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BIOGRAPHY OF dr ZORAN DJINDJIC

Zoran Djindjic was born in Bosanki Samac in 1952.He grew up in Travnik and Belgrade, where he completed his elementary and high school education. He graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade in December 1974. He applied for postgraduate studies at the same Faculty. He wrote and published the reviews of magazines and books, mainly for Radio Belgrade Programme 3 that was intended for well-educated audience maintained a high professional level and became an elite institution, within which whole philosophical and literary works were made, such as the 8-volume publication by Radomir Konstantinovic Being and Language.

 

In early 1977 he left Yugoslavia and went to Germany for PhD studies. His mentor was professor Albrecht Wellmer, disciple of Juergen Habermas. In Germany, Djindjic was particularly attracted to Frankfurt, because of the aura that the Frankfurt School had in the eyes of philosophers. Simultaneous work on several projects was characteristic for Djindjic’s. Between 1977 and 1979, within the project of the Philosophy Institute of the Faculty of Philosophy at Belgrade University, he worked on a research of genealogy, origin of the system of German philosophy and German idealism. During his stay in Germany, he focused on  detailed research of anarchism. Much more than anarchism as ideology, the anarchist methods of struggle have been revived in the sixties, primarily their revolutionary ethos of freedom.

 

The works of Zoran Djindjic reveal the impact of this ethos on his formation, while his life reveals much more than the mere influence. Based on the very good knowledge that he had on the Russian revolutionary heritage, Djindjic problematised the question of the revolutionary subject, the relation between the movement and the party, goals and instruments of the revolution.

In early eighties, Djindjic focused on studying Hegel, but also such authors as Reinhart Koselleck, Niklas Luhmann and Carl Schmitt. That was his final farewell to Marxism.

 

Zoran Djindjic received the prestigious scholarship Alexander Von Humboldt (1982–1984). The scholarship was intended for young scientists from whole world who had already earned a PhD degree and started the career in science. Habermas was Djindjic’s mentor at the time. In order to be able to come to Belgrade more often and to stay longer, on June 1, 1986 Djindjic got employed at the Centre for Philosophy and Social Theory. He was still travelling among Frankfurt, Vienna and Belgrade and he swayed between science and politics.

 

The books he has written are not reflected in the political scriptures of Zoran Djindjic. Djindjic’s political thought synthetises versatile knowledge and experience and it represents a strong element of the context in which, following the imperative of a responsible politician, he reached decisions of great importance.

 

After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the wave of changes that started in the countries of Eastern Europe, Djindjic definitely decided in 1989 to return to Belgrade. He was 37 at the time. He was one of 13 Serbian intellectuals who had declared their intention to establish the Democratic Party on December 13, 1989 and who did that already on February 3, 1990. In January 1994 he was elected the President of the Democratic Party.

During the nineties, Djindjic was one of prominent opposition leaders and, on February 21, 2017, he was elected Mayor of Belgrade as a candidate of the Zajedno (Together) coalition. He performed the Mayoral duties for seven months only. During the October 2000 changes, he was the key opposition leader, so that, after the downfall of Slobodan Milosevic, he became the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Serbia on January 25, 2001.

 

In 2000 he received prestigious German political award Bambi, while in 2002, he received the Pollack Award in Prague, which is presented by the Fund for American Studies. The award is presented for contribution to conducting democratic and economic reforms in Central and Eastern Europe.

He wrote the following books: Yugoslavia as an Unfinished State (1988), An Autumn of Dialectics, and several hundred scientific works and texts. He translated books and philosophical texts from German language. He was the chief in editor of the Theoria magazine, official publication of the Philosophical Association of Serbia.

 

After only two years spent on PM position, Zoran Djindjic was murdered on March 12, 2003, in front of the building of the government of the Republic of Serbia in a politically motivated assassination. He was 51 years old. He left behind his wife Ruzica, daughter Jovana and son Luka.

MORE ABOUT ZORAN DJINDJIC
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Written legacy, certain personal things and the library of Zoran Djindjic

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A part of the digitalized legacy is available at the Zoran Djindjic Virtual Museum: www.zorandjindjic.org

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Books, scientific articles, discussions, essays and translations