ADVICE FOR SURVIVAL // 10. 1992.
BESIM AVDAGIC // JOURNALIST - MAGAZINE ‘ZADRUGAR’
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT

October 1992

Besim Avdagic
Journalist - Zadrugar magazine
ADVICE FOR SURVIVAL

‘We produced all sorts of recipes for making coffee. From well known lentils and maize to the use of elder. And we produced a whole number on making cigarettes when they disappeared. Our basic receipt was colts foot. And we gave plenty of recipes for making alcohol: brandy from apples, or pears, and sparkling wine from berries.’

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TOPIC RELATED TEXT

OCTOBER 1992


• Geneva, October 2, 1992: The conference on the former Yugoslavia in Geneva continues.
Two announcements from Geneva:
- The demilitarization of Sarajevo as the first step towards peace;
- Continued discussion on the constitutional order of BiH under the auspices of the Conference;
- Signing of the Declaration in which Croatia and Yugoslavia agree to respect existing borders, in accordance with the decisions of the London Conference. An agreement is reached on the return of refugees.
- Under the auspices of the International Red Cross and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, an agreement is signed on the release of civilians in concentration camps.
• The Mayor of Sarajevo issues an announcement: "Citizens, do not cut the trees! You only need to wait for the opening of the corridor, and that will probably be soon. Poplars can be cut, but those are needed by the army. "


• Statement by Rassek, the new commander of UNPROFOR, "One of the primary tasks of UNPROFOR - is to provide a continuous and smooth flow of water into the city."
• In Sarajevo, massive car theft. Although the owners remove the tires to prevent theft, thieves bring their own wheels, install them and take the car.
• The Ski Association of BiH submits an application for admission to the International Ski Federation. At the meeting they will be represented by a Slovenian delegation, because the representatives of BiH can’t leave the besieged city.
• At the peace conference in Geneva, the Foreign Minister of BiH, seeks an abolition of the arms embargo.
• New York, October 8th, 1992: the UN Security Council adopts two resolutions:
- The first forms the basis for the establishment of a commission for the investigation of war crimes in Bosnia;
- The second allows UNPROFOR to take control of the territory after the withdrawal of the former Yugoslav army from Prevlaka.
New York, October 9th, 1992:
New UN Security Council resolution 781:
The UN Security Council orders a ban on all military flights over Bosnia except for UN aircraft. The prohibition is effective immediately.
• Mile Akmadzic, Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina, asks for republic officials to return to Sarajevo within five days or lose their positions.


• Generators producing electricity work in coffee shops but not in hospitals.
• Salaries of the members of the Presidency - 20 DEM - the black market rate.


• A fierce debate between the directors of the Red Cross and the Commander of the Army Forces over a convoy departure with 6,500 people from Sarajevo leaving in their private cars.
• The Volkswagen "Golf" becomes the vehicle of the season. The "Golf" can drive under any conditions.
• A convoy with 180 Jews leaves Sarajevo.


• No one has information on incoming humanitarian aid: e.g, who the donors are, the quantity of goods that has arrived, nor the quality of the goods.
• The phenomenon of survival in the besieged city:
Bicycle – in the movie "Miracle in Milan" cyclists ascend to to heaven; in Sarajevo cyclists rush through the streets to avoid a premature trip to heaven.
Heating - people search for sunlight to warm up, but can die because of it.
Bathing - you can wash yourself with a cup of water and look clean, and wash your hair with a pot of water and dry it in the oven.
Sawing- Sarajevans are awoken by the sound of chainsaws at dawn, the best time to cut down trees.
• The news of the coup in Sarajevo is launched by TV "Srna", a television station run by the Bosnian Serbs. Belgrade has taken over deceptive news broadcasts. Foreign journalists in Belgrade pass the news along to the world, bearing the TV "Srna" logo. The news comes back to Belgrade where its given the headline: "As Radio Geneva reports, a coup took place today in Sarajevo."
• On Igman the OSBiH arrests Juka Prazina, a leader of special urban guerrilla units, because of attacks on Sarajevo from Igman; cooperation with HVO units; and attacks on the BiH Armed Forces.
• "Velepekara" (a large bakery) is heavily shelled. Its mill is burnt down.
• For 21 days Sarajevo is without electricity or gas, has had no water for 19 days; and bread is distributed only on the basis of priority. The transmitter in Vogošća has been shelled. There is no electricity, and no one knows when it will be back on again.


• In Sarajevo, a command is issued to finally reckon with the crime in the city: all armed groups must be incorporated into the city defense or be forcibly disarmed. All stolen goods must be returned within 48 hours. A subsequent operation uncovers warehouses of looted goods.
• In Belgrade, Koca Popovic dies, one of the greatest figures in partisan and political circles of Socialist Yugoslavia.
• Sarajevans find water using a divining rod.
• Under UN supervision, a meeting is held between a working group comprised of military representatives from the Armed Forces of BiH and the Bosnian Serb Army.


• Sarajevo Mayor Muhamed Kresevljakovic returns from a tour. On that occasion he says: “If ships from Spain arrive in Ploce, and the Croatian side allows transport, Sarajevans could have 300 tons of potatoes." He brings a bag of letters from Ljubljana to Sarajevans.
• UNPROFOR headquarters is returned to Sarajevo.
• One of the military negotiators of the Bosnian Serbs, General Gvero, asks the UN organizations to open up roads for 60,000 Serbs to leave Sarajevo.
• Commander of the BiH Armed Forces, Sefer Halilovic, sends a message to Sarajevo: "Instead of continuously walking (strolling) on the streets, it would be better if you would sit at home and from home knit sweaters and socks for those who are defending us."
• Bosnian passports are beeing issued in limited numbers.
• Geneva, October 29, 1992.
- At the Geneva negotiations on Bosnia a proposal is made to divide the country into seven to ten provinces within its existing borders;
- The central government would have responsibility for foreign affairs, defense, government, international trade, and taxes for the central government;
- Education, cultural institutions, radio programs and a host of other issues would be the responsibility of the provinces.
• Razija Colic, a film professional, loses both of her legs while trying to rescue a film archive from fires caused by the shelling.
• A transit visa is introduced for Croatia.

Tobacco

The tradition of famous tobacco from Herzegovina and more than a century of the existence and production of the Sarajevo Tobacco Factory left a bad impact on Sarajevans. It spoiled them - people were used to the best cigarettes and tobacco for which special pipes, cigarette-cases and cigarette-holders were made.
Today, cigarettes are the biggest luxury and need. No one is quitting. You can buy them on the black market. Members too, are to be found only on the black market.
On some markets you can find tobacco dust, which before served as a high quality fertilizer for plants and vegetables. Today, that dust is precious and hard to find. Tobacco leaves are even more expensive and very rare. The most passionate smokers are smoking tea. They are drying chamomile, Swiss chard, leaves, and cut it into ‘tobacco’. That tobacco is then being rolled into regular paper or daily paper. Filters are made of toilet paper which comes as a part of lunch packages. It seems to be easier to find a pipe.

War Cookbook 1992/1993

Non-alcoholic beverages

Or, everything tastes better than the boiled water. And, what are we going to do once all trees are gone?

Birch-juice
Young birch tree should be drilled. In the hole a few centimeters deep, one should install a tube. Leave it for forty-eight hours, while the juice is being collected in a tin. During April and May, one can get 8 liters of juice during 48 hours. Juice can be mixed with wine, sugar, yeast or lemon, and then left to ferment. This process demands several days.

Fir-tree-juice
Cut the needles of young fir-tree, and keep them in hot water for two or three minutes. Then cut them in tiny pieces, press, and put in cold water for two or three hours. If days are sunny, keep the jar in the sun. Filter and sweeten before serving. Pine-tree and juniper-tree can do just as well.

Boza
Once well known and very popular refreshment, gone out of style. Could be found only in two or three pastry-shops on Bascarsija.
0,5 kilos of corn flour
1 package of yeast
8 l of water
sugar and lemon-powder if you have it and as you like it.
Put the corn flour in some water and leave it for 24 hours. Then cook it on a low heat about two hours, mixing occasionally and adding water. When it cools of, add the yeast and leave for 24 hours. Then add sugar and lemon-powder, leave it for three more hours and add 8 to 10 liters of water. Should be served cold.

War Cookbook 1992/1993

Alcoholic beverages

Sarajevo cognac
3-4 spoons of sugar
water
ethyl alcohol
The quality of cognac depends on the brand of alcohol and on the quality of the Sarajevo water, preferably brought from some of the protected wells. Fry the sugar, add some water to melt it, and bring to a boil. Mix the water and alcohol in a ratio of 2.5:1, and add the sugar.

Wine
1-2 kilo of sugar
5 l of boiled water
1-2 kilo of rice
1 pack of yeast
10 cl of alcohol, or 20 cl of rum
Mix all the ingredients, and pour them in hermetically closed canister. Ten days later, extract the wine through a Melita coffee-filter.

Saki
5 l of water
0,5 kilos of rice
0,5 kilos of sugaryeast
Should sit for seven days and ferment. Then filter the drink and use rice in the pie.

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