When the first shots were heard in Sarajevo, no one had the slightest idea that there will be war, let alone that the citizens of BiH capital will have to fight for their lives during all 1,425 days of the siege. Surviving in the city without electricity, water and food was a true art, and some of the people have given more of themselves every day by endangering their lives to help other people in different ways.
Branko Raljevic is an educator in the Bjelave Orphanage. The war found him on the night shift at work. He tried to help as much as he could. He was not going home for full 10 days.
“We tried that day to get the children sleep longer so they would not come out into the street. When the shooting started, we took them to the ground floor and after it calmed down, we returned them to the floors. Later, we took them to a shelter and five of us workers bring down all the babies. After 10 days came director and social worker Ermin who replaced us with a few workers,” recalled Raljevic.
The moments when there was electricity in the city were very rare. The brave workers of GRAS would start trams and drive in order to facilitate the life of citizens. One of them is Besim Eco who works as a tram driver in GRAS since 1985. He especially remembers the 3rd of May when the snipers were shooting at trams. He lost a brother that day.
“I did it in order to make things easier for the people. It was more difficult to drive the tram than to be on the line because I was prepared for the line, but here you did not know what to expect. Sniper was constantly shooting, but it was a defiance to facilitate citizens and help,” he said.
Many soldiers gave their contribution and their lives to defend their home, city and state. Elvedin Dzindo was only 17 years old when he became a member of the Army of BiH. Then he met with weapons for the first time.
“I did not know what the war is. Everyone was going, so did I. My comrade Bakir who died gave me a gun. I was standing on a guard and I did not know how to shoot, but thanks to my friends who came from the JNA, I learned. I was with my mother and twin sister on Vojnicko polje when I joined the army. I told my mom that I was on watch, and I’ve got a gun, she started to cry, saying that I am a child, but I told her that I would go anyways. I never came from the line and not found her behind the curtains waiting for me,” said Dzindo.
During the war, he went 14 times to Bjelasnica and Treskavica, and he went on foot to Gorazde at the age of 17. The worst part for him was when his colleagues were dying and getting hurt.
“There was a situation in 1994 when we came to Osmici and saw our settlement burning under the attack. Every one of us left someone – mother, sister, wife, children… We wanted to go back, but they managed to convince us that our guys will defend the settlement. It was a very difficult moment,” he recalled.
Dzindo is married today, and has two daughters. His mom is alive, and living with them.
(Source: M. N./Klix.ba)