The Life of Pavle Beljanski


Ancestry, Family, Birth

It is assumed that Beljanski family came to Vojvodina during the Great Serbian Migration of 1690 from village Beljane near Valjevo. The oldest written records on his family mention Pavle Beljanski’s great-grandfather, the priest called Nikola, whose father was called Arsenije. According to the mores of that time, the eldest son in the family inherited his father’s profession and his grandfather’s name. Therefore, the male descendants of the priest Nikola, and the ancestors of Pavle Beljanski in that lineage, were Orthodox priests in Gospođinci, a small village in Bačka. That is where Pavle’s father Svetozar Beljanski (1851–1921) was born; however, he became a doctor instead of a priest, graduating medicine in Vienna. He got his first job in Sremski Karlovci, where he married Milana Kostić (1869–1942), a daughter of a famous Karlovci merchant Konstantin Kosta Kostić. That is where two Pavle’s sisters Aleksandra Sanda (1888–1944), and Ana Anka (1890–1944) were born. Like many other respectable Serbs from the Dual Monarchy, Pavle’s parents moved to Serbia in 1892. Svetozar Beljanski became a town doctor in Veliko Gradište, where his son Pavle was born (on 19 June 1892). Two years later, the family moved to Svilajnac, where the youngest son Nikola was born (1895–1944).


Education, War and the Beginning of Diplomatic Career

Pavle Beljanski finished primary school in Svilajnac. He continued his education in Belgrade, and in 1910 he graduated from First Belgrade Boys’ High School. That same year he enrolled into Law school, but the beginning of the World War I interrupted his studies. In September 1914 he enlisted into Students’ Battalion in Skopje. As student sergeant, he was awarded for his service in World War I with numerous medals. During the retreat across Albania, he came down with tuberculosis, so he was relieved from taking part in Skadar war operations in December 1915. He spent the rest of the winter and spring on Corfu, where he was demobilized in July 1916, and sent to France to finish his studies. He enrolled into law studies at Sorbonne, and graduated on 17 July, 1917. On 15 June 1918 he finished his postgraduate studies, and applied for doctoral studies in diplomatic-consular field. However, after the end of World War I, his fledgling nation, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenians needed young, educated people like Pavle Beljanski. He ended his education in 1919 because of a job in Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a a clerk in the Royal Embassy in Stockholm. After two months, he was appointed secretary of the Embassy. That is the beginning of the interesting diplomatic career of young Pavle Beljanski; the different posts helped him get acquainted with the visual, literary and musical art of the European capitals.