Jessica Kirkley and Julie Allen

Date of Interview


Interview Location

St. Louis, MO

Length of Interview




Religion and/or Ethnicity



Born and raised in Čarakovo, a village 2KM from the city of Prijedor, Village was mostly Muslim except for 10 houses of Croats, Raised without thinking about religion as something that divided people, Attended Mosque only on religious holidays such as Eid and Ramadan, Remembers the times before the war as peaceful and enjoyed friendships as a child an adult with many different ethnic groups, Worked as a cook in the Prijedor hospital in the city, Noticed a change in life when traveling with mother to bank in order to pick up pay for work, At the door was denied entry by Serbian police and told to go and get the money from Alija Izetbegovic, Returned back home as Serbians already began surrounded the village, Traveled with family across Sana River to Gomjenica where family knew some Serbians who offered them protection, While staying in the village witnessed Serbian forces burn down her own village while looting anything of value, Noticed that Serbian solider were positioned on the River Sana to prevent anyone running from the village from escaping, Solider killed any males they found still in the village included her father in law who was cutting his grass at the time, After spending three days in Gomjenica informed by Serbs that they were no longer welcome and that they would need to leave and never come back, Loaded on to trucks and driven to Trnopolje, Along the road some of the trucks were stopped and people were killed, Arrived in camp that housed about 3,500 people and was housed in a gym with 350 other women, boys and elderly men and women, After two days at camp began to experience labor pains, Mother contacted Serbian guards who were drunk and shooting into the air to get help, Told that there was no giving birth here only killing, Mother returned to building and was followed by two guards, Guards asked anyone if they had a flashlight or could help with the birth, Nobody responded out of fear, Taken to small nonfunctioning clinic in the camp that was crowded with people, Delivered baby with the help of a medical student from Srebrenica who happened to be in Prijedor as he had been visiting his girlfriend at the time, Gaurds informed her that if it was a boy they would take him and kill him if it was a girl she would be safe, Used a needle and thread that she always carried around to sew daughters bellybutton, Eventually released back to Gomjenica where there was nothing to do and the situation was hopeless, Decided to try and travel to Croatia in order to meet up with husband who had a job there, Forced to give up all rights to property and estate to the Republika Srpska before being allowed to leave, Travelled with 11 family members to Zagreb


Čarakovo, Gomjenica, Trnopolje, Zecovi, Krajina, Sana River, St. Louis [MO], United States, Concentration camp, Parent during the war

Pre-War Residence


Wartime Residence

Čarakovo, Gomjenica

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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