Franz Kafka, “The Trial”
My name is Ivan Kopić and I am the son of the late engineer Zlatko Kopić. I am writing this letter not only in my father’s name but in the name of the entire Kopić family who is grateful to Mr. Đorđević and appreciates his help, support and humanity that he has shown for many years.
I have heard just recently that Mr. Tomislav Đorđević was imprisoned and I was shocked by this news. Just the fact that this kind of man is charged with a criminal offence is at the same time absurd and very sad, as it demonstrates that people, mainly powerful ones, are able to do anything for money and power, even to ruin even an innocent man, taking away his dignity and pride. On the other hand it is so ridiculous; I keep thinking that it’s a very bad joke. But unfortunately, it is not.
Sadly enough, my father is no longer alive, but I know that his words would also be honest, human, critical.
Back in the eighties, Mr. Đorđević gave an opportunity to my father when he still was a young engineer – beginner, to work in the planning firm in Šid. That point was crucial in both his life and our lives since his successful career started at that time. Mr. Đorđević gave him not only his first significant job, but security and dignity as well, and I will say it in the common way – he gave him joy and pleasure that he can take care of his young family – his wife and two young children. Tom, in that way, influenced not only him but the whole range of events around us that would come. With the gained experience and knowledge, my father found a job in Agroinženjering in Sremska Mitrovica, the biggest town in the region, with more living and education options.
At the beginning of the nineties, the war started, which ruined not only the states but the people, the humane way of thinking and souls as well. The world turned upside down; it was a time which we easily might call – a human catastrophe. Long lines for the most common types of food, fuel and other goods became an every day experience, blackouts, work that was not paid for, became the reality for the most of population. Although our father never let us feel that, I saw in his eyes, I heard in his voice, that the truth that he could not give us more was tormenting and ruining him from the inside. The same as Mr. Đorđević, he also never wanted to leave his country and even today I admire their patriotism. In those hard times, when most of the companies were ruined or their owners left the country packed with money, Mr. Đorđević was opening new warehouses, new factories, providing jobs for a lot of people and families. One of these was again my father, who was given back his dignity by Tom, who gave him the opportunity to earn money so that he later bought an apartment.
But, how did Mr. Đorđević influence my life? It is supposed that children do not remember a lot of events from their childhood but I am not of that opinion. By moving to Sremska Mitrovica, my sister and I got a very nice and unforgetable childhood, full of joy and freedom. Regarding the war, the saying – what does not kill you, makes you stronger – is very applicable for the situation. Beside the fact that the war set our family apart, Mr. Tom was unmistakably giving an impulse to our family, at the right moment, as well as the strength for the next step. Through the job in Russia, my father gave us such things that we could not even dream about, that we were afraid even to imagine. He gave us the opportunity for an education and he encouraged us to be independent. Today, thanks to that, I may say that I graduated from the University of Matej Bel in Banska Bistrica (Slovakia), that I have started my career in one of the best telecommunication companies in the world, at the working post Order manager, and that currently I work in the very successful computing company DELL, as Project manager and Business System Senior Analyst. I can say about myself that I speak six languages and I live with my wife in our own little dream house. Yes, everything is in inner strength and will and everything may also be achieved without assistance from others, but it is not the same how long it takes and whether one preserves his human dignity in all that.
How do I see Mr. Đorđević? My first memory of him goes back to my childhood when we went for a visit to their house. He seemed to me so big, at that time he looked like a Santa Clause to me, just without red clothes. He was very serious and at the same time he made jokes; he was elegant, a man who knew what he wanted. My experiences are of a man who has a vision, who needs only a piece of tin in order to build a factory. I also admire him since he, although the circumstances in Serbia and Yugoslavia were not rosy, did not leave his country and in fact he kept on investing more and more into his country and thus helping his people. That is a characteristic shared by very few men, while the majority earn money by using people, to run away with their takings and spend them. Mr. Đorđević is a man who creates and constantly invents new and better things not only for himself but for his people and his country. Yes, he is a rich man, but his wealth lies in his soul and his heart. His humanity, wisdom, dignity and patriotism make him a rich man and I am very happy that I know him.
As a man who travelled a lot and lived in many countries where I was surrounded by different cultures, I may say that the people of Yugoslavia need very little in order to be happy. One of the things that make these people happy is a job, willingness to work and gaining pleasure out of the work. That work, whether it is done by a locksmith, a farmer or a top-manager, gives them dignity ans makes them able to look each other in the eye.
While he was alive, my father was an honorable and decent man who would never ever take away from others; he gave to other people when they were in the need. He would never take anything that is related to the crime and I proud that I inherited these virtues of his.
I would never ever write this letter, and I am positive that my father would do the same thing, to give a moral support to a man who is bad and especially to a criminal. And if someone calls Mr. Đorđević a criminal, then we are all criminals.
I would like to give my full support to the family of Mr. Đorđević and to express my disappointment in the whole system of government, and especially the media, who have sold themselves out for small change. It is a great shame what people are capable of doing for money, without paying attention to hundreds and thousands of people who are devastated by these absurd decisions. Finally, I would like to express my hope that Mr. Đorđević will enjoy freedom very soon and will be acquitted of all charges (if there are charges at all), and I hope that some day there will be a better justice in Serbia which is now steeped in corruption.
With full support to the Đorđević family
Project manager and Business System Senior Analyst, Dell Slovakia
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