1 KG OF VEAL COSTS 50 DM // 01. 1993.
HAMO BRAJLOVIC // BUTCHER
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT

January 1993

Hamo Brajlovic
Butcher
1 KG OF VEAL COSTS 50 DM

‘General Juka gave me permission to open the first butcher shop in Alipasino Polje. However, it didn’t look like a butcher shop. Actually, it was only called a butcher shop. It looked more like a shelter, walled with sandbags. All of the windows were shattered. The winds of war continued. Artillery fire on the city of Sarajevo. Hard to stay alive, to get food. I knew I couldn’t buy meat anywhere, but I gathered up my strength. One day, as I was returning from the front with my companions, we came across a stray cow. O.K., Brajlovic, now’s your chance to open up that butcher shop that you’ve been talking about. And that’s how it all started. I opened up shop and started to work. At that time a kilo of meat cost 50 marks. Believe it or not, with dear Allah is my witness, I distributed that cow’s meat to whoever came into the shop. And that’s how business started. People admired me for trying to do something like that. I didn’t even have a scale. I weighed it by eye, as our people often say, but everyone was content because it was for free. After that, the tunnel started working, the so-called tunnel. People started crossing underneath the runway. Underground they would carry it in backpacks. You know a leg of veal, or sometimes a lamb. The conditions were bad. There were no refrigerators to keep it, but I had some knowledge about meat, and so I would tell people how to preserve for a while it by wrapping it up in a dry, white sheet. Then when it got cold it stayed good, like in January of 1993. The shop began to work, and everything was O.K. Then I started getting these ideas, because I’m a restless spirit. I came up with the idea to open up an outdoor grill. I’m the one who opened up the first outdoor grill in Alipasino Polje during the war. In the middle of the shelling and everything else. We didn’t care. How fine the cevapcici on the grill smelled. I would get the bread from one of the city’s bakers. Well, things were difficult. The people were, one class had the means to buy meat at 50 marks per kilo of meat, while other folks simply didn’t have enough. Not that they couldn’t buy meat but that they didn’t have enough even for bread. But, somehow, we all managed to make it through. Some people would eat bone marrow, while others ate cutlets. But, just as always in life, some can and others can’t. But people survived.’

TOPIC RELATED PHOTOGRAPHS
TOPIC RELATED TEXT

JANUARY 1993


• UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali arrives in Sarajevo. Sarajevans protest the Presidency over UN policies in Bosnia.
• MUP begins issuing new identification cards. The expiration dates of the ID cards are dependent on the course of the war. They are printed in BiH. To obtain an identification card one needs two witnesses if during the war documents attesting to your identity had been destroyed.


• In 1992, the average Sarajevan survived on bread. To compare, the average European in a single year eats 55kg of bread; an average Sarajevan in 1992 ate 180kg of bread.
• Geneva, January 2, 1993. In Geneva a peace conference is held on Bosnia and Herzegovina. Participants at the conference include: Mate Boban, Alija Izetbegovic, and Radovan Karadzic, as well as military leaders Sefer Halilovic, Milivoj Petkovic and Ratko Mladic. Also present at the meeting are Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and President of the SR Yugoslavia Dobrica Cosic.


• UNPROFOR publishes figures on Sarajevans crossing the airport runway in order to flee the occupied city: in November 1992 there were 3,879 attempts; in December 1992, 6,653 attempts, on New Year’s Day 1993, 339 attempts; and on January 2, 1993, 346 attempts.
• At the Sarajevo maternity ward, deliveries are performed by candlelight. No one comes for them; no one helps them.
• In the Sarajevo neighborhood of Dobrinja branches of a “Credit Bank” operate. Envera Karkin, a bank clerk, says: “You do whatever you can not to fall into a depression, it‘s all a defense mechanism. With a driver I broke through the barricade between Dobrinja and the city and I came back to barricaded Dobrinja. It was the first shipment of money that made it past the blockade in Dobrinja. I feel safer in Dobrinja than in the city because I know every corner.”
• The residents of Dobrinja print issues of the newspapers “Vecernje novine” and “Oslobodjenje” themselves – and preserve copies for the museum. These are faxed copies of the 20/30 issues received from papers in the cities.
• Weather forecast: COLD.
• Geneva, January 4, 1993. Peace negotiations in Geneva: the president of Yugoslavia, Dobrica Cosić, together with the president of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, commit to a BH confederation composed of three parts. The President of the Presidency of BiH, Alija Izetbegovic, and the leader of the SDS, Radovan Karadzic, negotiate for three hours with mediators, but without progress. Alija Izetbegovic announces: “I want you to know that we never advocated for the principle of ethnic division.”


• Personal deliveries of Politika arrive from Belgrade. At the "Partizan" theatre, lists are posted of their recipients.
• The Soros Foundation donates $50,000,000 in humanitarian aid for assistance to BiH.
• Meanwhile the names of the city’s streets are changed.
• The UNHCR releases a report on the extent to which Bosnian Serbs have themselves taken from every humanitarian convoy that has arrived in Sarajevo.
• A promotion is held for the conceptual designs of the first BH postage stamps.


• Celebration of Orthodox Christmas.
• Daily report by the UNHCR on crossings over the airport runway: 558 attempts, with some people attempting to cross every night.
• The weather turns cold. Trees are felled in Sarajevo for firewood.
• Sarajevo neighborhood councils carry out the rationing of humanitarian aid in cycles. For example: In order to close as soon as possible cycle IX and move on to cycle X, communities take lesser set amounts of food to distribute and in doing so harm the citizens, because they’re not compensated in the next cycles of aid.


• The President of the BiH government Hakija Turajlic is killed on the road to the Sarajevo airport in a UN vehicle. He is killed by Bosnian Serb troops. The Presidency holds UNPROFOR responsible because President Turajlic was under their protection. UN Colonel Sartre, who was in the vehicle behind, is not made available to MUP in Sarajevo for their investigation.
• The Peace Center receives a “Direct Action” team who hand out aid directly to the citizens, without mediators, leaving them on poor terms with the UNHCR. Mobility is their greatest quality.
• Exhibition by the painter Affan Ramic: “War documents '92”. The painter in his own works incarnates the burning of the Post Office, City Hall, Olympic Museum, and the “Oslobodjenje” headquarters.
• Pensions increase by 32.3%, with payments depending on (the availability of) electricity or oil, so that clerks are able to process them.

• Geneva, January 15th 1993. At the peace negotiations in Geneva, the Bosnian Serbs are given a deadline of six days to accept the peace plan.


• Bosnian Serbs fire shells at a line waiting for water at the “Sarajevo Brewery.” World TV stations release only sound, but no video of this terrible massacre.
• A vote is held for the song that will represent BiH in the “Eurovision '93” contest. The jury listens to demos.
• A water pump is set up in Novo Sarajevo.
• On their 32nd anniversary, the “Bosna” chess club holds a fast chess tournament.


• French philosopher Henri Bernard Lévy and French humanitarian official Bernard Kouchner are presented with honorary doctorates from the University of Sarajevo for their help and commitment to BiH.


• The General Staff of Croat units in BiH, the HVO, decide to implement the Geneva agreements, creating imaginary lines for provincial borders. Through these measures the Army of BiH becomes an enemy. The OSBiH issues guidelines on conduct in response.
• “Oslobodjenje” is published in French, as support to the extraordinary efforts to have the paper printed daily in the besieged city.


• Croat leaders and all Croat officials in government agencies leave the city over night. This decision is based on their interpretation of the implementation of the Geneva negotiations.


• Vinko Puljic, head of the Catholic church in BiH, calls on the Pope to come to Sarajevo.


• The Bosnian Serb Assembly accepts the Geneva agreement.
• Bill Clinton becomes the new president of the USA.
• Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran seek cooperation with the West on the situation in Bosnia.
• A convoy is halted in Ilidza.
• An exhibition of paintings opens.
• Dire conditions at the oncology clinic in Sarajevo.
• Director Nedzad Begovic prepares the animated film “Cupavac”. He creates his hero by drawing him on foil leaning against his window.


• The delegation of HDZ BiH arrives in Sarajevo, with international mediators Robert Owen and Cyrus Vance, to sign a ceasefire between Croat forces and the Army of BiH.
• The Prosecutor’s Office in Sarajevo requests that immunity be dropped for Louis Mackenzie, former UNPROFOR commander.


• Juka Prazina is on Igman, harassing the OSBiH forces, before going on the run. A warrant is issued for his arrest.


• A letter from the “PEN center” BiH to the world “PEN center” seeking assistance through writing articles or visiting Sarajevo.


• Prices at the Sarajevo marketplace:
One month’s pension = 2 eggs
OSBiH fighters are paid 20,000 dinars = 4 coffees at a cafe or a box of cigarettes
1 kg of beef = 50 DEM.
• Damage to the “Heating” and “Waterworks” centers.


• The parents of fighters in the special units of Juka Prazina protest in front of the Presidency, asking: “Where are our sons?” They had been arrested and detained in the OSBiH barracks in Tarcin.
• Ceasefire between the HVO - ABiH
• UNPROFOR transfers the Franciscan Slovenian archive from 1357 to Ljubljana, with numerous difficulties and hazards. The archive had been part of an exhibition at the Franciscan Monastery before the city was besieged.


• Juka Prazina, with a HVO militia, sets up barricades in Jablanica and Konjic.
• Geneva, January 31, 1993. Negotiations in Geneva: Mate Boban, president of so-called Herzeg-Bosnia, signs all three proposed maps. The state delegation of BiH does not sign on to the maps dividing the Republic of BiH into 10 provinces and the military agreement. The Bosnian Serbs sign nothing.

War Cookbook 1992/1993

Tips Preserves

Meat
If you have any, should be cut in very thin slices, salted, arranged in the bowl, pressed with some heavy object and covered by oil. Not the smallest piece should be in touch with air. That way it will be preserved longer, especially under your careful control. Better effects are gained if you fry the meat first, and then cover it with hot oil. You tae out the portion planned for each meal. Another tip for preserving the fresh meat goes like this: wash it well, then roll in the napkin soaked in vinegar - that way it can stay fresh for a few days.

Fresh vegetables
If you get it from someone’s garden, or if you grow them in your flower pots which are by now cleansed of unuseful plants, or if you know of a park that’s become a source of spinach, cabbage, or anything that looks similar, should be cleaned, washed and rolled into a wet napkin. This is the way to preserve its freshness. Carrots and parsley should be cut, salted and packed tightly into jars. This is the way to keep them longer with most of their vitamins retained. You should squeeze all the juices from the vegetables like parsley and celery, and then dry them - that’s the way our grandmothers did it many years ago.

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