Date of Interview


Interview Location

St. Louis, MO

Length of Interview


Date of Birth




Religion and/or Ethnicity



Born in Vareš to a Catholic family. Fled to Germany in 1992 with her Mother and brother to stay with an Aunt already there. Her father was a member of the police service and stayed to defend Vareš. After Germany, they went to Split where they lived in a boat hotel reserved for refugees. Her father would visit when he was on leave during the war. After the war they went to Germany where they lived in a refugee camp. Lived in Germany for 4 years. They were given notice to leave Germany in 97-98 and they went to Zenica where she remembers destroyed buildings and bullet holes. They then went to Benkovac, Croatia where they lived in a house abandoned by fleeing Serbs. Even though they were Catholic, she was made fun of in school for being from Bosnia. Parents could night find work and exhausted savings so the decision was made to come to the US. Spent 2-3 weeks in Austria before moving to St. Louis in June 2000. Her father’s sister was already in St. Louis. Was shocked by the diversity of her new school. Felt very on her own at school and felt that the teachers didn’t know what to do with the influx of so many Bosnian refugees. Learned English and helped parents navigate new life and language. Camaraderie between former Yugo kids at school. Father worked as a truck driver. Moved to South County for better schools. Teachers in high school pushed her to be a writer. Went to University Missouri-Columbia. Initially wanted to be a lawyer, but volunteered as a tutor and decided to become a teacher. Parents insisted on Croatian being spoken in the home and retention of culture.


Vareš, Croatia, Germany, United States, St, Louis [MO], South County, Mehlville [MO], Benkovac, Refugee camp, School, Teacher, Mizzou {University of Missouri), Culture Shock, Growing up Bosnian American

Pre-War Residence


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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