THE CLASSES STOP// 11. 1993. • FAHRUDIN ISAKOVIC// DIRECTOR OF THE THIRD SARAJEVO GYMNASIUM
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT
Director of the Third Sarajevo Gymnasium
THE CLASSES STOP
‘At the sound of the siren, which meant that the shelling of Sarajevo had started, all of the children were sent to the basements. That was a big problem. Imagine, for example, one Medical high school that had over 1,000 students, and one terrible, tragic day when an immense number of shells and grenades were fired on Sarajevo. That was on a Tuesday in 1994. The children just could not stand being in the basement any more, so they started to jump through the windows to get out, but UNPROFOR and taxi drivers, together with parents who had vehicles got involved and saved them.’
• The French UN battalion helps residents of Alipasino polje with repairs, house painting, expelling water from their basements, and bringing materials for the supply of gas.
• Death of the great Italian director Federico Fellini.
• ARBiH in conflict with the troops of Fikret Abdic in the area of Velika Kladusa.
• For weeks the city is without electricity, water, gas and humanitarian aid. The situation is worsened by the BiH delegation’s refusal to sign the peace agreement.
• The First Corps of the ARBiH issues a decision to abolish the HVO General Headquarters in Sarajevo, integrating the HVO brigade “Kralj Tvrtko” into the ARBiH 1st Corps. George Soros visits Sarajevo.
• George Soros visits Sarajevo.
• The HVO destroys the old bridge in Mostar.
• Massacre of students in Sarajevo. Classes are suspended until security measures are introduced
• UNPROFOR discontinues its service of accepting and sending letters on behalf of Sarajevans. In Split, 50 sacks of letters addressed to the people of Sarajevo are thrown into the sea.
• Another massacre of the citizens of Sarajevo.
• Presidency member Ejup Ganic refuses to receive Thorvald Stoltenberg.
• On the occasion of the massacre, American President Bill Clinton states: “The only thing we can do, if Sarajevo is shelled heavily is to receive approval by the UN for NATO and the U.S. to use airstrikes.”
• Rules introduced for the holding of classes: school sessions last 15 minutes. From December 24th till March 1st the students will have a break. Regardless there is no heating.
• Exhibition of the Sarajevan paintings “Witnesses of Existence” at the BiH Art Gallery.
• U.S. Embassy on November 10th relocates to Vienna.
• A joint declaration signed on the free movement of humanitarian convoys.
• A convoy carrying food for Sarajevo from Macedonia is held up because of ice and snow on Vlasenica. It consists of around 20 trucks. The Children’s Embassy appeals to UNPROFOR for aid.
• Symposium held on war medicine: “Medicine during War '92-'93”.
• A package arrives in Sarajevo of 960,000 candles from the Czech Republic worth about $48,000.
• The convoy of food from Macedonia is stopped in Pale.
• In Geneva, negotiations continue.
Not working since April, 1992. In the beginning, so called staircase-schools emerged where everyone gathered during the shelling. Now the education continues in the apartments, with children from different grades. Both high schools and grammar schools became homes for refugees. Classrooms and labs became dormitories and kitchens. There is laundry hanging on every school’s window. Colleges work, exams are given, but only where danger isn’t too great. Yet, many have managed to graduate. There is a lot of time to study. Computers and all the technology from the schools and from the colleges of the University has been stolen.