Date of Interview


Interview Location

St. Louis, MO

Length of Interview


Date of Birth




Religion and/or Ethnicity



Lived in a predominantly Bosnian Muslim part of the city of Prijedor called Puharska, Born in 1958 and grew up in a Yugoslavia that was easy going and the people united and happy with no signs of ethnic tensions, Father was employed as a machinist and mother was a stay at home mom, Remembers everything as being peaceful and friendships were shared between all people with nobody looking at religion or ethnic groups, After getting married in 1983 to a ethnic Serb and starting out with his own family life began to notice changes in the city, There was a lot of rallying against the Yugoslavian one party system of government, Never believed that there would be a bloody breakup of Yugoslavia especially in Bosnia since it had all groups of people living together, Began to notice the idea of Greater Serbia more and more being talked about on TV and among Serbian groups, After the War in Croatia started the JNA attempted to recruit him into the armed forced but he avoided the call along with many other Bosnian Muslims, The JNA now requested all weapons from the citizens of Prijedor which were mainly all hunting weapons and they were given up, Forces now Serbian and not JNA occupied the city of Prijedor and its roads, The patrols and roadblocks focused on parts of the city that had large populations of Bosnian Muslims, Curfew began for Bosnian Muslim population but retained his position in a factory as a machinist where he mostly just sat in his office since production supplies could not be found, Serbian coworker began to act different and would take every opportunity to showcase how they were better than Bosnian Muslims, One night heard gunfire and shouting and screaming outside but did not go outside out of fear, The next morning on the radio there was a call for all Bosnian Muslim to come out in front of their homes, Required all Bosnian Muslim to put a white armband on and place white flags on their roof, Burning of Bosnian Muslim homes began, Armored vehicles began to arrive with soldiers and people began to be taken away and shot ,Eventually buses arrived and before being put on buses were searched for money and gold and all types of values, Placed on buses and drove through areas where there were burning homes and dead bodies of people and animals, On our way Serbian people wanted to hill us and one Serbian boy of about 5 made a gesture of slitting our throats, Taken first came to Omarska but they said it was full so they took us back to Kereterm, We arrived and placed in buildings that were some sort of garages, Interrogations began and guards began being aggressive, Picked off people they knew from before and took them away, I was interrogated by a coworker from my company and who asked me about weapons and other things I had no knowledge of, Let go and send back into the garage buildings with others, That same day called by name and taken in a police van to the Prijedor police station where outside could heart people asking the driver to let them kill him and other prisoners, Driver left that area and counited stopping at many Bosnian Serb checkpoints where they could also hear someone saying they should kill them now, Arrived at Omarska and was taken to room 13 a building at the site, Large amounts of people there from Prijedor and Kozorac, Roll call of names began and the first person was beat till unconscious and then thrown back into the building, Continued in the roll call with the beatings, Beat one of my friends and after another guard stepped in to stop it my friend was let go, Asked him why they were beating him and was told they wanted money, Every day the space in Omarska would get smaller and smaller as more prisoners arrived, Guards began to go through everyone looking for anything valuable including shoes that they could steal, They would pick out people and tell them to give them $500 or they would be killed, They started ordering prisoners to travel to an employee kitchen for a small piece of bread and some water, They beat everyone at every step and would beat you even worse if you were too slowly, Witness women who were also prisoners serving the food and told about rapes and beating happening to them, Taken to "White House" where he saw a friend in a room full of blood with his head cut open and maggots crawling over it, Moved in secret in between buildings so he could survive the roll calls and random picks to be killed, One person was taken to beatings but when he returned there was no blood or marks but the whole night he was in agony, Next morning he was dead from a small wound to the neck, Describes night as the worst time when they were like zombies as all around there was killing and screaming, Picked by one guard and told he was going to kill him, Pointed gun at his forehead and pulled the trigger which fired a blank, Guard was laughing as it was a joke to him but suffered burns and a massive injury to forehead that did not heal for 3 years, Moved to Trnopolje after Omarska closure where he met back up with brother and other family, Began to eat more but become sick due to harsh treatment in Omarska, Eventually released back to Prijedor after signing over all property and his estate to the Serbian government, In Prijedor discovered his wife had left with his son and gone to Austria, House was looted of all values by family of wife who was a Serb and whose family had join the side of the current regime, Hide in Prijedor from Serbs until securing passage to Travnik via a convey that took him to Mt. Vlasic and then walked to Travnik, Joined the ARBIH for a short time but did not even have a gun or uniform simply joined for food, Traveled via the Red Cross to Croatia, In Croatia able to establish communication with wife who came to Zagreb and took him to Vienna, In Vienna stayed until 1994 when he was forced to leave, Wife could not believe all the things that happened to him and that led to the breakdown of marriage and of staying in Austria, Came to the United States in 1994 after paper approval, Arrived in Dallas and had a hard time adjusting to life since it was so different, Eventually settled down and married again and reconnected with his son in Vienna, Wants future generations to do everything in their power to speak up and make sur what happened in Bosnia cannot happen anywhere else


Prijedor, Keraterm, Omarska, Trnopolje, Vienna, Dallas [TX], United States, Concentration camp, Parent during the war, Fought during the war, United States

Pre-War Residence

Prijedor (Puharska)

Wartime Residence


First Country of Residence


First US Residence

Dallas, TX

Document Type

Oral History


Fontbonne University

Digital Format

MP3, MP4

Digital Publisher

Center for Bosnian Studies


St. Louis, MO

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