The Tesla Memorial Society
21 Maddaket, Southwyck Village
Scotch Plains, New Jersey 07076
Nikola Tesla: 1856 - 1943

Trip to Belgrade and Serbia, September 12 - October 2, 2004

Mr. Terbo with the bust of Nikola Tesla by the famous sculptor, Ivan Mestrovic. The bust holds an honored position in the public area of the Museum.
Society Executive Secretary William Terbo and Mrs. Terbo (Boyana, who acted as interpreter and facilitator) visited Belgrade and several cities in central Serbia in late September. The trip accomplished many tasks promoting the mission of the Society including updating our working relationship with the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade, visiting Tesla sites in Serbia and providing print and television interviews for both national and regional media outlets that introduce the Society's efforts on behalf of Tesla to a wider audience.

Upon his return from Geneva, a meeting was held with Society European Correspondent Momcilo Simic, President of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radio Regulations Board, to discuss significant progress and current efforts to solidify international recognition of Tesla as one of the most important founders of radio technology.

Several items were on the agenda for the visit to the Nikola Tesla Museum. Mr. Terbo has access to a recently discovered archive of ten letters written by Nikola Tesla in 1893 (and four dated in 1894 and 1895) concerning the planning and construction of the Niagara Falls power station (completed in 1896) based on Tesla patents. It was hoped that the Museum would be able to provide copies of letters to Tesla that generated his detailed answers. Unfortunately, the Museum does not have such correspondence, probably due to the fire that ravaged Tesla's laboratory in March 1895.

Visiting the Museum is, in a manner of speaking, reviewing the Terbo (Trbojevich) family patrimony, the essence and memorabilia of his father's uncle, Nikola Tesla. UNESCO named the Museum a World Cultural Site in late 2003. Gifts and grants by the U.S. and Canadian governments and significant private donations have enabled the Museum to undertake a comprehensive program of preservation and cataloging. Mr. Terbo has requested a copy of correspondence between Tesla and his father. It is 121-page file and greatly exceeds the Society and Terbo personal archives.

Multiple meetings with Museum Director Marija Sesic were held. Discussed were an update of the past year's activities and planning for next year and 2006, the 150th anniversary of Tesla's birth. (Director Sesic is planning to retire in 2005.) Mr. Terbo was able to tape a survey video of the first floor exhibits of the Museum at a time before the Museum was open to the public. An informative meeting was held with former Museum Director Prof. Dr. Aleksandar Marincic, a personal and Society friend of over 25 years.

Mr. and Mrs. Terbo were invited to attend a press event at the Museum to introduce a new two-volume work on the 80-year history of Radio Television Serbia. The early history gives great credit to Tesla for the technology and inspiration for the creation of one of the earliest broadcast facilities in the Balkans.

While in Kraljevo, about 100 miles south of Belgrade, the Mr. and Mrs. Terbo attended the national Press Premiere of Emir Kusturica's excellent new film Zivot je Cudo (Life is a Miracle) at the best theater in Serbia, the equal of the best in Beverly Hills, California. It is likely that the film will be nominated for an Academy Award in the category of "Best Foreign Language Film" in 2005. Mr. Kusturica is a well-known international director and actor. The film is a French-Serbian co-production. Also in Kraljevo, the Nikola Tesla Electro Technical School was visited at the invitation of the Director and faculty and meetings with students in several classes were arranged.

Nikola Tesla is held in the highest regard in all of Europe but more so in the former Yugoslavia and particularly in Serbia. Mr. Terbo's closest blood relationship to Nikola Tesla makes arranging media interviews and personal appointments very easy. No doors are closed. While in Belgrade and Serbia two national and four regional press interviews and one national and two regional TV interviews were conducted. In a display of Serbian hospitality, invitations to at least a dozen events, meetings and social situations were offered. This reflects positively on Serbian-American relations that have suffered in recent years.


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