- 1 Post By Anglika
Reminiscences- part two
Please, would you proofread this text
It was a sunny May morning when I went to the centre wanting to buy fresh bread. It is about ten minutes walk to the centre and on that morning on the outside, everything looked as usual. People walked to and fro and cars and cyclists passed along the streets at regular intervals. From the gardens and orchards a breeze wafted smell of trees, flowers and newly mowed grass, birds were chirping and insects buzzing.
However, the scene I saw in the centre was so unreal that I believed I found myself in a filming of the war film. On all crossings and in front of the important buildings there were men dressed in camouflage with black headbands and Ray Ban sunglasses, wearing all kind of guns and hand grenades. Around the entrance of the local police station, court and municipality there were sand bags; heavy machine-guns and rocket propel grenades on the top of them. One could thought everything was ready for the shooting of the new episode of "Rambo". Everyone was waiting for Sylvester Stallone to appear and start to fight against the evil men.
Unfortunately, this was neither dream nor film. It was a decision of the Serbian nationalist party to overturn the local government and create their own institutions. Bosnia and Herzegovina was recognised by the UN as an independent state, but Bosnian Serbs turned their eyes and ears to Serbia and its president Slobodan Milosevic who told them that wherever Serbs were living it was Serbia. According to his logic, if Serbs live in Japan, they have the right to rebel and call a part of Japan Serbia! It was a time when nationalism was so strong that the majority of ordinary people did not think with their own brains and let themselves lead by their leaders who were ready to sacrifice thousands for their ideas.
One can understand that uneducated people can easily be deluded, but is there any excuse for intellectuals who must have known the truth? They sold their souls for the privilege and material gains. Many of them had already sent their children abroad and in the case of the war, it was the others who would pay the prize.
I saw Serbian women hugging and kissing the solders; they called them heroes, they told them they had done the best possible thing, from now on they would be independent. I recognized some of the solders as my former school comrades and I asked myself if they were ready to shoot me if they got the order. Would they dare to say, "I cannot kill him. I know him from my school-days, the man never told me a bad word. He even helped me with my homework. What has he done? Just because of the "wrong" name?
But the officer told him, "All Muslims in the town must be killed or they will kill us if they get a chance! Shoot him or I will shoot you!" And my former school comrades took his AK 47 and before he pulled the trigger he told me, "Please forgive me, I have no other choice." Before I can answer the bullets tore apart my body.
That morning bread was late, but I did not care about it. I felt death had come to our town and it was just waiting to start its orgies. People rushed into the shops, buying everything they could, preparing themselves for the long war. However, many of them did not know, they would not get a chance to eat their hoarded food. They would be slaughtered like sheep and their homes burnt down. The message was clear: We do not want you here! First many months later, someone would use the word "ethnic cleansing." The word itself does not tell so much, but people who have experienced it first hand shake all over when they remember what happened to them in the past.
To be continued...
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