The Bosnian conflict of the 1990s was only the latest of the barbaric fratricidal wars which have plagued my beloved hometown in my former homeland.
After finally uniting in 1918, following the assassination of Crown Prince Ferdinand in Sarajevo which served as a pretext for WWI, the South Slavs were torn apart by the German invasion in 1940s, which inflamed a religion-driven genocide. The country was made whole again, thanks to the Partisan war of liberation and the strong hand of Tito’s “fraternity and unity” movement, but after his death the country disintegrated. The sons and daughters of Yugoslavia fought In the 1990s against each other and divorced in the flames of a cruel genocide. Their marriage had lasted less than three quarters of a century.
The irrationality of the atavistic Balkan conflicts makes them hard to explain. The recent movie The Land of Blood and Honey tried to do so and in the eyes of Sarajevo witnesses of the infamous three-year siege failed.
A native son, uprooted by the first Bosnian genocide in WWII, witnessing the second from abroad, I tried to make sense of it all in my two books, The Last Exile and Requiem for a Country. To further help me explain the inexplicable, Blood Without Honey now brings in the witness of my newly “found” niece, Inga Geko, a mother of a young child, herself a victim who endured the infamous three-year siege by sectarian forces in the once most tolerant of the cities in Europe.