ADVICE FOR SURVIVAL // 03. 1994.
AJSA PASIC // HOUSEWIFE
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT

March 1994

Ajsa Pasic
Housewife
ADVICE FOR SURVIVAL

‘After that horrible massacre at Markale, all four routes were open and prices suddenly dropped. For example coffee that had cost 120 DM., now cost 40 DM. That way, we could afford to buy not only coffee but also other necessities like oil or sugar.’

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MARCH 1994


• NATO operation following the violation of the prohibition of the no-fly zone in the airspace of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Four JNA planes are shot down.


• Washington: The Muslims and Croats sign an agreement on the Federation BiH.


• The Bosnian Serbs block the departure of a UN Canadian convoy from Srebrenica for 30 hours.


• After signing the agreement on the Federation of BiH, the Chiefs of Staff of the ARBiH and HVO will hold a meeting as soon as possible, in which they will, with teams of experts, draw up plans for the dynamic transition of ARBiH and HVO into a common, then later single, armed component of the future Federation of BiH.


• General Laprell succeeds Gen. Cote.
• Four travel routes to and from Sarajevo are opened.


• Fluctuations in the local markets caused by the announcement that roads are opening. Prices at the markets have dropped.


• Washington, March 18, 1994. Peace agreement signed on the creation of the Muslim-Croatian Federation in BiH and the basis for the confederation of the Federation BiH with Croatia. The agreement is signed by: Haris Silajdzic, Kresimir Zubak, Alija Izetbegovic, Franjo Tudjman and Bill Clinton.


• A football match is held at "Kosevo” stadium as a symbolic sign that Sarajevo is no longer a dangerous city. Entrance is free. The game is attended by 15,000 people. The game is played between Sarajevo and UNPROFOR. The result is 4-0 for Sarajevo.


• Tuzla airport is opened. The first passenger is Yasushi Akashi.


• A kilo of coffee on March 7th is 120 DM; on March 21st, 40 DM. Still at the markets goods can be bought for cigarettes and other bartered goods.
• A Swiss clown visits Sarajevo.
• Debate over where the center of Sarajevo is caused by the withdrawal of artillery. The Bosnian Serbs claim that the center is near the Cathedral, whereas NATO experts claim that the city center is 1 km west of the Cathedral. The Serbs need to withdraw their weapons 20 km from the city.
• For the first time since the siege began, Sarajevans can cross from one bank to another. The first bus from the city arrives in Hrasnica, a suburb of Sarajevo, accompanied by UNPROFOR.


• A Turkish UN battalion is coming to Bosnia. Turkish soldiers return to Bosnia after 116 years.


• Due to the developments in Sarajevo, Yasushi Akashi says: "I see light at the end of the tunnel."


• The Jewish holiday of Passover is celebrated.
• In a show of solidarity with the citizens of Sarajevo the world's Olympic greats arrive in Sarajevo.


• Madeleine Albright in Sarajevo: "The future of America and your future are inseparable. This ceremony must show that to everyone.”
• The constitution of the Federation BiH is adopted.


• William Eagleton appointed as the civilian administrator of the UN in Sarajevo. He will devise a plan for the restoration of basic public services.

Price list

200 DM for 1 cubic mater of wood, but you have to pay 50 DM more for the delivery.
170 DM for a bottle of whiskey, or of French cognac.
120 DM for a kilo of garlic.
100 DM for a hare (white, weighing about 3 kilos), or 1 kilo of dried meat.
40 DM - for this you can get 10 packs of cigarettes, or 1 liter of oil, or 1 kilo of beans, or
children’s bicycle, or 1 can of fish and 1 can of pate, or 1 lunch package, or half a kilo of tobacco.
30 DM for a wool sweater (hand made) or 1 jar of fat.
20 DM for 1 kilo of onions, or 2 kilos of cabbage, or a big pumpkin.
10 DM is the price of four batteries of 1,5 V, or of 5 liters of water - at all times except the summer.
Then the price of 5 liters of water raises to 30 DM.
3 DM for a chocolate bar, or a bunch of parsley. A circular saw is worth as much as seven kilos onions. One liter of milk is between 2,5 and 5 DM, but can be gotten for a pack of cigarettes. This is the best exchange between babies and smokers known in history.
What functions best is bartering. For two kilos of raw coffee, you can get a propane gas bottle of 12 kilos. A package of antibiotics is worth two local phone-calls. For a liter of cooking oil you can get a carton of cigarettes and a liter of cheap liquor, or three liters of cherry-syrup. For two liters of oil you can wear almost new Reeboks. A used male winter jacket costs 3 kilos of onions. A once-standard package of 18 kilos of paint is being exchanged for any kind and amount of food. 10 liters of oil, the amount which supplies energy for the two-hour shooting of a TV broadcast about the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is exchanged for 12 cans which supply energy for your private survival.
In handwritten ads on Tito’s street, one finds supply and demand ranging from gas stoves, jackets, shoes to messages such is this: “I am looking for a woman to help me survive the winter.”

MARKETS

All through the siege the city markets were operating. There one could buy all sorts of edible and less edible plants and homegrown teas. Also the humanitarian aid was sold and traded there, like “Truman eggs” (the powdered eggs which had been stored since WW II), cigarettes, etc. The markets were the aggressors’ favorite target and a great number of Sarajevo citizens got killed or maimed there. There has not been a single market in Sarajevo which was not the sight of a massacre. The markets were the only places where Sarajevans could buy some food. Late in the summer of 1995 some protected street-corners were promoted into markets.

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MAPA SIEGE OF SARAJEVO