WEDDING UNDER SIEGE // 09. 1994.
SMILJA GAVRIC // CITIZEN
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT

September 1994

Smilja Gavric
Citizen
WEDDING UNDER SIEGE

‘Well, that wedding of mine, the decision itself, to get married in the middle of the war was just as normal to me at that time, regardless of everything else. I mean, it was total poverty. How we would arrange the wedding, how we would entertain the people, our dear friends that would be there and so on. Nothing could discourage us, not even the fact that I had no wedding dress, nothing to wear, nor my husband who was also a refugee, but he got shoes from a dear friend of ours, a jacket from a relative of mine, and a pair of pants. And I say: ‘What am I going to do?’ He says: ‘Well, look into your closet, you’ll find something.’ And so it was, I found a little dress that I bought a long time ago somewhere in Athens and of course I had to wash it. There was no dry-cleaner’s, anything, but after all, after washing it I couldn’t iron it, you know. So dressed like that, in my crumpled dress, I received the wedding party and everything. I still remember to this day, how my husband’s best friend, Goran, said to me: ‘How can you go to your wedding in such a creased dress?’ But I really didn’t mind, nor did it bother me, or mean anything to me, that creased dress. We were still in all of that, we were so… how shall I put it, in that lovely atmosphere. And even as we were going, we went on foot, you know, to the wedding. We didn’t even have a car, there was nothing, we all went on foot, and when we were coming back unfortunately, they shelled, so that we had to…we ran in different directions just after we got out. We ran apart and then we went to a little restaurant, where my husband’s company organized a sort of luncheon for us and there we even had real meat.’

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SEPTEMBER 1994


• Sarajevo airport: A Serbian liaison officer announces that the Serbs cannot guarantee the security of planes that land for more than 30 minutes.


• Pope's arrival is confirmed. On the streets of Sarajevo, posters appear with the image of the Pope and the message: "You are not alone, we are with you!"


• Richard Holbrooke, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, arrives in Sarajevo.


• Papal nuncio Francesco Montesi visits Pale. After his visit, he sends a report to the Vatican. The UN is responsible for the safety of the Pope at the airport, while MUP will be responsible for it in the city.
• On the occasion of the Pope's arrival, the head of the Catholic Church, Vinko Puljic, makes a statement: "Out of all the news from Bosnia, Pope always knew that the news is true. If Holy Father does not come, life goes on, but the pain will remain in heart. "
• The Jewish New Year is celebrated in Sarajevo: L’shanah tovah tikatev, 5755.


• The Pope does not come. UNPROFOR could not guarantee his safety.


• "Blessed are the peacemakers" arrive in Sarajevo. They had come to see the Pope. They carry flags, and sing and dance in the streets. After all, in Kamerni teatar 55 the evening had been prepared for the occasion of the Pope's arrival: the actors recited the Pope's poems, choir “Trebevic” sang Pope’s hymn
• Increase of prices on the market. Bananas now cost 6DM.

• At the hydropower plant Jablanica, there water supply will last for just 10 days. At the substation in Sarajevo, the process is ongoing to shut down power to those substations that have illegal electrical connections.
• Akashi meets with the Mayor of Tuzla, Selim Beslagic: "The Serbs will allow the opening of the airport in Tuzla."


• Increase of prices on the market. Bananas now cost 6DM.The Bosnian Serbs attack Bihac. The UN commander for Bosnia and Herzegovina warns the Serbs that they will be exposed to strikes if they do not stop their attacks on Bihac.
• Snipers again fire at Sarajevo.


• Paraplegic marathon held.


• The Popemobile stays in the city. There is a possibility that the Pope could come before the end of the month.


• Ongoing deployment of observers on the Serbia and Montenegro-BiH border. In return it is expected that sanctions against Belgrade will be eased. A ban is placed on the Bosnian Serbs for any travel abroad.
• Risto Dzogo, TV commentator on the extreme nationalist television network of the Bosnian Serbs, "Srna,” is killed. His corpse is found in Zvornik Lake.


• On Sarajevo streets once again containers are used for protection against snipers.


• Attacks on Sarajevo. General Rose warns the Serbs to stop attacking or air strikes will follow. The Serbs ordered their troops to pull out all heavy weapons from UN checkpoints.
• The city returns to its old scenes - lines for water, canisters.


• In honor of his guest tour of Sarajevo's MESS in Paris at Peter Brook's theatre, the famous director says: "Thanks to culture, they can endure in the face of absolute negation. They say whoever lives will have the last word. They came here to allow us to share their safety with them. "


• The UN issues an ultimatum for the Bosnian Serbs to withdraw heavy weapons from the "safe area". Due to a shell landing in front of the Sarajevo Cathedral, UNPROFOR publishes a report: "The entry trajectory has not been identified, or the position from where it was fired; however the radar antenna was oriented such that part of the downward trajectory was registered as well as the location of its flight."
• Because of the UN ultimatum, Radovan Karadzic says: "We will attack the international force when and wherever we choose."
• U.S. General John Shalikashvili: "Whenever we have attacked them, the Serbs have understood the message and retreated."


• The Bosnian Serbs give the UN an ultimatum: "If you do not apologize within 24 hours for ordering airstrikes, we will retaliate. The UN is an occupying force and cannot be tolerated. "
• Demand for wood in the city: a sack of hornbeam wood - 20 DM.


• At the Clinical Center in Sarajevo treatment is performed under field conditions.
• The Bosnian Serbs established restrictions for the movement of the UN.


• U.S. President Bill Clinton in his speech at the UN General Assembly, says that "Sarajevo must be saved."
• Harsher sanctions against the Bosnian Serbs; those against Yugoslavia to be eased.


• United States insists on stronger NATO strikes. The U.K. is against them.

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