4 October 2010

The Bosnian War

I had the opportunity to speak to many locals while I was travelling through Bosnia - and again when I hitchhiked across Europe. They told me that during the war they were trapped within their small country, between Croatia and Serbia - who were attacking them from both sides - with no way to escape or even leave for food and supplies.

Amer was a Bosnian guy who gave me a ride. I believe he was a General in the Bosnian resistance, though he was very modest about it. "Nobody had a rank in that war. We were all just fighting to survive," he said. Though by the way he spoke I had understood that he was more than just a foot-soldier.

"Here, look at this," he said, taking one hand off the steering wheel to pull down the collar at the back of his neck.
"What happened?" I asked with concern, looking at the sizable scar he exposed.
"Holy crap!" I exclaimed. "Did it hurt?"
"Actually, no. It's like air blowing. Nothing. But I was running across a street and I felt that my neck was wet. I felt it and saw the blood on my hand, and I realised, ah, I've been shot." Amer was such a likable guy. He had a big smile on his face as he casually explained all of this.

Amer told me that the only way they received food or supplies was by air-drops of enormous crates by UN fly-overs. But the drops were made at night, so he and his men had to light big bonfires in the fields to signal the drop-zone to the planes. Of course this also served as a signal to the Croatians and the Serbians so it meant that the Bosnians would then be shot at from either side in the process. And if it wasn't enough to be dodging bullets, Amer said that the enormous crates often landed on his men, obviously killing them instantly. But no crate, no food.

It makes you kind of appreciate being able to shop at a supermarket, doesn't it?

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Related Posts

- Sarajevo Rose (Bosnia)
- Bus travel in Croatia
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  1. hi ara! this is kat! from optus cust. serv.. remember?? ur blog is awesome! i was showin it to my frnds, they really liked it, esp. ur ABOUT page! haha.. will look 4 u on facebook! :)

  2. Hi Kat!
    yes, of course I remember you!! =)
    thanks for your comments about my blog. I'm really glad you and your friends liked it.
    Yeah, please add me on facebook! my email address is in the "Contact" section of my blog.
    Speak to you soon. Yay!! xD

  3. Wow. Definitely makes u appreciate the little things in life doesn't it?

  4. It certainly does.

  5. Anonymous12:00

    I was from Mostar. I was small and most of my memories are of fear and seeing and hearing terrible things. But I try not to forget. I want to remember. I remember soldiers running down our street and my mother holding me tight as she softly sang an old lullaby into my ear. We were found and she was taken. I remember her telling me to not be afraid and she smiled at me and said she loved me and she would see me again. A mother's loving arms and comforting smile and words of love can block out all the bad that is happening around you.


  6. Wow... That is a really intense story. Thank you for sharing it, Fedja. I appreciate it.
    Where do you live now?

  7. Loved your travelling explorations while being in Bosnia.
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  8. Nice and informative travelling blog, thank you for sharing it with us.
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  9. This war has done so much damage. Its is really a pity.
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