Aneka Karabas

Date of Interview

Summer 3-17-2016

Interview Location

St. Louis, MO

Length of Interview


Date of Birth




Religion and/or Ethnicity



Born in Ključ Bosnia in the Krajina region, Earliest memories are of sharing friendship with everyone in the city and of family, Did not see a noticeable sign that a war would happen in Bosnia, After Serbian soldiers put up barricades on roads family began to hide in the forest during the day, Brother left and joined the Bosnian army while father and other males of the village hid in the forest, Women and children would hide in the fields around the village during the day as there was a fear of being rape and killed, During these times they would have small boys play around the area in order to alert them if the Serbian soldiers were coming, At night the women about 30 or so all slept in the same house, One night Serbians attempted to break in and were yelling that they would kill the, Due to having set up a barricade the door Serbians could not break in, Following morning found a large saber on the doorstep, A few weeks passed and one morning the village was surrounded by the Serbian soldiers and all the women and children and some elderly were taken to a cemetery, They were all questioned were the men where and asked how many bullets they wanted for their execution, Eventually moved from the area on to buses and taken to another village and held at one building locked in, Outside the Serbians threaten to burn to all inside the building until the Serbian police came and told them to release them, Walked 12 KM back to Kljuc and registered with Red Cross to leave and go to Slovenia due to papers received from Uncle, Journeyed via bus along the road to Travnik alongside the road on both sides were Serbian solider yelling that they wanted to kill everyone, Tire went flat on the bus and the Serbian soldiers attempted to break in, Stopped by bus driver as Serbian who gave them a liter of rakija, Arrived in Travnik and then took another bus to Zagreb where uncles picked them up and took them to Slovenia, In Slovenia family struggled with food and did any type of work to survive, Came to St. Louis in 1994 and learned English slowly, Began to work as 16 year old as she wanted to be able to provide food for herself and family, Began to adjust and made friends and eventually married, Returned to Bosnia to identify the remains of her brother that were found in a mass grave in Sanski Most, Everything is changed in Bosnia as the feeling of fear is always present, Feels that at any second the Serbian soldiers will return and kill her, Has fear passing through Serbian villages and thinks about what could have happened


Ključ, Travnik, Ljubljana, Mass Graves, Rape, St.Louis

Pre-War Residence


Wartime Residence


First Country of Residence


First US Residence

St. Louis, MO

Document Type

Oral History


Affton High School

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Center for Bosnian Studies


St. Louis, MO

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