Movement of Serbian Chetniks "Ravne Gore"
With faith in God for the King and our Country the freedom fighters of "Ravna Gora" carry on their battle for the freedom which God has given man. We are opposed to every dictatorship and tyranny, and we will never give in to a life of bondage. We are proud, faithful and great allies of America, with whom we are bonded by the same ideals and beliefs, that our struggle will be crowned with victory and freedom. As soldier, who by birth and ethical traits belongs to the free and heroic Serbian people, I could not nor did I desire to abandon my King and my Country. I was bound by my solemn oath to give my life for my King and my Country. I have fulfilled that oath.
- General Dragoljub Mihailovic
Our Pledge to God and Country
-Testament of Vojvoda Momcilo Djujic
Exile and loss of freedom is not the greatest evil that could happen to one nation. The greatest evil is when spiritual and moral strength is destroyed, when the belief in God, Justice and Freedom is extinguished. No one, not even the communists, could force this on Serbian people, because we cannot be bound in chains.
In our struggle for God and Freedom, we have to return to the path of our ancestors; universally, with word and deed, bear witness of our faith in God; stand decisively with our suffering Mother Church and safeguard our spiritual unity, for without spiritual unity there is no national, or any other kind of unity; fortify our brotherly unity and nurture our religious and national customs.
Our oath to God and Country is that we won't give up or tire until we unite all Serbian lands and all Serbian people within the boundary of one Serbian state which, in the words of Bishop Nikolaj, are governed by three principals: God in Heaven, King in the country and father head in the house.
Our faith in Justice and Freedom and our faith in one God, in one St. Sava, in one united Serbian-orthodox church and in one proud and invincible Serbian people remains forever and unchangeable.
Formation of First Chetnik Chapter in U.S.
With the crossing of river Soca in Slovenia in May of 1945, Serbian Chetnik fighters had no idea what the future would hold. After disarming in Palmanove, Italy and spending years in the displaced persons camps in Italy and Germany, they started to emigrate to various countries in Europe, United States, Canada, Australia and other countries, very quickly establishing roots in the new surroundings and organizing into a single Chetnik organization.
The idea of organizing started in Milwaukee in 1951, on the initiative from former commanders and fighters led by Stevo Radjenovic, former representative for the district of Donji Lapac and wartime political adviser with Dinarska Chetnik Division. By 1950 and 1951, there were about 60 Chetnik families that settled in Milwaukee. Continuous contact was maintained with Voivoda Djujic, who was working for Serbian National Defense and bringing refugees from Europe to the United States, while trying to convince him to organize the Chetniks into one strong organization. In order to be more convincing, they held ameeting of al the Chetniks in the city. The meeting was held at the St. Sava hall on Third Street in the afternoon of August 22, 1951. After that initial meeting, a group of prominent Chetnik commanders and fighters decided to present the plan to Vojvoda Djujic, in Gary Indiana, and convince him to lead the organization. Vojvoda was not inclined to organizing another Serbian organization believing it would be better to join existing Serbian organizations such as Serbian National Defense or Serbian National Federation.
Nevertheless, the delegation came back to Milwaukee optimistic, and promptly formed the chapter and chose the officers of the board, thus establishing the first chetnik organization in the U.S.
That early formation started the Movement of Serbian Chetniks "Ravne Gore". The members of the newly formed movement in the United States and Canada, included not only former members of Dinarska Chetnik Division, but substantial number of Draza's surviving Chetniks from Serbia, Montenegro, Bosna and Hercegovina, also former prisoners of war who refused, at the end of World War II, to return to communist Yugoslavia.
Across U.S. and Canada, Chetnik organizations and Circle of Chetnik Sisters sprung up quickly. Later, Chetniks Ravne Gore were organized in England, Western Europe and Australia.
Although under difficult conditions, Serbian Chetnik Ravne Gore grew ever stronger and numerous. According to Vojvoda's report for the 3rd congress, held in Milwaukee in 1954, at the 1st congress there were 618 delegates from nine chapters; 2nd congress had 1244 delegates from sixteen chapters; and the 3rd congress had 2,500 delegates from 65 chapters - quite a success in four short years.
Now numerous and organized, they started setting aside funds for printing brochures and newspapers, including: Our Struggle (Nasa Borba), Chetnik Newspaper (Cetnicke Novine) and others, as well as radio programs in some cities. In 1959, they started the newspaper Serbia which is still in print today.
Shortly after, they started to buy and construct Chetnik halls, much sooner in England and Canada than in the U.S. and Australia. The first hall in America was bought in 1968 in Chicago, which was a large apartment building without a hall for meetings. Realizing that it had no practical benefit for the organization, the central board decided to sell it, and look for suitable land outside of Chicago. Land was bought in 1971 and, in 1982, the building was erected and blessed.
Besides the halls, the Movement donated substantial amounts of money and effort in erecting the bells and tower for St. Sava monastery in Libertyville, and constructing a memorial park with the bust of Vojvoda Momcilo Djujic, also at Libertyville, alongside the existing monument to General Draza Mihailovic and Voivoda Pavle Djurisic.
Not only was the Movement, as a whole, participating in erecting Serbian churches, but all chapters and its members in Serbian communities were active and leading members of those communities, reserving Serbian religious traditions and customs. Serving God and country is a lasting objective of Serbian Chetniks and followers of general Draza.
Serbian Chetniks and followers of general Draza. From a humanitarian standpoint, the Movement is second to none in helping brother Chetniks who stayed behind in Germany, and in sending humanitarian aid to Serbs in Krajina, Bosna and Kosovo. Not a single church or monastery renovation or building went without monetary contributions of the Movement or its members.
And lastly, we can't forget our brothers who gave their in all the wars and those who died and are laid to rest in foreign lands.
Glory be to them!