The story of one of us....

I was born in 1967 in a harmonious Sisak family and had everything I needed for a happy upbringing. In 1991, I was 24 years old when Tudjman on June 26 decided to declare an independent Republic of Croatia. At that time, I lived and worked as a private entrepreneur in Sisak, in my own business space. I owned my apartment and had a 2-month-old daughter. On the 26th of June, the events would change our lives forever.

The attack on Glina began on June 26. My husband left the apartment in Sisak and went to the village with his mother who lived alone in the village. After leaving, he could not return, so we were separated until February 1992, when I came to Glina via Bosnia with my child.

While I was still in Sisak without my husband, Serbs were disappearing and no one was allowed to ask where they were. Some were returned to their families in crates that were not allowed to be opened.

Fear was constantly present, and the sound of machine guns and grenades was our normal occurrence. The Croatian army was stationed in hospitals and schools, so that if the Serbian side defended itself, they could say that Serbs were killing children in schools and sick people in hospitals.

In the end, when I moved to the RSK territory in February 1992, life became even harder. Without electricity and water, there were no candles in the apartments, but homemade ointment was used, and we made our own dishwashing detergent. I got a job in the civil service in Glina, but the inflation was so high that I could only buy a box of matches for a salary. There was no fuel either, but we bought 1 liter of fuel from UNPROFOR for 5 marks.

My daughter stayed with her grandmother in the village, while I worked in Glina. Every weekend, I walked 18 km to see my daughter and take the things they needed for daily life.

While the armistices lasted, life would return to normal somewhat, but those periods were short. My parents stayed in Sisak, and I had to travel to Hungary to see them, even though we were only 30 km away.

In the meantime, my mother got ill, I couldn't even speak with her, and UNPROFOR members periodically allowed only one call for 1 minute. For so many, it was not even enough time to realize that their child was calling them. My despair was so great that it could be read on my face, so much so that one member of UNPROFOR recognized it. When I told him that my mother was very ill, he allowed me to talk to my relatives several times as much as I wanted.

In June 1995, I received the news through UNPROFOR that I had lost my mother, she had died. I wanted to go to the funeral, to see her one more time. When I was told by UNPROFOR that there was a chance that I would be able to leave, if both warring parties agreed, I did not hope much.

The Croatian side allowed me to enter its territory for 48 hours. My sadness and happiness mixed, and then, like a cold shower, the news followed that the Serbian side did not allow me to cross.

I could not attend the funeral, they didn't let me see her for the last time.

"Storm" started in August, at 05 o'clock in the morning, the grenades fell on all sides. I went to work in a panic, where they told me to go to the village with the child and to call when everything was over. I somehow made my way to the village, while grenades were falling around. All the men were in positions, and all the information we were getting was conflicting. It was reported on television that Knin had fallen, and then we heard on the radio that it was false news?! We didn’t know who to trust?

At some point, on the news, I heard Boutros-Ghali seeking protection for 100,000 refugees, and I realized that we were actually those refugees.

I quickly packed the documents and some money, and a couple of the most basic things, but I realized I didn’t have transportation. I was thinking about what to do when my older cousin from JUGO arrived at that very moment. She said she was sick and could not drive. With her and a small child, I'm needed to go somewhere, but didn't know where. I traveled to Serbia for 16 days with shorter delays. Within Bosnia the kind people did not allow us to pass without stopping, eating or drinking.

In Serbia, all exits from the highway to cities were blocked by the police. They wanted to send us to Kosovo.

I stood on the exit to Kragujevac for 5 hours, with the exhausted child, until a good man, working as a policeman, turned his head to the other side, so that I could start a new life.

From escape and war, into the unknown, but there was no going back, only forward.

Life is renewed again, but sadness lies in each of us for the rest of our lives.



Humanitarna organizacija Una Serbica
Nehruova 105
11070 Novi Beograd

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