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Miki's Grandmother Dies During the Siege of Sarajevo

Dublin Core

Title

Miki's Grandmother Dies During the Siege of Sarajevo

Subject

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

Description

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.

Creator

Media Entertainment, Inc.

Source

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

Publisher

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

Date

1999-11-05

Contributor

Jacevic, Miki

Relation

G36-00030
Tape number: 4111H

Format

video / mp4

Language

English

Type

Oral History

Coverage

Sarajevo (Bosnia and Hercegovina)

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Nelson, Jane

Interviewee

Jacevic, Miki

Transcription

And then what has happened when the war started, she was in the part of Sarajevo that was heavily, heavily shelled. She was living with my uncle in her house, in a house that she has lived through her whole entire life, which was an old house by then, of course. There wasn't really--again, nobody had any water and food and stuff, and it was very hard to take care of it. And it wasn't that far from the front lines, and for a long time we were afraid that she might--that, you know, the ground fighting might occur there and she might get cut off and all that stuff. We then took her up to another uncle's house in a kind of safer part of the city. But there she couldn't--'cause for her, it was a big change, 'cause she never lived in an apartment building, and she always was in her house, and she was in another part of the city: and all that reflected a major change, because she was by then eighty-six. She couldn't necessarily understand what was going on. She knew there was fighting and war, and she kind of by then in her life had gotten used to war, concepts of war, but she couldn't make sense of what was going on, who was fighting whom, why so much shelling. "What's all the commotion?" as she used to say. And plus, she was a heavy smoker. So once the war started, there was no cigarettes to be gotten, and people were--I mean, there was literally shortage of everything, but we were able to cover it up for her in terms of, you know, always making sure she has a meal and she has a good care and treat. But she started to get a little bit restless and she wanted to know, and then once an older person like that who is really truly used to people surrounding her and paying a lot of attention to her, she was starting to realize that a lot of it was wrong. So, she was then starting to question the family members. "What's wrong? I want to go here, I want to go there." And we then really had to--it was really a tragedy to see that life was ending yet again in that kind of a situation. In a time where we could have peace and democracy and prosperity and human rights and everything, yet again the whole life circle, unfortunately, was put in a space of war and tragedy. After that, she really became so restless that we had to take her back to her place, because it was--it became her internal war. She couldn't make peace of it, and she really was almost saying, "I'd rather"--I mean, she wouldn't put it in words, but what we were getting as a message is, "I'd rather go back to my place where I lived my whole entire life and so die there, even though I probably could live for a couple more years." And eventually we did take her back, and eventually what happened is really the fact that because of war and fighting, all of us who would normally go to her place and take care of her were not able to do so. Because again, all the streets were blocked, shelling was nonstop, and you never knew. I mean you had an option of sort of pretending it's okay and trying to walk the streets, but people were dying all the time. People were shot in their apartments. People were shot in their houses. Shelling was destroying everything. So, there was never any security for people, and any additional risks were really hard to take. And we also knew that she was kind of ready. She made her peace with the world; she was ready to go--in a beautiful sense, nothing fatalistic, nothing big about it, nothing even religious about it. She just realized that at that particular time--she was sending, I think, a message, also, to all of us. It was her way of saying, "I think for this is not a humane way of being. Therefore, I'm gonna choose to go." And also, then what happened is that simply by us not being able to take care of her, and the fact that there was just such a shortage of food and energy and water, nobody really was able to provide great care for her. And she kind of started fading out, and then finally ninety-four [1994], she passed away.

Original Format

Beta tape

Duration

4:42

Citation

Media Entertainment, Inc., “Miki's Grandmother Dies During the Siege of Sarajevo,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed August 17, 2019, http://exhibits.lib.usf.edu/items/show/541.