DECATHLON // 09. 1993.
NUSRET SMAJLOVIC // COACH OF THE BH ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT

September 1993

Nusret Smajlovic
Coach of the BH Athletic Association
DECATHLON

‘The children went down in the canal that was around the stadium. They warmed up in that canal and on the north side, which was safe from possible gunshots. When they were warmed up, we gathered them on the starting line. Once again, it was in an unusual place, not the starting line for a normal 800-meter race, but on the opposite side, because it was much safer there. We waited for that moment when it was not clear whether it is day or a night. When there was only just enough light for the athletes to be able to see the track, and on the other hand, when it was dark enough so that they could not be spotted on the track. We asked the contestants to dress in burgundy outfits, which matched the color of the track. They did as we asked them, because they knew that this could save their lives. Just when the race was supposed to start, two shells exploded near the stadium. The first shell hit the athletic track and the second one landed near maternity hospital. One of our soldiers ran out and asked his superior whether they should return fire. I ran up to them and said: doesn’t do it now. Just let us start the race; it will be over in two minutes. The officer looked at me in surprise and laughed, but he let the race be held. We started the race and in two minutes and fifteen seconds everyone finished the race. Of course, as soon as they finished the race they ran from the track into the stadium building, where another surprise was waiting for them. Using some old stove, our soldiers made some tea and with paté from UNPROFOR and some old re-warmed bread they rewarded those hungry children. That was their diploma; they were as proud as if they were Olympic champions.’

TOPIC RELATED PHOTOGRAPHS
TOPIC RELATED TEXT

SEPTEMBER 1993


• Soup kitchens are opened for the survival of pensioners.
• Geneva, September 1, 1993. In Geneva peace negotiations continue. The following representatives from the BiH government take part: Alija Izetbegovic, Haris Silajdzic, Miro Lazovic, Ivo Komsic, Irfan Ljubljankic, Muhamed Filipovic, Fikret Abdic, Kasim Trnka and Mugdim Cukle.


• Geneva, September 4, 1993. Peace negotiations collapse.
• In Sarajevo the paper “Zadrugar” is published, with advice on the topic “How to Survive.”
• Mario Braco Kolak, graphic designer for “Oslobodjenje” newspaper, makes a hydroelectric generator on the Miljacka to supply electricity.


• The Ukraine battalion of the UN is charged with smuggling and importing heroin hidden in oranges
• BiH receives the international telephone code of 387.


• U.S. President Bill Clinton meets in Washington with Alija Izetbegovic.
• Large amounts of electricity enter Sarajevo. Elektroprivreda makes a reduction plan.
• Humanitarian aid only comes to the city through the air bridge; land convoys are halted.
• Islam Dzugum, marathon runner, does not reach the Mediterranean Games in Montpelier but is held up at Jablanica. Nevertheless, his views on training: “My task is to train, and the day will come when I will show how much it paid off.”


• The Children’s Embassy and the air transport company “Air-Commerce” seek out an air corridor for the return of refugee children in Sarajevo, as well as a means of delivering food into the city.
• For the organization “Nasa djeca”, the children of Sarajevo draw pictures for the children of New York, while those of New York do the same for those of Sarajevo.
• The writer Valerijan Zujo works on compiling his lexicon “Sarajevo”.


• Sadako Ogata, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, announces a complete cessation of humanitarian aid until a political agreement is reached to end the war.
• Geneva, September 15, 1993. In Geneva, Alija Izetbegovic and Franjo Tudjman sign a Declaration on terminating hostilities and ending military conflict between the Army of BiH and the HVO.
The resolution
1. Insures an immediate end to all hostilities and military conflict between the ARBiH and the HVO, in accordance with the agreement of July 30, 1993, effective immediately, no later than September 18, 1993;
2. Ensures the mutual unconditional closure of all camps and the release of prisoners in territory under the control of the ARBiH and the HVO, effective immediately, no later than September 21;
3. Ensures both sides create conditions for the free and unimpeded passage of humanitarian convoys and the activities of charity organizations;
4. Establishes working meetings for the supervision and protection of human rights in the territory under the control of the ARBiH and the HVO in accordance with the directives and recommended resolution of the peace conference on BiH;
5. Establishes a working group on the issue of territorial demarcation between the two republics for the planned union of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the issue of sea access as a common development interest;
6. Establishes a working group for the development and implementation monitoring of the restoration and strengthening of trust and co-existence among the Croat and Muslim peoples, including media and other programs to overcome existing hostility.
Signatories of the Declaration on behalf of the BiH delegation: Alija Izetbegovic, Haris Silajdzic, Ejup Ganic, Muhamed Filipovic, Ivo Komsic; on behalf of the Republic of Croatia: Franjo Tudjman, Hrvoje Sarinic, Zeljko Matic, Miomir Zuzul, Hidajet Biscevic.


• 50 years of the newspaper “Oslobodenje” celebrated. As a sign of support, guests from across the world attend the celebration in Sarajevo.


• Ana Mrdovic, agronomist, gives advice to Sarajevans on maintaining a garden during the fall.


• In Sarajevo a cigarette is worth more than gold. An older “golf” is worth three cartons of cigarettes.


• In a meeting at Sarajevo airport a ceasefire is proclaimed between the HVO and ARBiH.


• Celebration of the Jewish new year.
• Formation of an international firefighters brigade.


• On a U.S. aircraft carrier, the “Invisible”, in the Adriatic Sea, a meeting is held between Alija Izetbegovic, Mate Boban and Radovan Karadzic with Lord Owen. Izetbegovic seeks access to the sea at Neum. The Croats are against it.


• The BH “Pen center" is accepted into the world “Pen center".


• The Presidency of the City Assembly decides: “Thieves of transformer oil will be shot without warning.”


• Lord Owen: “The Bosnian Presidency holds the keys to the peace plan.”


• The Children’s Embassy plans the opening of “Child Land”.


• Tow trucks appear on the streets of Sarajevo, towing away “improperly parked automobiles” to the delight of Sarajevans observing this spectacle. .


• The Office for transport publishes a list for the departures of convoys. Those eligible for work detail are removed from the list.


• NATO is ready to send peacekeeping troops.
• CSB discovers miniature marijuana plantations in apartments in the city.
• The Government issues a decision introducing daylight saving time.


• “Bosnalijek” produces 20 new medicines in small batches.
• “Velepekara” lacks oil even for transport, let alone to operate generators
• Geneva, November 29, 1993. In Geneva peace negotiations being. Participants: Alija Izetbegovic, Franjo Tudjman, Slobodan Milosevic, Mate Boban and Radovan Karadzic.

Recreation

Everyone is in sports clothes, for they are warmer, more comfortable and enable you to run quicker. Most of the members of the Bosnian Armed Forces wear deep white sneakers with the logo Yugosport. Their uniform, at the beginning, consisted of jeans, masking parts, ingenious improvisations made of bright colors. Bulletproof jackets are very rare They can be found at the price of 200 DM. Citizens renew wear and footwear by moving into abandoned apartments.

Walking
Six kilometers a day-that is the average for those who don’t need to go far. Some believe it helps you to keep in good shape.

Running
That is the favorite sport, practiced by everyone in Sarajevo. All cross-roads are run through as are all the dangerous neighborhoods. One runs with stolen wood, to the line where others are standing. Something is on sale, and you will know it only when you join the line.

Rock-climbing
Urban rock-climbing is a compulsory sports discipline. Instead of adequate ropes, one uses sheets. Climbers are solving distances between balconies, from higher to the lower ones which are not yet reached by fire.

Soccer
Often played with soldiers of UNPROFOR. On the other side - Bosnian Armed Forces, police and professional city players who are still here. Games take place in the hall of the burned Skenderija. The game is hard, masculine, with lots of injuries. Foreigners lose here, as they always did.

Chess
Played on staircases, in basements and in shelters. Sometimes even in the chess club Bosna, which has a good and very expensive buffet.

Tree-cutting
An entirely new city discipline. Tools for this sport are an electric saw and axes, small and big. One gets trained by cutting, trimming, splitting and piling the wood on the balcony or in the room, where they don’t suffer so much humidity. Wood is stacked in the bedroom, hall, living room, in the next apartment whose owners have left of disappeared.

THE STADIUM

Of the two soccer stadiums, the one belonging to the “Zeljeznicar” soccer club remained within the occupied territory of Grbavica, and the city stadium “Kosevo”, within the besieged city was used by the “Sarajevo” club. This was where the Winter Olympic Games opening ceremony took place in 1984. Its auxiliary pitch became a vast cemetery. In March 1994 “peace” was promoted on the stadium. The initiator of the soccer game between “Sarajevo” and UNPROFOR team was UNPROFOR commander General Michael Rose. UNPROFOR team lost by a high score.

TOPIC RELATED VIDEO
POLLS
POLL
MAPA SIEGE OF SARAJEVO