of the time, aware that a participant in the transformation of society could only be an educated, brave, and uncompromising person — and "unfortunately, we were not created with these qualities, but they tried to make us as big cowards as possible and that model, mold, has been colossally successful."

Not fearing for his future, he did not strive to materially secure his existence (he was an actor and theater cashier, journalist, and private clerk), nor did he attach importance to formal school qualifications (he finished high school late and abandoned university studies first in psychology, then law). He was completely dedicated to studying the problems of the contemporary world. He studied social movements and cultural and artistic events with special attention. Instead of schools, he entrusted and corrected his acquired knowledge and experiences and built his personality through direct contacts and correspondence with writers of revolutionary views — Јоvanо Pоpоvić, Todor Kruševac, Јоvan Kršić, Viktor Rozenzvaig (Vitomir Јоvanović), Vladimir Kolarov — Koča, and others; then in contacts with personalities from public life with democratic orientations; in cooperation with the Youth Cultural-Economic Movement; associating with progressive and communist youth in the Vojvodina Student Canteen in Belgrade and finding himself in many other places where young men and women of that time, dedicated to political struggle, were preparing for the upcoming decisive battle — the revolution, for which most of them would consciously sacrifice their lives, among whom the words were often heard: "We are the generation that will never die."

Milоје started his literary work at the age of fifteen by writing poems, in which he was obsessed with the vision of revolution—his earliest preserved poem titled "The Dream of Revolution." However, he soon became acquainted with surrealism. The unconventional manner in which the surrealists debunked the apparent idealism of bourgeois society and introduced changes in the understanding and methods of artistic creation attracted his curious spirit. Thus, alongside poems with strong social tendencies, he began writing surrealist poetry. He made his public debut with a revolutionary poem and a surrealist poem simultaneously.

His first poems, excluding those published in high school literary circles, were published in 1929. That year, in "Book of Comrades," an almanac of the youngest Yugoslav social lyricists edited by Marxist writers Jovan Popović and Novak Simić, he published the poem "Song of the Chimneys." Additionally, in the Belgrade magazine "50 in Europe," the organ of a group of surrealist writers, he published a surrealist poetic text titled "Walking covered is not difficult to pass by walking and silence..."

By 1932, he renounced surrealism. From then on, his poetry predominantly expressed rebellion against social injustices and conveyed political convictions. Nevertheless, it retained verses of high value.

In the following years, Milоје expanded his literary work to include writing short stories, essays, and literary journalism. During the last two months of his life, together with his friend and writer Ljubiša Јоcić, he wrote the novel "Prisons."

Themes in Milоје's short stories mainly derive from Voivodina life. The petty spirit, egoism, and greed of nationally fickle petty bourgeois, war deserters and their resistance to saving interests of the hated Austrian empire, the attacks of downtrodden and exhausted populace on the estates of spahis and provincial traders and usurers, etc. Psychologically deep, imaginative, filled with authentic atmosphere, the stories indisputably prove Milоје's gifts and his potential as a novelist.

His essays, articles, and numerous reviews and notes that Milоје wrote undoubtedly illustrate the breadth of his interests, the firmness of his Marxist ideological orientation, and the ability to boldly and independently provide assessments and conclusions. He wrote about contemporaries in literature — Dušan Vasiljev, Branimir Ćosić, Vladislav Petković Dis, Antun Branko Šimić, Hasan Kikić, Maxim Gorky, Karel Čapek, and others, about current issues of poetry, about literary traditions of Voivodina, about the need for cultural-educational organization of broad national strata, about youth issues, about peasant property, about the civil war in Spain, about the growing danger of the strengthening forces of reaction and fascism in the world, and other current and acute problems of his time. As a good connoisseur of the conditions in which he lived, he accurately distinguished efforts and tendencies that brought society closer to revolutionary transformation from those leading to downfall and catastrophe. As dedicated as he was to positive trends and movements, his attacks and critiques of harmful and dangerous phenomena were equally sharp and uncompromising. "I gladly received your comments regarding my article 'Fascism in War,'" he wrote to Vasi Stojic, but would you believe me, I responded to it as it deserves, as the fascists defend and attack. So, isn't it the case that they have more bile than we do?"

In the communication of his assessments and conclusions, Milоје knew nothing of opportunism. He stated them without hesitation and openly, even when they meant criticism of personalities prominent in public life, whom he otherwise highly respected. "... The first issue of "Letopis," I think yours - once again I mention Milоје's words addressed to Vasi Stojic - has very little, or no difference at all from Milutinovic's. You speak of Milutinovic several times, so I'm surprised that instead of new chess boards and new figures, old figures have entered your "Letopis," on the old table and with old properties. That's why your committee didn't have the courage to print like Krležu..."

Harsh in his judgments of others, he was equally strict and open in assessing his own mistakes and misconceptions. He condemned his affiliation with surrealism, for example, in 1932 in a letter to Mladen Leskovac, describing it as a folly of his youth and a lack of conscience, as a departure and betrayal of the struggle for revolutionary transformation of society. Later, as understandings and stances among surrealists evolved (with most surrealists politically aligning themselves with revolution), he adjusted his attitude towards surrealism and surrealists. In 1937, writing about Milan Dedinc, he opined that surrealists, by speaking boldly yet truthfully about civil society, "have become revolutionary realists," and that surrealism remained within the currents of major European literature, "working together with others to explore the most important issues of the human thought process, conquering uncharted sectors of reason and logic without losing the driving force in the depths of arbitrary subconscious and unconscious automatism."

Sociable and open-hearted towards everyone, he loved and respected people, believing in specific abilities of each individual. Although he lived at times distant from his close friends, he corresponded diligently with them, encouraging and inspiring them to work and highlighting their own abilities and potentials. Despite his many connections with people from different social strata, he continuously expanded his circle of acquaintances, meeting new people, studying them, striving to connect them, simultaneously exploring contemporary reality and past values that could serve as a basis for gathering and uniting all positive elements of society against the increasingly sinister forces of reaction and fascism. From this need to contribute to strengthening the resistance front against these destructive forces, several of his initiatives arose. Together with his brother, the writer Bogdan Čiplić, he compiled the anthology "20 Years of Serbian-Croatian Poetry (1918-1938)", encompassing everything they deemed valuable in Serbian-Croatian poetry — because "... even if we divide people based on their affiliations, we are capable of recognizing what is valuable on the other shore, how far that value reached yesterday, reaches today, and will reach tomorrow." Since he couldn't find a publisher, the anthology remained unpublished. He was the initiator of the almanac "Vojvođanski zbornik", very active in explaining the goals of the almanac, gathering collaborators, organizing subscriptions and printing, and subsequently popularizing the almanac. He persistently advocated for the renewal of democratic traditions of Matica srpska and the gathering of progressive youth around "Letopis" and others.

A capable and systematic worker, Miloje wrote extensively and collaborated in democratic and progressive magazines and newspapers of his time. He collaborated with the Nikšić magazine "Valjci", the Čačak "Mala revija", Zagreb's "Književne novine", "Letopis", "Glas", and "Godišnjak" of Matica srpska, "Vojvođanski zbornik", "Srpski književni glasnik", Sarajevo's "Pregled", Zagreb's "Književnik", Timișoara's "Život", Belgrade's "Život i rad", Novi Sad's youth magazine "Naš život", Novi Sad's daily newspaper "Dan", and others. However, the published manuscripts represent only a small portion of what Miloje managed to write. His unpublished manuscripts were seized by the Special Police during his arrest in January 1941 in Belgrade. Among the seized manuscripts, which have not been found to this day, were complete poems, short stories, essays, and articles, but significantly more sketches, projects, and plans for the future. Miloje, however, did not have a future. He was arrested on October 2, 1941, at the corner of Svetosavska Street and Ivan Milutinović Street in Belgrade while hurrying to write the final section of "The Dungeon" with his friend Ljubiša Jočić, but they did not manage to write it. Fifteen days later, on October 17, without investigation or trial, Miloje was shot at Jajinci near Belgrade. "Novo vreme", the daily newspaper of the traitorous government of General Milan Nedić, reported that on that day one hundred Communists and one hundred Jews were shot at Jajinci. Among the executed Jews were Jews from Novi Bečej, so sometimes nightmarish memories of the war make it easier to imagine that perhaps it was easier to face machine-gun bursts in the company of compatriots with bare chests.

During his short life, Miloje did not publish a separate book. Matica srpska in Novi Sad published a shorter selection from Miloje's poetry and prose in 1949 under the title "Stihovi i proza", and the Museum of Socialist Revolution of Vojvodina in Novi Sad, in 1975, published a collection titled "San revolucije", which gathered most of Miloje's works published in earlier magazines and newspapers, as well as those that had not been published until then. The first edition of the novel "The Dungeon" was published by the publishing company "Bratstvo-Jedinstvo" in Novi Sad in 1956.

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