Date of Interview

Summer 7-16-2015

Interview Location

St. Louis, MO

Length of Interview


Date of Birth




Religion and/or Ethnicity



Born in Ljubljana, Slovenia as parents were there for work, Sent back to live with his grandmother until parents joined him later, Parents were not religious but after joining his grandmother who was religious began to learn about Islam, Remembers his childhood before the war as carefree and without worry, Would spend the whole day playing outside only coming inside to eat, Attended school in a nearby village of Derventa which was Serbian, Never noticed any difference in treatment of anyone while there by Serbians or Muslims, At this time father began to work in a government owned mine in an office capacity while mother stayed home, The family main source of income was father but the family had a few crops and animals at the home to supplement their food, Most friends growing up were Muslims but did have friends in the village of Derventa that were Serbian, In May 1992 soldiers came to village and demanded all villagers give up weapons which only the older men had but were hunting rifles, Told us they would return at a later date, Moved with family out of family home to another village closer to the city but still rural and lived in a cellar of a family there, Lived there with parents, grandparents and two cousins along with sister, Life was difficult and there was not a lot of food, Lack of salt caused people to suffer from health problems including grandfather who began to go blind, A system of bartering was used to get what you needed, Father became a blacksmith and in exchange for services was given food, When the village would be shelled the cellar would become a shelter for close to 50 people, Family also helped other families with farming and livestock and worked in fields, Mother and sister came under bombardment by shells while working a field, Sister(Mirela) was killed along with 2 other women, Mother was gravely injured and had to be transported to Srebrenica, After sisters death would dream about her being alive and would wake up to her death experiencing the loss every morning, Did not see his mother for a month until they took him to hospital in Srebrenica that was overrun with patients and smelled of blood, Mother recovered and family returned to live in cellar, Life counited and the United Nations began dropping in pallets of food that helped the situation in terms of nourishment, 1994 Mother gave birth to sister Alma who suffered from malnourished, In 1995 Serbian offensive pushed all Muslim to Potocari where the women and children waited to be transported to Tuzla while men such as his father formed a column and traveled via the forest to Tuzla, Traveled via truck from there to Tuzla an area called Dubrave, Father arrived after traveling across the forest and met up with family, Stayed in areas around Tuzla and then moved to abandoned Serbian homes by Sarajevo, Eventually received papers to go to the United States and arrived in 2001, Easier to adjust due to the large populations of Bosnians, Took ESL classes and attending community college eventually graduating from St. Louis University and Kings College In London, Wants future generations to be aware of what happened in Srebrenica and to remember what happened and for all people to accept what happened as reality and not deny the event


Srebrenica Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing, Shelling, Derventa

Pre-War Residence


Wartime Residence


First Country of Residence

United States

First US Residence

St. Louis

Document Type

Oral History


Fontbonne University

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Center for Bosnian Studies


Saint Louis



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.