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    • Jacques Hogard

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      Jacques Hogard
      • 25. November 2019.
    • The history of Franco-Serbian diplomatic relations was marked by close alliances during World War I and World War II until France's involvement in the 1999 aggression against the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. At the most difficult times for Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija in June 1999, during the withdrawal of the Yugoslav army - one name lit up the sky, a name that will remain remembered for its officer's honor and humanity - the name of Colonel Jacques Hogard, Commander of the French Special Forces.

      "The time of our troop deployment from Kosovo and Metohija was a time of chaos .... Colonel Jacques Hogard showed up in a middle of all that. At the entrance to Kosovska Mitrovica KLA terrorists blocked a long column of Serbian people,women and children  in vehicles. The column was attacked from all sides. Colonel Hogard arrived and stopped the bloodshed, arranged for some people to be transported by helicopter and others to continue the journey by escorting them to Kosovska Mitrovica .... That's why he is an honorable man and a true soldier." (From the „War Diary“ by General Nebojša Pavković, Commander of the Third Army in 1999.)

      Decisiveness and sobriety in moments of war horror, as well as a shrewdness in reaction based on the immediate experience of civilization sinking and collision with evil - are the qualities of exceptional officers. Colonel Hogard is a descendant of General Jacques Hogard, a naval infantry officer, a WWII veteran and wars of Indo-China and Algeria, himself son of Emile-Louis Hogard, officer of the African Army, a nephew of General Pierre Louis de Bénouville, a hero of the Resistance and Companion of the Liberation. Inspired by his father's stories about the tradition of Franco-Serbian friendship, he testified to Serbian officers during the negotiations on the entry of French troops into Kosovo and Metohija that he did not come as an enemy but as a soldier in the line of duty:

      "I quickly became aware that my main job was to protect human lives. When those who consider themselves soldiers are attacking a helpless nun, as the KLA did, what is left for man to do besides to protect her and confront the attackers? And that’s what we did from the beginning. They plundered people of their property, emptied entire cities in just one night, as they did in Vučitrn. It was killing on a large scale. I hope that soon their leaders will be brought to justice. The fact that KLA was a privileged interlocutor of the EU is a distortion of history, a violation of international law anda decline of our civilization. "

      Deeply defeated by the feeling that he was on the wrong side of the conflict in 1999, Colonel Hogard retired from the French army the following year. Today, he runs two consulting and security companies.

      "Europe has died in Pristina", an authentic and personal Kosovo-Metohija memory and the cognition of Colonel Hogard,  is a widely read book in France. The bitter sludge of war experience begins with a sentence by François Mitterrand addressed to Bernard-Henri Lévy back in January 1993: "As long as I am alive, never, listen to me well, never will France wage war against Serbia."

      Interpreting the historical-cultural dimension of Franco-Serbian friendship, Jacques Hogard has no dilemma: “Serbia should set an example for France. You have preserved the nation, culture, tradition, nature, religion. We are infected with mundialism. Serbia of today bears a resemblance to the land of Asterix and Obelix. You are now the unbreakable Gauls of Europe! "

      Jacques Hogard learns Serbian, often comes to Serbia and enjoys friendly hospitality.

      His aid to the Serbian monasteries in danger and sacrifice in the protection of the Orthodox population brought him the highest decoration of the Serbian Orthodox Church - the Order of Saint Sava. For his outstanding courage and heroism, the President of France honored Colonel Jacques Hogard with the Legion of Honor and the President of the Republic of Serbia with the "Milos Obilić" medal.

      Tonight, we modestly repay this discerning and far-sighted hero by rewarding him the Karic Brothers Award forbenefaction - for promoting and strengthening peace, cooperation and friendship among nations.

       

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