Date of Interview


Interview Location

St. Louis, MO

Length of Interview


Date of Birth




Religion and/or Ethnicity



Born in Ključ a small village in the Krajina region, Attended elementary school there along with high school, Was trained as a car body painter and had on the job training in Ključ, After graduation moved to Slovenia as the pay was better than Bosnia, Employed in Slovenia until 1968 when he was conscripted into the JNA and deployed to the border with Hungary as there was a potential for war, After a small amount of time became sick and was released of his duties, Moved back to Bosnia and stayed a short while until moving to Germany, Moved back to Bosnia in 1981 to open up his own business a restaurant called Berina, Began to already notice changes in politics this early as when trying to expand his business could not get permits approved due to his ethnic background, Noticed that papers and any official government business or paperwork always went faster for Serbians, Before the outbreak aware attempted to organize Bosnian to try and prepare for a potential conflict but could not get any backing from the SDA in Prijedor, One morning heard on the radio that Prijedor had been taken over by Bosnian Serb forces, Bosnian Serbs began to separate women and children from the men, Men who were caught were taken away while women and children were returned to their homes, Went into hiding in the forest around Prijedor and Kljuc with 100 or so other men, Attempting to make their way to Bosnian Muslim territory in Bihac traveling via the forest but could not, Captured while attempting to cross a road and taken to Kjuc to the high school’s gym, Kept prisoner there with a group of 10 men and young boys, Witnessed the death of two men due to sever beatings and one boy who was 14 was also killed, After 3 days was told that he would be released but instead a bus came at around 4 AM and took him to Manjaca concentration camp, Housed in three barns at the camp with around 1,200 other men, Beaten on arrival for hours leaving him unable to walk, Witness to many killings and further beatings by the guards committed against prisoners, An outbreak of disease occurred in the camp with many prisoner suffering from Typhoid and Dysentery including him, In October of 1992 was transferred to Trnopolje and on the arrival of his group 5 men were killed right away, The conditions in the camp seemed better as there was no wires around the camp but the beatings and killings kept being carried out, At Trnopoje met up with family members he had not seen since his capture and told them not to leave the camp if they offered them their freedom as they would be killed, Released from Trnopolje to Prijedor and after signing over all his property to the Serbian authorities was allowed to leave, Traveled to Croatia and then Germany where he met up with his wife and children, Applied for residency in the United States in Hanover, After interview granted residency and arrived in the United States and settled in St. Louis, Began life in a new environment while struggling to learn the language and suffering from wounds from his imprisonment, His memory began to desert him and one day while at work he fell due to health complications and had to stop working, Wishes that he could still support himself with his own money and own job as before the war but due to health cannot work, Wants future generations to know that the United States is not to blame for the atrocities in Bosnia but the United Nations, England and France who prevented the United States from taking action, Wants future generations to take action before genocide can happen so that it cannot and does not happen anywhere ever again


Prijedor, Ključ, Manjača, Trnopolje, Karlovac, Croatia, St. Louis [MO], United States, Concentration camp, Parent during the war

Pre-War Residence

Ključ, Prijedor

Wartime Residence

Ključ, Prijedor

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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