THE ROSES ON TRSCANSKA STREET // 09. 1994.
AMINA BEGOVIC // ACTRESS
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT

September 1994

Amina Begovic
Actress
THE ROSES ON TRSCANSKA STREET

‘On September 11, 1994 the snipers were again shooting at Trscanska Street as they had been doing every day. That was the only light in the dark. It means that for a few seconds when the tracer bullet flies by, you can see what’s in the room. And September is one of the most beautiful months in Sarajevo; it can be very beautiful. Everywhere around it was gray, the town was destroyed, everything burnt, the Unis building had been burnt, it looked very ugly. Suddenly in that grayness, on the other side of Trscanska Street, in front of the Unis building I saw beautiful roses. The roses somebody had planted when there was peace and when it was supposed to look like that. Those roses went somewhat wild during the war. Nobody cut them watered them or whatnot. However, now it was in all that grayness. Meaning, at a time when nobody could clean up Trscanska Street. When nobody dared to go out, to take a broom and clean up all that glass, suddenly the roses sprang up from all that. My feelings were that beauty couldn’t be described, the happiness I felt. I dressed and went across Trscanska, you know, one sets one’s teeth and runs as fast as one can, because it was a clear day. And I took some scissors and I cut those roses and brought them back into my room. Later people asked me: Where did you get those roses? I said: From in front of the Unis buildings. They said, it was impossible. You didn’t cross Trscanska Street because of the roses did you? I did, I said.’

TOPIC RELATED PHOTOGRAPHS
TOPIC RELATED TEXT

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.

Amina Begovic
She was born in Sarajevo on June 4, 1963. She graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo

THE SIEGE
With the beginning of the siege, she became more active in the theater. She worked in all Sarajevo theaters. She spends most of her time in the children's program department at Sarajevo television.

It there were life after life, in what shape would you return?
I would like to be a snail. Wherever be goes that’s where his home is. He is not a refugee anywhere.

How do you describe perfect happiness?
Perfect happiness is only for fools.

What is you biggest loss?
I never lost anything that bad.

What is your biggest gain?
I don’t ask for much, and what I do win, I win.

When and where were you happiest?
When I gave birth to my second daughter.

What are your lost illusions?
That I can’t have illusions any more.

Describe your day at work.
Cannot be described.

Sarajevo?
Sarajevo!

What words don’t you use anymore?
Supermarket, mini-market, shopping mall...

In your opinion, is morale a virtue?
I would have liked it if I was brought up with less feeling for morale.

Where would you like to live?
Where I live now.

How have you survived?
I decided to survive.

What are you afraid of?
Darkness, since the war started, and dogs, forever.

Does the past exist for you?
I respect the past.

This is the end of a civilization. What will the next one be like?
It will either be beautiful and clean, or we will sink into filth. There won’t be a middle.

Can you give us a recipe for mental health?
You decide that nothing will change you, and you stick to it.

How would you like to die?
In dreams.

Do you need hope to live?
How could we live without it?

What did ’92 look like, and ’93, and ’94?
94 looked like 93, 93 like 92, and 92 like no other before it.

How would you call this period of your life?
Until the last breath.

Your message from the end of the world, from a country of last things?
If it a perfect circle, that the end is where the beginning was, and vice versa.

Do you like life, and what is life all about?
I love it anyway. I live.

TRSCANSKA STREET

Located on Marijin Dvor it was the place where the greatest number of Sarajevans was hit by sniper fire For a while the citizens were protected from fire by large cement blocks. After the February 1994 market massacre the UN Security Council ordered the removal of the aggressors’ weapons from around the city and the blocks were removed from the city streets. However, in 1995 they were put back.

TOPIC RELATED VIDEO
POLLS
POLL
MAPA SIEGE OF SARAJEVO