✍ The Railway. An Adventure in Construction [1948]

por Teoría de la historia

UnknownThis short book is the story of the Yugoslav Youth Railway, built in summer, 1947, 150 miles long, from Sarajevo to Samac. It was built by 200,000 youth volunteers from every part of Yugoslavia. The story is told as seen and felt by members of the British Youth Continent who helped in the building of the railway. It was not many years since Eastern Bosnia was the scene of long and bitter Partisan struggle against the forces of occupation. Here villages changed hands fifty times in the course of the war. Here Axis communications were shattered. Here Nazi armies, with all their armour, knew what fear was. Here the youth were in the forefront of the Partisan units and of the new society that was being born on liberated territory. It is very fitting, therefore, that it should be there, in Eastern Bosnia, that the United Youth of Yugoslavia should give of their best for reconstruction. Those villages destroyed, Axis forces harried, railways exploded, roads mined meant, during the war, that British lives were saved, German units diverted from Rommel’s forces at Alamein, or withdrawn, later, from the Italian front. The theme of the book is the theme of the song of the youth volunteers: “We build the railway. The railwayYugoslaviaSarajevoMarket build us”. It shows why thousands should volunteer to do the hard and dirty work of reconstruction, what can be achieved by a people who at last have won the right to own their country, and how a new culture was born from the movement of the people first for resistance and now for reconstruction. The opening essay by the Editor, Edward Palmer Thompson, is highly to be recommended for those who through the youth movement of Yugoslavia seek an understanding of the very essence of new democracy. The contributions as a whole, uneven as they are, are interesting as a reflection of the impact of a new democracy in action on a crosssection of the British youth. The book is illustrated by drawings made by British contingent members on the railway. The whole is a good production.

[James KLUGMAN. “British in Yugoslavia” (reseña bibliográfica), in Our Time (Londres), vol. VII-VIII, 1947, p. 212]