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RT Balkan

RT Balkan

On the internet presentation of RT Balkan on January 6, 2024, an article was published in which the founder of the "Petar Mandic" Endowment, Presbyter Oliver Subotic, spoke about the influence of ancestors on the personality of Nikola Tesla.

On the Influence of Ancestors on the Personality of Nikola Tesla

The article particularly accentuates Nikola Tesla's relationship with his father Milutin, mother Georgina, and uncle Petar Mandic.

Nikola Tesla | in front of the coil

Tesla's Father, Milutin Tesla

Devoted husband and father, exemplary priest, unmatched orator

Presbyter Oliver Subotic describes Milutin Tesla as, above all, a caring husband and father of five children, a parish priest who, through his worship, care for the spiritual and material progress of the parishioners, and his gift of oratory, served as an example to the priests of his time. As further emphasized, Father Milutin "courageously advocated for the Serbian people, respected members of other nations, and was a peacemaker by his disposition".

Nikola Tesla | the Tesla family | Nikola Tesla's father Milutin Tesla, Orthodox priest

As a key characteristic of the character of Fr. Milutin, Oliver Subotic highlights that he was a priest whose life example stood behind the words he preached, and that his nobility, sense of justice, mercy, as well as a sense of healthy and spontaneous humor, were attested by his contemporaries, Protopresbyter Petar Krajnovic and Mojo Medic, as well as Nikola Tesla himself.

As a polymath, polyglot, and erudite, Proto Milutin managed to instill these same qualities in his son. Additionally, he provided the initial stimulation of Nikola Tesla's intellect by teaching him memory games of remembering long sentences, guessing thoughts, and analytical thinking. Highlighting that essentially identical but more developed programs are used today in efforts to enhance children's mental capacities, Presbyter Oliver Subotic believes that it is time for "at least one of the early brain stimulation programs today to bear his name".

Regarding the relationship between son and father, Presbyter Oliver Subotic also notes that Protopresbyter Milutin initially did not view favorably his son's desire to study technical sciences, worrying about his fragile health and considering Nikola Tesla destined for a clerical vocation, as he miraculously survived various dangerous situations multiple times. However, after Nikola Tesla recovered from a severe illness, his father enrolled him in the Polytechnic School in Graz, and when his son indulged in a life of revelry and gambling, Father Milutin encouraged him to continue his engineering studies.

It is precisely this paternal desire for his son to continue his studies that Presbyter Oliver Subotic highlights as Milutin's last wish before his death. Emphasizing Tesla's repentance and desire to fulfill his father's bequest, Father Oliver expresses disagreement with people who "constantly emphasize the disagreement and conflict between father and son".

Regarding the son's attitude towards his father, Father Oliver points out that engraved words on Milutin's tombstone testify to this, where on the front side it is stated that the monument is erected by "grateful son Nikola," and on the back, "to his good father".

Tesla's Mother, Georgina (Djuka) Tesla

Genius Priest's Daughter

Speaking about the influence of the mother and the entire priestly Mandic family on Nikola Tesla, Father Oliver Subotic emphasizes that it was enormous, "even more pronounced than the influence of the father and the Tesla family", and that this genius priest's daughter "wove all her love and maternal attention" into her son.

According to Presbyter Oliver Subotic, if it hadn't been for the mother's love and sacrifice, Tesla would likely have spent the rest of his life as an elite gambler in Austrian taverns.

Metropolitan Petar Mandic

Tesla's Favorite Relative

As the reason why Metropolitan Petar Mandic was Tesla's favorite relative, Father Oliver highlights that it was precisely his uncle Petar who sparked his interest in mathematics and physics, introducing him to Descartes' mathematical method and scientific approach.

Nikola Tesla | Nikola Tesla's uncle | Petar Mandic | Metropolitan Nikolaj | ethno-museum complex

Father Oliver argues that Tesla's relationship with his uncle should not be reduced solely to scientific topics, as evidenced by several facts - scholarship during his studies in Prague, assistance in finding peace and tranquility after his mother's death, support in the struggle for patent applications in the USA, financial assistance after the bankruptcy of Tesla's company. Tesla boasts about his uncle in front of the American public, emphasizing that his uncle "ranked just below the patriarch by ecclesiastical rank".

Among the family members who played a significant role in the scientist's life, Presbyter Oliver Subotic certainly includes uncles Paja and Tomo, as well as sisters. Father Oliver relates their care, as well as the entire family's care for the scientist, to Tesla's fragile health in childhood, as well as the tragic death of his older brother Danilo, which the whole family found difficult to bear.

The entire article about Nikola Tesla's relationship with his ancestors can be read on the RT Balkan internet presentation.

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Sharing this and other notifications from our internet presentation, by clicking on option "share", you are helping spread the information to the wider community about the noble mission of the "Petar Mandic" Endowment - keeping the memory of Nikola Tesla's priestly ancestors, affirming family values and parenthood, allocating scholarships, the erecting of the ethno-museum complex, the promotion of high-value dialogue between religion, science and philosophy, affirming the best that Serbian history has on the world stage and a continual strive for improvement of relations between the Serbian and other peoples in the Balkans.

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"Petar Mandic" Endowment
Gandijeva 44/49
Postal Number
Municipality of New Belgrade
Date establishment
Registration Body
Serbian Business Registers Agency, Republic Serbia