Apollinaire’s Family During the Genocide
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.
Oral History Item Type Metadata
Oh, this is a very (inaudible) subject. I usually don’t like to talk about it, because you can imagine what I feel when I recall that. Anyways, let me give you just a short overview of what happened. During those massacres, during that genocide, around seventy people of my direct family were butchered, among which uncles, cousins, aunts, nieces, nephews, and so on. They were all killed, butchered, and massacred in the same way: tied in pieces by machetes and thrown in mass graves.
My sister managed to escape by running from bush to another. She fortunately had some of her kids with the schools in the capital city, boarding schools, and the two kids, which were with her also escaped because first of all, the killers were looking for mens and boys. It happened that those two children that were with my sister were girls, both of them. Then, they were not killed in the first day, and were able to run away during the night. While running away, they were somehow caught by people because they were hunting them down even nighttime, and then they dispersed. My sister went away and the two kids went another way, quite opposite ways. Then the two kids ended up at a church, which was close to where they were living, and they were hidden by the authorities of the church; while my sister, continuing hiding nights—I mean, hiding during the day in bushes, and walking night-day, nighttime. She did that for four days, which it took her to arrive in the capital city, actually. She was lucky she didn’t meet any—I mean, any problem during that trip. Then she arrived at my house, and we were just surprised to see her still alive because we were already told that she had been killed along with her husband and the two children. Then we welcomed her at my house, of course, and she told us everything that happened, including how her husband was taken to the place where they were taking all men to be killed, telling them that they were going for a security meeting. They were calling them for a security meeting, while it was just to have them rounded and then butchered.
Some days later, we are told by somebody from that area—actually, it was one of her neighbors—who came at the capital city despite the state of insecurity that was there. That person was very good was a very good person. Came to my house, looking at me as—he knew that I was the brother of that woman, and she came to tell me that—he came to tell me that the two kids were still alive, were hiding in that church; it was a Baptist church, I guess. And then we were able in the following days to get an escort, a military escort, in order to go and get them. Otherwise, out of that escort, we wouldn’t have gone so far.