Oromhegyes (Serbian name: Tresnjevac) is a little village in
Vojvodina, Serbia, with about 2000 inhabitants. Even a year ago,
it was a peaceful, prosperous, calm place.
In May '92, 200 men of the villagers got their call-up papers.
This started a protest movement against recruitment and against
the war. On May 10th, women organized a demonstration. About 700
participants demanded: the withdrawal of the call-up orders; the
return of soldiers from the front lines; and the free return of
people who had left their homeland to escape recruitment. They
also declared that they would not disperse until their demands
During the demonstration tanks surrounded the village, but
there was no attempt to use force to disperse the demonstration.
The participants stayed together for a month, day and night, in
the Zitzer Club. They received visitors and support from other
parts of Serbia. The international press and some foreign peace
organizations also gave them moral support.
On June 26th, some of the participants of the protest
established the "Zitzer Spiritual Republic." This republic has
citizens, a president, a constitution, a hymn (Ravel's Bolero),
and a coat of arms (a symbolic pizza between 3 billiard balls),
but of course, it does not possess territory. Since then, a few
hundred people from several countries joined the Zitzer Spiritual
Republic, which is actually an international peace organization.
The protest was successful in one respect: the planned
recruitment of the reservists was not carried out until this
January. However, on January 30th the police searched for 40 men
who had formerly made a formal declaration: They - as reservists
- refused to join the armed forces. Instead they chose
alternative (civil) service. Serbian laws allow the choice of
The police captured 5 men: Bela Bicskei, Rudolf Utasi, Attila
Magossy, Karoly Feher, and Pal David. They were transferred to
the army and forced to take the military uniform. Some of them
This report was published first in English in
a journal of desire armed. #38; Fall 1993