Updated: May 29, 2022
Serbian Cathedral 20. West 26th Street, New York, 10. N. March 27, 1946
I had the opportunity to speak with you on board the Queen Elizabeth last January about the current situation in Yugoslavia. I read your Olympic speeches in the USA, Olympic in terms of style and clarity, but Christian in spirit. I especially liked your quotes from the Bible.
A New York lawyer told me: "We knew Mr. Churchill as a great statesman, but now we know him as a Christian. " I was glad to hear that. Because a great Christian nation such as the English should have true Christians as leaders.
And now that I know you as a Christian, I dare to write to you one more time and ask you for a true Christian.
This is General Mihailović, who was caught after five years of fighting against the forces of evil and sentenced to death in advance (according to Prime Minister Šubašić). When eight million Serbs, at home and abroad, heard the news, they trembled with horror and injustice in this world.
I am sure that these millions of Christians cannot think about the condition of this great General without thinking of you at the same time. Because, as the British Prime Minister, you were the deciding factor in their fate during the war.
Forced by some hitherto unexplained circumstances - and reluctantly - you respected him first, i.e. you took away his power, and gave it to another, unknown person from the underworld. Our people were angry with you, but they continued to trust you and the British government.
General Mihailović will most likely be shot. But you know that death is not the end of man. The dead, the dead righteous are more powerful than the living, and I am convinced that the General, who in this world was the most faithful servant of the Lord, his people and Allies, will defend his case before a just God.
His blood will fall on those who are to blame for his death. Because we, Christians, do not see in the blood only "red water" as totalitarian infidels do, but we consider it a terrible mystery.
The Bible, which is often quoted in the British Parliament, teaches us that the blood of the righteous cries out, asking God for the truth. And I certainly wouldn't want a drop of the General's blood to fall on you and your descendants.
That is why I am asking you to raise your voices as soon as possible, and to tell the truth about General Mihailović, before he is dead. You have already done that in part, when, as the press says, you admitted that it was your fault that you gave help to the forces of evil in Yugoslavia.
That's a big deal. The greatness of a truly great man is not only in his great achievements, but also in his courage to openly and honestly admit his mistakes. But please do the rest. Defend that unjustly and wrongly abandoned leader and the people who are now very close to the gates of death and eternity.
Can I help you with some traits about General Mihailović's character?
He is at the core a Christian, a believer. During the German occupation, he secretly visited our sanctuaries and asked the priests to pray for him and for the people who are with him. He trusted in God.
He went to Holy Communion at night whenever he could. And he advised others who were with him to do the same.
He ordered his soldiers to lead a pure Christian life, repeating to them often: "We are crusaders, and we are fighting for the 'Honorable Cross and Golden Freedom' as our ancestors did for centuries."
He is a true people's man and a man for the people. The masses of our people considered him the embodiment of what is considered the best in our character, our soul and conscience, our history and the history of our church.
There are recorded cases when people consciously went to their death to save his life. Such was, and still is, the enthusiasm of the suffering but honest people towards their honest leader.
And now as for the freedom and democracy that the British people fought for and suffered during these great years, General Mihailović has been, since the beginning of this second war, the most visible supporter of democracy in the Balkans and, I dare say, in all of Southeast Europe. No one other such can be found in this whole area.
Only the false propaganda of atheists, who believe in the monkey as their creator, and not in God, has made every effort to tarnish the name of this hero, when enemies and friends have been forced to remain silent lately. He is now on his Golgotha, but his resurrection will wipe all the mud from his face, and make him shine in his purity and glory.
He was brought up in the tradition and spirit of our Christian church in a patriarchal family in my diocese. That is one more reason why I pray for him. Not as a lawyer for his client, but as a shepherd for a man from his spiritual flock.
Truth is dearer to me than human connections and relationships. And the truth is that this spirit is invariably Christian and democratic all the time, until now.
And that spirit, according to the Holy Scriptures, is the most important thing, always and forever. Facts can be interpreted and distorted one way or another, according to the good or bad will of the people. But even the facts do not deny Mihailović, nor contradict his spirit.
Please remember that we had war and revolution in our country at the same time, unlike Britain, which only had war. Our General had to fight against both external and internal enemies. And he bravely fought against all of them, when England was on his side and helped him, and he continued to fight against them when England rejected him and supported the communists.
And even in that other period, when the Allies attacked his troops from the air, as I was told, and killed his soldiers, he issued an order that no bullets should be fired against the British, Americans and Russians. Strictly consistent, he did not turn against the Allies, even when the Allies turned sharply against him.
He remained, in word and deed, faithful to the democratic character of human dignity and the freedom of all God's peoples, which you have repeatedly pointed out as the basic principles of the English people.
Well, General Mihailović will now find his tragedy, very soon, if you do not take measures to provide him with a public and fair court of justice in which English and American lawyers and soldiers would appear as witnesses, those who were with him during the war, or as his guests - saved from the Germans - or as fighters who fought side by side with his guerrillas against a common enemy.
Even if your efforts fail, you should know that you did everything you could in this case. The Serbian people should know that. When I say that, I also mean the friendship of our two peoples in the future.
Serbs are a poetic people. They will sing their tragic hero for generations, I am convinced of that. But they will inevitably mention your name next to General Mihailović's name; so I ask you to do everything you can to make your name glorified and praised in the poetry and history of our people, who, together with the Greeks, were the guardians of the East-West border, the backbone of the Balkan Peninsula, and loyal to England in this war until death.
May God help you and bless you.
Sincerely and faithfully to Your Excellency,
Bishop of the Serbian Church Nikolaj