Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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Visit of King Peter II Karadjordjevic to America
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The King's visit to America began on 24 June 1942 with his reception at the White House where he was accorded warm hospitality by President Roosevelt. He was welcomed with full honours that even exceeded the official protocol. (One of these great honours included also that he, as the guest of honour, spent the first night of his visit in the bedroom of former President Lincoln at the White House.) Addressing King Peter in a very moving speech, President Roosevelt said that as a young man, he read about the 500-year long Serbian struggle for national liberation and the establishment of its sovereignty, with great interest and deep emotions. Following this honourable tradition of your ancestors, you and your people have, at a critical point, chosen a path you have always followed, the path of justice and the defence of freedom. And thus you took the side of those who fight for the same ultimate goals, and at a time when that side was in a difficult position, forced to withdraw. In response to such a welcome, King Peter thanked President Roosevelt and the American people for the understanding and moral support showed for the struggle and suffering of his people. The press had given wide publicity to this visit by writing about it with sympathy and presenting it as a central political event. In private talks between the US President and King Peter, the US President paid tribute to "his courageous fighters" and pledged support to the Chetnik guerrillas.

With a lot of inspiration and highly emotionally, the King spoke before the US Congress, saying that it represented not only the will of the American people but was, at the same time, the champion and defender of the ideas and principles "that we all fight for." He went on to say this: By a cruel twist of fate, I was never able to speak to representatives of my own people. A few days into my reign all my people and institutions were subjected to the wanton destruction of the brutal invasion. Hundreds and thousands of our people have already been killed in the fighting or were massacred in cold blood. Many of those who were not killed or captured by the Germans, Italians, Bulgarians and Hungarians continued to fight under the indomitable spirit of leadership of my first soldier and trusted friend General Draza Mihailovic ... From these reticent warriors from remote highlands I bring fraternal greetings to the people of the United States. Commenting on the future of Yugoslavia, he said that there were differences between the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and that it was necessary to take action for their (legal) regulation and reforms to "redress the mistakes of the past" and restore respect and confidence in each other. These actions were needed and "we will take them" - said King Peter at the end of his speech to the Congress.

During this visit, the King's activity was mostly focused on addressing US officials and the public and seeking assistance for the movement led by General Mihailovic. In all these engagements, speaking in English, he highlighted the struggle of the Chetnik movement, as well as his commitment to democracy in the country after the war. In a separate letter to President Roosevelt he described in great detail the suffering of his people in the country, mentioning on this occasion, also the crimes committed by Pavelic's Ustashe, appealing once again for the provision of even greater assistance to the Chetnik movement. All this was ill-received only by Croatian members of the Yugoslav government, as well as by the Croatian immigrant community in America. According to the report of Fotic, the organization of the Croatian Fraternal Union declined the invitation and its representatives did not attend the reception hosted by the King. Ministers Krnjevic and Sutej expressed their dissatisfaction and sent a message to that effect from London to Subasic. The latter instantly changed his tune, complaining that, as a representative of the Croats, he had been "sidelined" during the King's visit. When MP Fotic observed that he was mandatory member of the Yugoslav delegation at all functions organized for the King in the United States, as well as those of the King thrown for American officials, Subasic admitted that he had received a message from Krnjević and Sutej saying that he had to try to mention Macek whenever Draza was mentioned in the King's speeches. In his address to the US Congress King Peter reflected on this matter in this way: We will judge our citizen, not by their political views or their racial and religious ties, but by their attitude towards the ongoing battle. Whoever fights on our side will share with us the blessings of victory. The King, nevertheless, visited also the representatives of the Yugoslav expatriate organizations. On behalf of the Croatian community, he was welcomed by their president Butkovic, and on behalf of the Serbs rallied around the leftist newspaper "Free speech" Gacinovic and the Serbian Worker Party leader Mirko Markovic, who had even handed the King a thousand dollars in aid to the rebels and leader of the resistance movement General Mihailovic.
Representatives of the group around "American Srbobran", who called on the King separately, did not attend this meeting. The meeting was somewhat a more intimate one: after presenting the King with sets of their publications and the Golden Charter, a photo of them was taken together with the King.

During his visit in New York, the King's wish to see the great Serbian scientist Nikola Tesla came true: he visited him on 8 July at the Hotel "New Yorker", where Tesla had spent his last days. A joint photo from that meeting was preserved, and it was taken by the King's photographer.

La Guardia
There was also the King's visit to Columbia University, where Michael Pupin's room was located, which was turned into a museum. A large reception at the "Waldorf Astoria" attended by a thousand guests, was held for the King and organized by the Mayor of New York City La Guardia. He spoke to him in Serbian, because as an American consul he previously served in Trieste and hence got acquainted with Yugoslavia. The King's trip to Canada followed, as well as a reception by the Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King, a speech to the Congress in Ottawa, a large reception in the Governor's Palace for two thousand guests ... The King also visited the Military Academy in Norfolk, Princeton University, an experimental agricultural station near Washington DC, some business organizations and cultural institutions throughout the United States. The King's visit ran smoothly according to schedule and everything went well. The Police guaranteed full security: in addition to uniformed agents, some 300 of them, the King's movement was monitored by about 120 detectives.