Date of Interview


Interview Location

St. Louis, MO

Length of Interview


Date of Birth




Religion and/or Ethnicity



Born in Velika Kladuša to a Bosnian Muslim mother and a Bosnian Catholic father, Remembers small details of life before the conflict as happy and care free with everyone being friendly to everyone else, Family was supported by parents who worked including mother while also having a large amount of land that they farmed and had livestock on, Remembers a change when people including father began to argue about things in raised voices and people began to act frightened, One day was playing outside when the first shell hit the city destroying a house nearby, Remembers the red bricks of the house and the red smoke rising from the ruins, Both older brothers were drafted into the Bosnian Army and served on the frontline while father also served but in a different capacity , Oldest sister became a messenger for nurses during the war and eventually married a Bosnian Army commander, Thought of her more as a mother since his real mother worked all the time, After shelling became constant had to move away from family home that was exposed leaving behind land and livestock and spent the rest of the time in a bunker, Survived by eating anything they could but mostly cabbage and potatoes and nothing with any real flavor, Remembers a time while playing outside shelling began and in rush to get inside got stuck on a wired fence, Saved by Bosnian solider who threw him into a safe place, Attempted to find the solider later but never could, Remember having food to eat every day but never anything extra while mother and adults went some days without food, One evening sister left the bunker and was killed while preforming her duties, Family heard the news later and never got a chance to say good bye to her, After sisters death stayed in Bosnia and the bunker until the shelling died down and then escaped to Croatia, Lived until 1997 on an island of Croatia (Name of Island not given), Remembers it as a happy time where they sometimes fished for food and mother managed to get a job, Cannot recall being treated differently by Croatians but cannot be sure about other Bosnians, Family made a decision to move to the United States in 1997 in the search for a brighter future since the economy of Croatia and Bosnia was destroyed, Moved to St. Louis without any English skills, Attended School and learned via the ESL program, Dealt with a sense of culture shock and overcame sporadic discrimination in the form of negative comments, Identifies more as Croatia then Bosnian but cannot say he is American at this point, Wants future generations in the countries of the future Yugoslavia to remember that the war accomplished nothing but description and it was all politics, Wishes that no future generations every pick up a weapon and fight against their neighbors


Velika Kladuša, Croatia, St. Louis [MO], United States, Multi-ethnic family, Shelling, Loss of family member, School, Discrimination, Growing up Bosnian American

Pre-War Residence

Velika Kladuša

Wartime Residence

Velika Kladuša

First Country of Residence


First US Residence

St. Louis, MO

Document Type

Oral History


Fontbonne University

Digital Format

MP3, MP4

Digital Publisher

Center for Bosnian Studies


St. Louis, MO

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