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The Siege of Sarajevo's Effect on a Survivor

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The Siege of Sarajevo's Effect on a Survivor


Sarajevo (Bosnia and Hercegovina) -- History -- Siege, 1992-1996.
Yugoslav War, 1991-1995.


Oral history video clip featuring Miki Jacevic, a survivor of the Yugoslav War. This video was originally produced by Media Entertainment, Inc., for the 2000 documentary The Genocide Factor.


Media Entertainment, Inc.


Genocide Factor Collection, Oral History Program, Tampa Library,
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.


Tampa, Fla. : University of South Florida Tampa Library.




Jacevic, Miki


Tape number: 4111D


video / mp4




Oral History


Sarajevo (Bosnia and Hercegovina)

Oral History Item Type Metadata


Nelson, Jane


Jacevic, Miki


Yes. Well, when you go through that, there is an initial shock, first; at least, it was for me. I mean, I was eighteen years old. I lived pretty decent Eastern European middle class life, traveled a lot, was member of different groups. So, in comparison had a very, very blissful life till then. And suddenly, after that happens, you go into that stage of “Oh, my God. Why and how is this happening?” And then when it’s over, it might be over on the outside, but it continues to go inside of all of those who survived, be it physically or mentally, spiritually, however you want it, because there is always—you can’t ever leave that experience. Even though I have been out of the country for a number of years now, and have done lots of traveling and been in the States as a student, there’s always certain times—and you never know when they are coming—where you really are realizing that you are a survivor of something that is as overwhelmingly horrible, actually, as a war and that much of a genocidal violence. And therefore, you always keep asking questions. And it’s not necessarily you read a lot; it’s not for me, at least. It’s not survivor guilt or anything like that, even though I did lose a number of great friends and family members. But it’s mostly kind of I question it always on a human level, that asking questions basically, that what is it in a particular human being that can move you and push you towards that stage in which you are an instrument of death and causing so much harm to other people. And causing in many other cases—there was a lot of rape violence, there was a lot of direct assault. There were concentration camps all over the country. And in that regard, even those who have gone through those experiences, and even those who might not directly live through them but through family members and through the neighbors—I think it’s an ongoing and continuous struggle, as we can see in the Holocaust survivors, that sixty or more years after, people are still struggling and asking those questions. And I don’t think a lot of times people say, “Well, there is post-traumatic stress disorder, and there are therapy levels and reconciliation methods and healing and forgiveness,” and all of that is true, and I think it’s completely necessary. I perceive that in Bosnia we do need that. At the same time, what’s really—for me it’s always a struggle. It’s really almost this philosophical way of asking and answering those questions that apply not only to the particular case and situations that has happened to me in Sarajevo in the ‘90s of the twentieth century, but rather in a general sort of sense that, as humans, we are capable of doing things like this.

Original Format

Beta tape




Media Entertainment, Inc., “The Siege of Sarajevo's Effect on a Survivor,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed July 6, 2020,