Sarajevo Survival Guide

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by melbo, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    During the war, in the besieged city, under the fire of shells and snipers, in conditions impossible for life and work, FAMA began the conceptualization of several projects with artists and intellectuals. SARAJEVO SURVIVAL GUIDE intends to be a version of Michelin, taking visitors through the city and instructing them on how to survive without transportation, hotels, taxis, telephones, food, shops, heating, water, information, electricity. It is a chronicle, a part of a future archive which shows the city of Sarajevo not as a victim but as a place of experiment, where wit can still achieve victory over terror...

    Excerpts from

    An Introduction

    Written in Sarajevo, between April of 1992 and April of 1993, and distributed in trade paperback by Workman Press of New York, this manuscript is part of a multifold project by FAMA, triggered during the siege of Sarajevo.

    FAMA is an independent production company that, in the prewar period, worked primarily in audio/video media, buying TV time on state television. FAMA introduced a new genre to TV audiences in Bosnia-Herzegovina--political entertainment--which was a shock for a public conditioned to the repressive treatment of politics under the former regime.

    DART GAME--The Beginning

    On the fifth of April, 1992, around Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which had about 500,000 inhabitants, around the city in the valley of the river Miljacka surrounded by mountains which made it the host of the 1984 Winter Olympics, in the very center of what was Yugoslavia, appeared: two hundred and sixty tanks, one hundred and twenty mortars, and innumerable anti-aircraft cannons, sniper rifles and other small arms. All of that was entrenched around the city, facing it. At any moment, from any of these spots, any of the arms could hit any target in the city. And they did, indeed--civilian housing, museums, churches, cemeteries, people on the streets. Everything became a target. All exits from the city, all points of entry, were blocked.

    from Sarajevo Survival Guide, mural by Zulfikar Pasic

    THE ESSENTIALS--Everyday life
    from Sarajevo Survival Guide

    Sarajevo's climate is very continental, with a short hot summer, when the nights are still cold due to the constant breeze coming from the surrounding mountains. Winters are rich with snow, from November until April. Snow has been recorded in August and in June--a fact which can be found in old Sarajevo chronicles. War so far hasn't changed the climate. The moon is still shining, the sun rises, rain falls, and it snows, too.

    He has accreditation [ID], weapons, a good car, and a complete uniform. The owner of a bullet-proof vest is regarded with respect. One who doesn't wear a uniform has an ax in his right hand for cutting down trees, and a series of [water] canisters on his left shoulder. His image would be complete with a mask against poison gas.

    She cuts wood, carries humanitarian aid, smaller canisters filled with water, does not visit a hairdresser nor a cosmetician. She is slim, and runs fast. Girls regularly visit the places where humanitarian aid is being distributed. They know the best aid-packages according to their numbers. They get up early to get water, visit cemeteries to collect wood, and greet new young refugees. Many wear golden and silver lilies as earrings, as pins, on necklaces.

    Sarajevo is a city of slender people...wearing youthful clothes of teenage size. Sarajevans have lost about [8 million pounds]...They greet each other with--TAKE CARE!

    Those who were lucky still live in their apartments. Refugees and those whose apartments have been burned or destroyed by grenades inhabit the apartments of those who left Sarajevo before or during the war. Temporary leases or bills of sale are being issued. Some entered flats by breaking the doors and changing locks.
    You can change apartments if one of your friends manages to leave town. Some people have two or three apartments. Depending on what each of them can offer: electricity, gas, water, or minimal security--they move from one apartment to another. Those who are looking for you will find you at the address where you collect humanitarian aid. Some are living in communes. Old families have disintegrated--new ones are being formed.

    Windows are gone, destroyed by perpetual detonations. It was kind of pleasant during the summer--plastic came only with the first rains. People were fixing it to the window frames with wide tape used in factories for packing. Glue gave up under the rain and winds. Then people used nails. Whoever had no plastic--more than a precious item on the black market--would close the windows with cardboard boxes left behind from the humanitarian aid.

    Some windows are protected by lumber brought from basements and roofs. Those homes are dark as graves...For the sake of security--merely psychological security--one closes windows with heavy cupboards, mattresses, books, carpets. Windows are dark after daylight is gone. People accumulate all their precious belongings in some corner of the apartment which they consider safest. Bathrooms, which somehow often happen to be in the center, are storage for paintings. Photographs, documents, jewelry, money, passports are in a bag next to the exit. In the bag are a few more items: zwieback [crackers], thermos, canned pate, and blankets.

    It is adapted to the potential sources of danger. Corridors and living rooms have been turned into wood sheds. Hosts and visitors sit around the stove, feed it and stare into the fire. Everything is within reach: books, tea cups, clothes, water, food. Everyone is ready to run onto the staircase at the sound of a grenade, or into the basement, if there is one.

    In the basement everyone has a place, either one that was fought for or one that had to be accepted. This space is ruled by the laws of community. Basements and staircases are special territories.

    In the beginning of the war, a new social category emerged: owners of staircases. They established office hours. Those who are idle write down the name of each visitor, the ID number, hours of arrival and of departure--all very precisely, in a little book. A real spy book, in fact, like the proof needed by a jealous husband or wife.

    Water shortages may last for days, or weeks. The reasons are always the same--no electricity, or an act of terror. Then the search starts...Those who carry water do so, depending on their strength and the number of canisters, several times a day, traveling several kilometers, waiting in a line for at least three hours. The lucky ones are those with bicycles, which are pushed rather than driven. The same with the owners of baby carriages and former market carriages. Anything that rolls will do, for everything is easier than carrying the water by hand.

    One of the ways to find water is by using dowsing rods. Life, and your ability to survive, is very much about natural talents. In this case you pit your electromagnetic waves against those of the water. Gifted magicians are searching for water. Those more talented and skillful can even advise you how deep you should dig.

    It is the rain that brings consolation. Groove gutters are, unfortunately, damaged. People stand in line, in the rain, waiting with buckets for their portion of rain-water. Day or night--it doesn't really matter. People drink it and use it for doing laundry. It is very good for your hair, which becomes silky and shiny...They ration water as if they were Bedouins. Long hair can be washed in a liter ad a half, the whole body in two or three--all in little pots and pans, with water lukewarm or cold.

    The washing machine is a household appliance from some long-gone time. It has no function. The women of Sarajevo are again first-class laundresses. The only thing lacking is a battledore, lye soap, and a clean river to wash what they have.

    To run the toilet, waste water is collected, and water is brought from springs--if they are not too polluted--or from the street.

    People of Sarajevo put daylight to maximum use. They go to sleep early in order not to use heating or electricity. They go to sleep early because they don't see in the dark. They go to sleep early because the curfew starts at 10 p.m. and ends at 5 a.m. They wake up at any time during the night if there is a sign that water, or electricity, has come. These moments never last too long.

    Sleeping is entirely conditioned by the arrival of water and electricity. If they appear at the same time, the shock is complete. The race against time starts--in order to use both in the best possible way. It doesn't matter that it is two or five o'clock in the morning. We cook, we wash, we clean, we take baths. Sometimes even a loaf of bread can be baked, the most wonderful gift.

    Cold weather and the arrival of winter brought about new arrangements in the apartments. Chimney outlets were opened even in houses with central heating. From basements and attics, from friends and acquaintances, old stoves were brought. Boiler rooms are not working. In the absence of chimneys, people fix extra flues and stick them out their windows. Flues are lurking on streets, smoking. Cooking still continues on the balconies, housewives stirring the fire with newspapers. The basic stove is a tin one...Material and imagination define the form, size and the purpose [for coffee, cooking or heating]...But the major problem is fuel. You cannot buy wood or coal.

    During the first summer all dry benches, trees and wooden material were collected. This fall, parks, allees, courtyard and cemetery trees started to fall--birches, poplars, ash trees, plane trees, plum trees, apple trees, cherry trees, pear trees, all the way down to brushwood. Wooden backs of benches in parks were taken away, frames and doors of ruined apartments, handrails from the hallways, shelves from abandoned stores and kiosks, wooden stools and bars from restaurants, even the crosses and pyramids from the cemeteries. All bombed houses and barracks were dismantled with enviable speed. But fuel is still scarce...Fortunately, everyone can get warm while searching for food and water.

    The water from Sarajevo has always been famous. Today, it is being boiled and cleaned by pills...There is a white pill for two liters and a green for five liters. Problems start when you have a green pill, and you don't have a pot big enough. The source of these pills is a secret which cannot be known. Pills are owned by the military, police, UNPROFOR [the UN Protection Force], by the civil service...Yet, the water, and tea, are the basic drinks in Sarajevo.

    The search for alcohol is long and expensive, as it is for juices and milk. Parents are looking everywhere for canned powdered milk...Peasants who managed to save their cows and goats are not bringing milk into the city. There are refugees in the outskirts of Sarajevo who took their animals with them into exile. There is a story about the woman who lives with her cow in an abandoned apartment, on the fourth floor: the woman inside, and the cow on the balcony. She is afraid to leave the cow for a single moment.

    By additions and with a lot of imagination, one USA lunch package can feed five people. Rice, macaroni and bread are often eaten together--otherwise it is difficult survive. For one resident of Sarajevo, during the first seven months of war, you couldn't count more than six packages of humanitarian aid. One had to invent ways to preserve and eat for as long as possible what is normally envisioned for one person, one meal, one use. In spring, summer and fall, all leaves it is possible to find were used as ingredients--from parks, gardens, fields, and hills which were not [too] dangerous to visit. Combined with rice, and well seasoned, everything becomes edible. Each person in Sarajevo is very close to [being] an ideal macrobiotician, a real role-model for the health-conscious, diet-troubled West.

    A war cookbook emerged spontaneously, as a survival bestseller. Recipes spread throughout the city very quickly. People are healthy, in spite of everything, for no one eats animal fat anymore, nor meat, nor cheese--meals are made without eggs, without milk, onions, meat, vegetables. We eat a precious mix of wild imagination.

    , if you have any, should be cut in very thin slices, salted, arranged in a bowl, pressed with some heavy object and covered by oil. Not the smallest piece should be in touch with air. That way it will be preserved longer, especially under your careful control. Better effects are gained if you fry the meat first, and then cover it with hot oil. You take out the portion planned for each meal. Another tip for preserving meat...wash it well, then roll it in a napkin soaked in vinegar--that way it can stay fresh for a few days.

    [can be had only] from someone's garden, or your flower pots which are by now cleansed of unuseful plants, or a park that's become a source for survival. Vegetables like scallions, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, or anything that looks similar, should be cleaned, washed, and rolled into a wet preserve freshness. Carrots and parsley should be cut, salted, and packed tightly into keep them longer with most of their vitamins retained. You should squeeze all the juices from vegetables like parsley and celery, and then dry them...the way our grandmothers did it many years ago.

    Its main characteristic is very friendly personnel, which was not the case before the war. It is very efficient. Aside from the hospital and emergency rooms, you will hear quickly about all the improvised ambulances. The maternity hospital has been shelled and is out of use, so babies are born in the regular hospital. When visiting the dentist, you should take your bottle with water, and gloves, which she can use while treating you.

    Pharmacies are working, but medicine is mostly missing. Bring your own vitamins. In an emergency--look for the locations of Benevolencija and Caritas.

    Not working since April, 1992. In the beginning, so called staircase-schools emerged where everyone gathered during the shelling. Now education comes in the apartments, with children from different grades. Both high schools and grammar schools became homes for refugees. Classrooms and labs became dormitories and kitchens. There is laundry hanging out of every school's windows. Colleges work, exams are given, but only where danger isn't too great. Yet, many have manage to graduate. There is a lot of time to study. Computers and all the technology from the schools and from the colleges of the University have been stolen.

    The only papers you can buy during the siege are OSLOBODJENJE and VECERNJE NOVINE. Once upon a time, OSLOBODJENJE had a format like the TIMES or FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE. It had thirty-two, twenty-four or sixteen pages. Since June of 1991, its size started to diminish. Now it is of a mini-format, with eight, or more often, four pages. People who sell it are the journalists themselves--between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. Due to the shortage of paper, editions came down to 10,000 copies. After November 1992, they came down to 5,000, which makes the time of distribution no longer than twenty minutes. Stronger readers seem to be winning.

    Radio Bosnia and Herzegovina, Studio Sarajevo, is broadcasting 24 hours a day. When there is electricity, one listens to more than just news. The news is broadcast every hour and everyone is waiting for it. Television today is no more than a few informative broadcasts, live programs and a press-conference held daily in the International Press Center.

    Rumors are the most important source of information. They spread with incredible speed and often mean more than news transmitted through the official channels. They regularly--"this time for sure"--report on military intervention, on the siege of the city being lifted, on establishing corridors and safe havens. And they are regularly, each time "for sure," wrong. Rumors are spread by all: housewives, university professors, teenagers, doctors. No one is immune. They travel the city quicker than you will be able to, and they are mostly optimistic. Only later you might hear opinions that they were too optimistic.

    THE EXTRAS--Non-essentials
    from Sarajevo Survival Guide

    The tradition of famous tobacco from Herzegovina and more than a century of the existence and production of the Sarajevo Tobacco Factory left a bad impact on Sarajevans. It spoiled them--people were used to the best cigarettes and tobacco for which special pipes, cigarette-cases and cigarette-holders were made.

    Today, cigarettes are the biggest luxury and need. No one is quitting. You can buy them on the black market. Members of the army and of the police get them daily or weekly. There is no possibility of regular purchase. Matches too are to be found only on the black market.

    On some markets you can find tobacco dust, which before served as a high quality fertilizer for plants and vegetables. Today, that dust is precious and hard to find. Tobacco leaves are even more expensive and very rare.
    The most passionate smokers are smoking tea. They are drying chamomile, Swiss chard, leaves, and cut it into "tobacco." That tobacco is then being rolled into regular paper or daily [newspaper]. Filters are made of toilet paper which comes as a part of lunch packages. It seems to be easier to find a pipe.

    There are three, for the whole city. What they sell is simple and cheap, but when you buy it--becomes expensive, and rare. Tooth-pastes, shaving cream, cotton, combs and hair-brushes, two kinds of after-shave lotion, three kinds of bad deodorants, about ten colors of lipstick, one kind of skin cream. The same "cosmetics" can be bought on the black market too, only there for Deutsche Marks.

    They are selling about ten different frames for glasses, kept in the safe place under the counter. They don't cost too much. But people don't buy eyeglasses nowadays--they see all too clearly.

    There are two that are working, and one "Book-Club" which the number and selection of books is rapidly diminishing. All the storefronts in the bookstores are gone, but no one has been stealing books. The storage of the biggest publishing house in Sarajevo is now in occupied territory. The destiny of those books is unknown. What can be seen is the growing interest for foreign books, and dictionaries. Everybody seems to be interested in the languages of the world. Price does not matter.

    The most desired are the shrapnel, which can be found everywhere: on the sidewalks, on the streets, balconies, apartments. Bullets are popular, but have a somewhat lower price. Some take with them food coupons. Other 'trophies' include war issues of OSLOBODJENJE [the newspaper], pedigree dogs, shoes made of snake-leather--excellent for running at crossroads.

    A bottle of clean water, a candle, a bar of soap, shampoo, some garlic or an onion. Passionate love is being expressed here by a handful of wood, a bucket of coal, a complete edition of books that lack humor or poetry. Could you spare some Vladimir Illich Lenin? Last winter has proven that his books burn well.

    Abundance and color, choice and liveliness are gone from the markets of Sarajevo. There one can see poverty at its worst. Merchandise from all the tables can fit into two nylon bags. All the famous markets...are now more like meeting points. Fruits and vegetables have been reduced to some scallions, nettles, cabbage, zucchini, small rotting apples, green plums. All in small quantities, and all in DMs. During the fall you could find some pumpkins, potatoes from the humanitarian aid, nuts. The entire offer from any of the markets wasn't more than 20 kilos...

    Yugoslav money was in official circulation until April 1992. The same one, only with the seal of the People's Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina functioned until December, for the country was without both paper and money. Since the new money for the Bosnian government printed in England [couldn't] reach Sarajevo safely, bonds were printed in size of two tram tickets...

    One Deutsche the basis for anything that is worth anything...The dollar is despised, and can barely be exchanged. Exchange functions only between the citizens of Sarajevo. Foreigners don't need to deal with it, for everything for them is paid. The biggest problem [for foreigners] is how to change a bank note of 100 DM. You should have change--that you can use in the Holiday Inn, in the Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and on the black market.

    There is something new on the market of values. Papers: letters of guarantee, accreditation, military approval for leave of absence, a doctor's receipt that one is deadly ill, false documents of all kinds...Prices of these papers are...merely a matter of agreement. By now, the poor DM is quite inflated.

    Sarajevo got its first park at the end of the last century. That was the Big Park, modeled by some governmental figure during the reign of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Later, dozens of parks were planted with different trees and bushes, flowers and grass. They first suffered through the shelling, and then fell during the cold days and nights, cut by people who loved them but wanted to survive the winter. They did not believe anyone who reassured them that there would be electricity and that the heating systems would work. They were right.

    Located in the Valley of Pioneers, is closed. The only inhabitants, still alive, are two ponies and several peacocks. Animals in the Zoo served as experimental targets for brave snipers on the nearby front line. Others gradually died of hunger and thirst--their guards were too afraid to reach them. All perished--monkeys, llamas, camels, tigers, wolves, lions. The last died on November the third. It was a bear, whose innocent death was shown all over the world.

    Wear and Footwear
    Everyone is in sports clothes, for they are warmer, more comfortable, and enable you to run quicker. Most of the members of the Bosnian Armed Forces wear deep white sneakers with the logo of Yugosport. Their uniform, at the beginning, consisted of jeans, [camouflage] ingeniously [improvised] of bright colors. Bulletproof jackets are very rare...Citizens renew wear and footwear by moving into abandoned apartments.

    Six kilometers a day--that is the average for those who don't need to go very far. Some believe it helps to keep you in shape.

    That is the favorite sport, practiced by everyone in Sarajevo. All cross-roads are run through, as are all dangerous neighborhoods. One runs with stolen wood, to the line where others are standing. Something is for sale, and you will know [what] it [is] only when you join the line.

    Urban rock-climbing is a compulsory sports discipline. Instead of adequate ropes, one uses sheets. Climbers [negotiate] distances between balconies, from higher to lower ones which are not yet reached by fire.

    Often played with soldiers of UNPROFOR. On the other side--Bosnian Armed Forces, police and professional city players who are still here. Games take place in the hall of the burned Skenderija. The game is hard, masculine, with lots of injuries. Foreigners lose here, as they always did.

    Played on staircases, in basements and in shelters. Sometimes even in the chess club Bosna, which has a good and very expensive buffet.

    An entirely new city discipline. Tools for this sport are an electric saw and axes, small and big. One gets trained by cutting, trimming, splitting, and piling wood on a balcony or in a room, where they don't suffer so much humidity. Wood is stacked in the bedroom, hall, living room, in the next apartment whose owners have left or disappeared.​

    The basic mode of comradeship during the long winter nights. Takes place on staircases where it was the first possibility for frightened neighbors to finally meet each other. For those who know how to play and win, it becomes part of the survival-struggle. No one plays for money, but for a lunch packet, canned fish, a liter of oil--that is serious capital!

    Banned in the nineteenth century, today it is the favorite time-killer for the jobless, school-less people. Some of them might become world champions.

    Pinball Machines
    They work despite the electricity. Their owners learned how to solve that minor problem.

    Children's Games
    Counting of grenades fired on the city, trimming fallen trees, collecting bullets, shells...Exchange of collections.

    Dismantling the parts of abandoned cars and taking them away, into "security." Rules of the game: as quickly as possible. No age limits.

    Ladies' Talk
    Exchange of war recipes: who can prepare the better meal made of nothing?​

    Imagine driving through streets with no street lights (which are torn down or not working), without any traffic signs (for they are gone), without any attention paid to pedestrians, with a maximum speed across the crossroads and other dangerous spots. People are driving recklessly in both directions. No one pays any attention to crashes. Broken cars are abandoned easily and damage is...negotiated in quick conversations. This is the war with the biggest civilian motor pool. The war is being waged in Audis, in BMWs, in Mercedes and VW Golfs, as well as in expensive yuppie jeeps.

    City Transportation
    Trams, buses, vans, trolleys, cable rail-way--do not exist...Cars are running, if run by or for officials. Most were taken away by from private owners, with or without a receipt, especially if they ran on diesel. New models appeared, home-made armored cars which look like moving closets, only with a hole in front of the driver. They are slow, shaky and loud.

    Never too popular in this hilly terrain--are being rediscovered and put to use. Shopping carts are now used for the transportation of water canisters, of coal and wood. Renting is not too expensive.

    Do not exist.

    Advised only on spots protected from grenades and thieves. Such places are scarce. Whole cars are stolen, but their parts are not safe either: wheels, fuel, batteries, seat-covers, lights.

    Gas Stations
    Not working. Fuel can be found at UNPROFOR, and on the black market...You can get five liters of oil in exchange for a porno video--very appreciated by the Ukrainian members of the UN forces. Don't expect that the gas or petrol are going to be of good quality.

    Car Repair
    Exclusively arranged through connections. There are no visible signs where repairmen are working. But they exist.​

    Ham-radio operators are a discovery for the people of Sarajevo. Only through their stubbornness can you get in contact with the people you love. They are a connection between the East and the West. Conversations are short, and start with the punch line: "We are healthy and well. Over." All conversations and all messages are public. The room in which operators sit has at least five people at any moment, and the place where messages are being received has at least as many. Intimacy is gone, but the messages are still intimate.

    Radio messages are trying to link gaps in communication. Sarajevo Radio broadcasts them day and night. Messages are sent from people in Sarajevo to their friends and relatives in other places in Bosnia and abroad, and to the people in Sarajevo from the rest of the world.

    Packages. If you are well connected, [packages] travel with Caritas, Adra, Red Cross, Dobrotvor [Greek Orthodox relief]. Their journey lasts between forty-five to eighty days. Their content [incoming] is conditioned by the fierce rules of the aggressor. The weight cannot be over 24 kilos. It can't contain meat, vegetables, cans. It happens sometimes that instead of the expected package with food, one receives a piece of a uniform, or stones. More valuable packages don't reach their destination.

    The United Nations Protection Forces were awaited as saviors when they first arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina with their white vehicles and blue berets. As time went on they proved to be powerless. They help in repairs of the infrastructure, in cleaning the city. They are also establishing bureaucratic rules of their own. In some instances proven to be good merchants, they are driving around in trucks, jeeps, transporters...They transport wounded, bring humanitarian aid, drive from and to the airport. In short, nothing is done without them.

    UNPROFOR Headquarters is in the building of Communications Engineering at Alipasino polje. Soldiers are in the barracks which were formerly inhabited by the soldiers of the Yugoslav Peoples Army. The main headquarters of the UNPROFOR's commander is in a private villa. All these successions seem to be very natural.

    Although some of these organizations help their members first, and although some of them are based on religious affiliation--Merhamet, Muslim; Caritas, Catholic; Dobrotvor, Serbian Orthodox--they are open for the members of other groups. Many [people] are on all lists, in this poverty...The Jewish Community, jevrejska opstina, established the War Kitchen, which is open to all.

    Watch repairmen are working, as are the opticians, locksmiths, electricians, plumbers, carpenters--they will visit your home, if only you can find them. Be ready to pay in hard currency.

    from Sarajevo Survival Guide

    They demand quite a bit of courage. The best known journalists' routes lead to the front lines...Sarajevans once loved their hills and the fact that their city was like a bird in a green nest. In the war, these hills are the sites where the death of Sarajevo is being engineered and spread around, daily.

    As an exchange for foreign currency, or for food and drinks, you can find a guide who will take you to all these places and more:

    to Dobrinja, the new part of the city that was built for the 1984 Winter Olympics and is now divided by trenches, many of its buildings burned, with cemeteries between the blocks, on the playgrounds;
    to Stup, an old neighborhood on the road West, with the old Catholic church that burned to the ground;
    to Otes, a medieval village which became part of the town, with almost 10,000 inhabitants, and which does not exist since the beginning of December of 1992.

    You can also visit Igman, a mountain once known for its beautiful terrain, where you could meet does and wildcats;
    or go to Stojcevac, the residential complex of Josip Broz Tito--where the first casino opened for the 1984 Winter Olympics.

    From some of these sites you can get coffee, alcohol, meat and vegetables for a price which is much lower than on the black market. The combination of this mercantile enterprise might lower significantly the price of your tour, and the amount of your fear.

    Tours from the city cannot be organized to Jahorina (former famous ski-resort, now the military base of the aggressor), to Trebevic (former sledding route, now a front line), to Pale (air-spa, swimming pool, bowling--now the military-political capital of the enemy), to Borike (horseback riding, now cut off from information), Treskavica (hunting and fishing, now a front line), Ilidza (thermal spa, now occupied, ethnically-cleansed territory with a military base).

    For the people of Sarajevo, each time they leave their home is a major outing. To visit a friend is an event. Paths lead through back doors, over fences, through gardens, far from the dangerous roads. Visits usually end by staying overnight, for life ends in the early afternoon. In fact, war-parties are the best kind of entertainment. Once they start, they last until the morning. Hosts are those who, for that evening, have the electricity, or the drinks.

    The beauty of old Sarajevo cemeteries has been ruined by growing needs. They have been reopened when two contemporary cemeteries--Bare and Vlakovo--became inaccessible. Small old cemeteries which were active for certain neighborhoods, even streets (mahalska) were closed in 1878, with the arrival of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. More than a century later, they started functioning again. People are being buried next to Mosques, on playgrounds in front of their houses. The old military cemeteries--Austrian, of the First Yugoslavia, German, and a partisan one--are full. Since September, the small stadium in the sports complex Kosevo was turned into a cemetery, too. Funerals are held in early morning or dusk hours, to avoid the shelling. There is a rule not to go to the funerals and not to have flowers and wreaths. They cannot be bought anyway, even if someone would want to.

    Officially, there is no such thing as "going out of town." Since April of 1992, the city has been forced to turn (inward) and to greet those who come fulfilling their diplomatic, journalistic and humanitarian tasks.

    Convoy is the term which equals organized exit, a ticket with no return. For all such journeys there are lists, and time to be spent waiting, filled with uncertainties. They are organized by the Children's Embassy, Red Cross, by the Jewish Community...Those who entered one of the lists in June, who have all the needed documents, are not sure that they will be leaving the city in December. There is always a new document required, a new rule to obey, a new delay. And, no wonder, each convoy has its own rules. Children's Embassy takes out children, mothers, the very old and the exhausted. The Red Cross is taking out old, sick and children. The Jewish Community took out Jews and their friends, supplying them with false documents. Slovenes took out their citizens and those who could remember one Slovene in their family in the past seven generations. At these sad departures you could often hear anxious questions: "Father, what's your name?" "Mother, what's your name?"

    Discreetly, but to no one's surprise, the city was left by wives, children, parents, and friends of various officials. Illegal channels were used...On each of these starts there was a "connection," a guy dealing with the formalities which basically means exchanging tangible hard currency for the invisible bus ticket.

    Tourism in Sarajevo comes down to foreign journalists and politicians. The latter ones stay in the city only for a few hours and run away. Soldiers and journalists stay longer, but are regularly replaced. Only for the people of Sarajevo is there no exit. They don't live in shifts.

    Journalists are either in the Holiday Inn, or with friends who have a good basement. They travel the city in protected cars, and with the obligatory bullet-proof vest.

    Sarajevo has numerous hotels. They are all full, except for the Bristol and Posta. They became homes for refugees. The same goes for the oldest and most famous hotel, Evropa, the part which has not burned...
    Guests are accepted only in the Holiday Inn, a hotel with two directors. One was appointed by the City Parliament, the other by the Republic. Of course, not all the rooms are available, for some no longer exist. During the stronger shellings, guests leave their rooms and sleep collectively in the basement, armed with their cellular phones. The hotel is well supplied with alcoholic drinks and refreshments. Only there can you try the best of local cuisine--big selections of Viennese and Oriental delights.

    Guests are, of course, foreign journalists. There are some locals, too. These are private businessmen, merchants, people for all times and all imaginable businesses...Service is decent. At night the hotel resembles "Casablanca."
    Culinary specialties are offered, since last October, in the following places:
    • Gurman (Gourmet). Location: Corner of Titova and Radojke Lakic Streets.
    • Bujrum (Welcome). Location: Above the Cathedral, in the Vuk Karadzic Street.
    • Kraljica Dunava (Queen of the Danube). Location: Kata Govorusic Street.
    • Klub Novinara (Journalist's Club). Location: Lavle Goranin Street.

    The selection of drinks is very limited. As for the food--aside from soup, one can get cooked veal, hamburgers (domestic version is called pljeskavica). How the food gets there is kept as the biggest professional secret. Silent are both those who order and those who deliver. And those who eat.

    There are private clubs, too. In case you have someone to take you there, look for:
    • Monik (close to Jugobanka)
    • Raguza (next to the main market--Markale)
    • Jez (Neighborhood of the seat of the Yugoslav People's Army)

    Modern, prewar life of cafes, in which mingled the youth of the city and its business circles--good music, excellent coffee, whiskey, home-made brandy--since November they re-emerged, protected with thick slabs and UNHCR foils, with generators for their own electricity. Their names: Bugatti, Piere, Stefanel, Charlie, Sky, Indi, Holland, 501, S.O.S., GoGo, Tvin...They start working at 11 a.m. and close at nightfall. Some work until the curfew--visit only if you have a friend who knows the city well. Some are open as long as there are guests. All are armed.
    There are places where you can gamble, playing cards. It is convenient for foreigners--payment is in hard currency anyway. One shouldn't have too much self-confidence. Sarajevo gamblers cannot reach Italy or Cote d'Azur anymore. Their skilled passion has to be fulfilled here.

    Sarajevo had its first coffee shop more than four hundred years ago. They spread quickly, hundreds of them, and became very popular places for gathering and slow enjoyment. Their offering was limited, but what was offered was of the best quality: Turkish coffee (Bosnian version), tea and fir-tree juice. As time went by, European-style cafes merged with those...They introduced espresso, pastry, and alcohol. Both styles lived together, beloved and nurtured by the same public.

    Once a week in the partially destroyed Red Cross building in the "Sniper Alley." Exhibitions by local sculptors, painters and "conceptualists." Hot tea is also served. The gallery is owned by "Scena obala."

    "Kameni teatar 55" is located in a shelled building in the main street, Marshal Tito 55. The auditorium is one of the safest places in the city. Every day at 1 p.m. (the time is determined by the difficulty in moving about in the lightless city at night) there is a performance, a presentation of a new bank, newspaper, or a commemoration of some significant event...

    Sometimes there are cocktail-parties where humanitarian aid is served. Hair is the most popular hit.

    "Scena obala." Once a week at 1 p.m. The place is safe. Heating by battery. Movies are on video tapes. The cinema is also a meeting place for intellectuals, foreign newsmen and artists.

    Those with batteries/generators can listen to government radio and some independent, privately owned stations. The most popular are the urban stations "Zid" and "Studio 99."

    The daily published in a completely destroyed building. When there is not sufficient paper it is published in small editions and the news vendors stick the sheets onto facades. Also available are RATNI DANI and BLIC, and TENNIS, the magazine of the Architects' Association.

    Travelers also bring into the city old issues of the dailies and weeklies from the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere. These papers circulate from house to house.

    When you come to Sarajevo, be prepared and be mature. It might prove to be the most important decision you make in your life. Bring:

    • good shoes which make you walk long and run fast,
    • pants with many pockets,
    • pills for water,
    • Deutsche Marks (small denomination),
    • batteries,
    • matches,
    • a jar of vitamins,
    • canned food, drinks and cigarettes.

    Everything you bring will be consumed or exchanged for useful information. You should know when to skip a meal, how to turn trouble into a joke and be relaxed in impossible moments. Learn not to show emotions and don't be fussy about anything. Be ready to sleep in a basement, and walk and work in danger. Give up all your former habits. Use the telephone when it works, laugh when it doesn't. You'll laugh a lot. Despise, don't hate.

    FUTURE AND PAST--End of the Beginning
    from Sarajevo Survival Guide

    The besieged city defends itself by culture and thus survives. Groups and individuals create whatever they used to create before the siege. In impossible circumstance they produce films, write books, publish newspapers, produce radio programs, design postcards, stage exhibitions, performances, make blueprints for rebuilding the city, found new banks, organize fashion shows, shoot photographs, celebrate holidays, put on makeup...
    Sarajevo is the city of the future and of life in the post-cataclysm. In it on the ruins of the old civilization a new one is sprouting, an alternative one, composed of the remains of urban elements. Sarajevo lives a life (foretold by) futuristic comics and science fiction movies.

    If you play with lines on the map of Europe, you will (find) Sarajevo. It is revealed where lines cross over the Balkans. First you draw a line from Paris, through Venice and then to Istanbul, the closest East that Europe knew for centuries. A second line starts in northern Europe, goes between Berlin and Warsaw, through the Mediterranean, and then to Africa. These lines meet over Bosnia and Herzegovina. And, in fact, they cross over Sarajevo.

    Here wars were started and here they went on, while people loved and longed for love. Here merchants were selling goods from all over the world and life was close and distant to ways of the East and West. It was Western for the East, and Oriental for the West. It was the life of Sarajevo.

    Its poet, Nerkesi (1592-1634), far from his beloved city, wrote:
    "Nothing comes close to my city. It is a pearl on the earth, saraj of springs and gardens, unique in the world...High mountains around it, old and noble, snow peaks covered with mist are kissing the sky...It is impossible, no doubt, to name all the beauties of this place..."

    A Cookbook for War
    from Sarajevo Survival Guide

    (Partake of these recipes at your own peril)

    Cheese a la Olga Finci
    4 demi-tasses of milk powder (bought at the black market)
    1 demi-tasse of oil (from humanitarian aid)
    a demi-tasse of water (boil it first!)
    0.5 demi-tasse of vinegar, or one lemon
    1 small spoonful of garlic powder (present given by a good friend)
    Mix it all with a plastic spoon which can be found in the USA lunch package. The mix will thicken immediately, just like a pudding. If you were lucky enough to grab a bunch of expensive parsley, cut it finely, pepper it, and add into the mix. All then should be taken to your balcony, where the temperature is -10 C. ; you can as well leave it in the kitchen, where it is only -8 C. It should get hard. Even if you had other ideas, this dish has to be served cold. Enjoy!
    A side dish - pommesfrites
    1 cup of corn flour
    1 cup of white flour
    1 spoonful of bicarbonate (use vinegar to neutralize)
    Mix all the ingredients with lukewarm water. Make a dough, and cut it in in the form of pommesfrites. Fry in hot oil.
    Mayonnaise with no eggs
    1 soup spoon of milk powder
    4 spoons of flour
    1 dcl of water
    1 small spoon of lemon juice
    Mix milk, flour and water until it becomes thick. Let it cool, and then gradually add oil, and seasonings--if you can find them. Keep it in a cool place, before serving.
    Bean Pate
    250 grams of beans
    2 dcl of oil
    salt, pepper, mustard, seasonings
    Cook the beans and paste them. Slowly add oil and seasonings--as much as you like and have. Keep cold.
    Pate '93 or Bread-crumbs Pate
    200 gr. of bread crumbs
    some yeast
    3 demi-tasses of oil
    pepper, salt, onion, mustard
    Saute the onions until they are soft. Add bread-crumbs, yeast and seasonings, and cover everything with lukewarm water. Mix it well and leave in a cold spot before serving.

    Main Dishes

    Canned mackerel floating in humanitarian aid.
    Cut two onion heads and fry them. Add tomato paste from the can, salt, pepper, vinegar (or white wine), some rosemary and a bay leaf. When this is cooked, add a piece of mackerel from the can, and cook for five minutes more. As a side dish, cook porridge, polenta, or, since you might lack all the ingredients, try some rice or macaroni.
    Garden Snails
    After a rain, in the park or in a garden, find snails, wash them and cook them as long as it takes them to leave their homes. Put them in cold water, extract the meat, and cut it into tiny pieces. Fry two onions in some oil, add salt, pepper, some canned tomato paste, a spoon of vinegar, a spoon of flour and two spoons of water. Cook well, add snail meat, cook more. Try. Add whatever necessary. Serve with rice.
    Grape Leaves (or some other tasty leaves) Stuffed With Rice
    History: Once upon a time this dish was made with beef, or a mixture of beef and lamb, or beef and pork, with very little rice. Thos was stuffed in cabbage, grape leaves or sour cabbage leaves.
    30 leaves, young
    10 dg of onion (or green parts of scallions)
    rice, as much as you need
    salt, pepper, fresh or dried mint
    Blanch the leaves, cut the onion and saute it in oil. Add the rice, mix it with onion, and then add salt and seasonings. The mix should be placed on the end of the leaf. You should twist the side parts, and form a roll. Place the rolls in an oily pot, cover with water and cook on a low fire.


    Pie used to be one of the specialties of Bosnian cuisine. A woman's pride. It consists of a dough and a filling. Depending on filling, there were about fifteen kinds of pies. Now it's difficult to speak of choice.
    0.5 kg of flour
    2 dcl of water
    1 teaspoon of salt
    1 spoon of oil
    Make a cone of flour, with a little hole in the top that should be filled with oil. While mixing slowly, add some lukewarm water. Mix it until it becomes elastic. Divide in three parts, and knead each of them with very little oil, until it turns into an elastic ball. Leave the balls covered with clean linen on an oiled surface for at least an hour. Then start stretching them, best using your hands, until you get the needed thickness of the dough. Should be thin as silk. Thicker ends should be cut, fried in hot oil--and eaten as snacks a la Bosniene.
    Rice Pie
    Rice was never used in pies before. Now it substitutes for cheese.
    Take 60 dg. of rice, for about three leaves of thinly rolled-out dough. Rice should be cooked with desiccated soup, or in salted and peppered water. It is recommended to fry rice a little bit, before cooking--that way it won't fall apart. Put the rice on the edge of the dough and roll it. It would be desirable to pour milk, sweet or sour, over the baked pie, but if you don't have milk, water will do. Cover the pie, and let it soften.
    Burek--Meat Pie
    Once upon a time you would use fresh beef or lamb meat, cut into small pieces or ground; some liked it lean, some preferred it with fat. Today, look for meat in the cans from the humanitarian aid. You should grind it, add salt and pepper, and minced onion, if available. Dough should be divided into two pieces, oiled and filled with meat, then rolled. Arrange it following the shape of the baking pan--the traditional shape was round--sprinkle with some oil and bake in the oven. When the pie is ready, sprinkle it with water, cover, and let it soften. Serve warm.
    Nettle Pie
    Cut the nettle leaves in the garden or in a park, wash it, mix with salt, pepper, and corn flour. Cover the baking pan with dough and cover the dough with filling. Repeat, in layers, sprinkling each new layer of dough with a little oil. Put it in a heated oven. It would be great to add, once the pie is baked, some milk, or yogurt, or sour cream. But lukewarm water will do too, nowadays.

    Bread Tart, a la Rajka
    1 kilo of old, white bread
    5 spoons of milk powder
    3 spoons of cocoa
    1-1/2 spoons of sugar
    walnuts, hazelnuts, raisins,rum, vanilla
    1 tin of apple jelly
    1 liter of cold water
    Cut the bread into small squares; mix other ingredients, cover them with water and let them boil. Then add the mix to the bread and mix it with a fork, or with a mixer, in case you have electricity. Pour it into a mold, and spread apple jelly on top and sides of it. The same can be done with pudding or chocolate. (Jelly is sometimes lurking in the aid package.)
    Sweet Zwiebeck, ekmek kadalf
    In a shallow pan put mildly wet zwiebeck. In the meantime make sherbe (hot water with sugar, and some cloves), not too thick. Cover zwiebeck with powdered sugar, mixed with cinnamon, and top it withsherbe , which should be added as long as zwiebeck doesn't take it all. Serve cold.
    Easy Cake
    2 cups of flour
    1 cup of sugar
    1 cup of oil
    1 cup of water
    3 soup spoons of cocoa
    1 teaspoon of baking soda
    Mix it all and bake. Top it with mix of one cup of sugar and one cup of water. Top it with coconut flour, ground nuts--anything you can find.
    1 cup of flour
    1 cup of oil or butter
    1 cup of sugar
    2 cups of water
    a bit of powdered sugar or vanilla
    Heat all in a deep skillet until it boils, add flour and mix constantly, for it must not burn. Flour should get a caramel color. In the meantime, boil water with sugar and add this mix, sherbe, to the flour. Mix until halvah thickens, and then form small cakes with spoon. Toss with powdered sugar mixed with vanilla. Halvah is a very popular delight known since medieval times.

    Non-alcoholic Beverages

    Anything tastes better than boiled water. What are we going to do once all the trees are gone?
    Birch juice
    A young birch tree should be drilled. In the hole a few centimeteres deep, one should install a tube. Leave it for forty-eight hours, while the juice is being collected in a tin. During April and May, one can get 8 liters of juice during forty-eight hours. Juice can be mixed with wine, sugar, yeast or lemon, and then left to ferment. This process demands several days.
    Fir-tree Juice
    Cut the needles of young fir trees, and keep them in hot water for two or three minutes. Then cut them into tiny pieces, press, and put in cold water for two or three hours. If days are sunny, keep the jar in the sun. Filter and sweeten before serving. Pine trees and juniper trees can do just as well.
    Once a well known and very popular refreshment, gone out of style. Could be found only in two or three pastry shops on Bascarsija.
    0.5 kilo of corn flour
    1 package of yeast
    8 liters of water
    sugar and lemon powder, if you have it and as you like it
    Put the corn flour in some water and leave it for 24 hours. Then cook it on low heat for about two hours, mixing occasionally and adding water. When it cools, add the yeast and leave for 24 hours. Then add sugar and lemon powder, leave it for three more hours, and add 8 to 10 liters of water. Should be served cold.

    Alcoholic Beverages
    Sarajevo Cognac
    3-4 spoons of sugar
    ethyl alcohol
    The quality of cognac depends on the brand of alcohol and on the quality of the Sarajevo water, preferably brought from one of the protected wells. Fry the sugar, add some water to melt it, and bring to a boil. Mix the water and alcohol in a ratio of 2.5:1, and add the sugar.
    1/2 kilo of sugar
    5 liters of boiled water
    1/2 kilo of rice
    1 pack of yeast
    10 cl of alcohol, or 20 cl of rum
    Mix all the ingredients, and pour them into a hermetically closed canister. Ten days later, extract the wine through a Melita coffee filter.
    5 liters of water
    0.5 kilos of rice
    0.5 kilos of sugar
    0.5 kilos of yeast
    It should sit for seven days and ferment. Then filter the drink and use the rice in a pie.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  2. bnmb

    bnmb On Hiatus Banned

    It was once upon a time....The problem with Balkan people is that we never forget...or forgive. The hatred between Serbs and Croats is from tribal times, more than 1500 years ago... "Bosnians" were invented after WW2...Until then, they were either Serbs or Croats. Since they are muslims, they wanted Bosnia to be Sheria law country...that didn't work, but now, large numbers of mujaheddin are there and it's been reported something about training camps. Same happens in Macedonia. We have about 20% of muslim Albanians, and part of them are radical, same as in Kosovo (where all are radical). Mujaheddin are trying to get foothold here now, but fortunately, decent and secular Albanians are fighting them and trying to suppress them...
    Sheet happens...on a daily basis...
  3. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Interesting having you post here with us. Some members are curious about you. You could probably provide us with much insight from your perspective. Alot of us worry about our families and friends with regard to scenerios like the one described in the original thread starter post above. To most of us I think this represents the post SHTF or TEOWAWKI ($hit hit the fan or the end of the world as we know it). How do you feel about this post? Is it fairly accurate from your viewpoint? Do you have anything you would like to stress as extremely important, to contradict, or to add? Obviously I am not shy. I hope my asking does not offend you. Your input would be appreciated by all. If you wish not to answer at all, I can understand that as well. Why dredge up the past and all that. Maybe too many unpleasant memories. Please forgive my lack of tact. It is who I am.seesaw
  4. bnmb

    bnmb On Hiatus Banned

    Everything is OK friend....I think it's quite accurate, but also quite incomplete...
    It doesn't mention the violence, crime, snipers of all sides shooting anything in site, bombs...and it doesn't say anything about the new bonds between people, their love and care for each other, about young boys and girls of different ethnicity and religion living, loving and dying together...It doesn't say how the parents of those "enemies", the parents that were shooting at each other, were burying those "enemies" together, so that they can be together in death, since they couldn't be in life....

  5. Sparky

    Sparky Monkey+

    a lot to think about in your post. Thanks.
  6. Detentus

    Detentus Monkey+

    I thought this was a very informative blog. Lots of tips. Thanks.
  7. stakleni

    stakleni Monkey+

    WRONG! Here we have a (now banned) user that has no bloody idea about what happened in former Yugoslavia that lead to the country falling apart, and wars in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    First of all, the war (wars) did not happen because Croats and Serbs had some sort of ancient tribal hate against each other. The more recent history (WWII) and other myths have been used by both sides for propaganda purposes. Basically, in 1990 Communism fell, nationalism was on the rise, Yugoslav economy was in a rut (etc.), so all that added up to the blooshed. The most important thing to note is that the nationalist rhetoric, combined with politicians' unwillingness to compromise, lead to rising tension in the society (societies) of former Yugoslavia, and it escalated so far that it lead to war.

    But the worst thing of all is this bulls**t about Bosnians. The Bosnian nation was not "invented" in WWII. And Bosnian fight for independence (before the war) was never about a muslim state and Sharia laws. Not even during or after the war was that the case! That was a part of mostly Serbian, but also partly Croatian, propaganda in order do dehumanize and demonize the enmy (the Bosnian muslims), and thus justify the war(s) against Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to take control of all or almost all of its territory. (The first Croatian president Franjo Tudjman has said that some parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina must be incorporated into the territory of Croatia, but that he is willing to let the Muslims have their own little state based around Sarajevo, so they feel like they too have something.)

    Bosnia exsisted as an independent kingdom around the year 1280, and has during most part of its history been under some empire's control, as well as Croatia, Slovenia, Monte Negro, Serbia and F.Y.R. Macedonia. Most of the "original" population of Bosnia were some sort of Catholics (there are disputes concerning their religion, but the last Bosnian queen, Katarina, escaped to Italy when her nation came under the occupation of the Ottoman Empire).

    During almost 500 years of Ottoman rule, many people accepted Islam, because life was easier that way; one could gain privileges in the society. After the Ottoman Empire, time came for Austria-Hungary to rule. At that time, Serbia had its eyes set on Bosnian territory, but Austria-Hungary was too strong, so they turned themselves towards Macedonia, over which they fought the Balkan Wars against Bulgaria, among others. After WWI, Bosnia and Herzegovina was divided between Croatia and Serbia, within the Kingdom of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs (so called "First Yugoslavia"). It was the first time since the 1280's that Bosnia and Herzegovina disappeared as an independent, autonomous or administrative unit. In WWII, Tito as the only anti-fascist leader in the area, did what was right and reinstated Bosnia and Herzegovina's administrative territory and made it a republic equal to the other five Yugoslav republics after WWII. One of the reasons for that was to end the Croat-Serbian disputes over Bosnian territory.

    It is true that Bosnians did not exist as a nation at that time. It was only in the 1970's that Tito (i.e. the Yugoslav Communist Party) decided that Bosnian muslims are a nation as much as Slovenes, Croats, Serbs... But instead of giving them the official nation name of "Bosnians", they were to be called "Muslims" with a capital "M". The reason for that is, of course, that during the course of history (mostly 19th century and forward), catholics in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been "indoctrinated" and pulled into the Croat nation, while orthodox Christians were pulled into the Serbian nation. Basically, the Ottoman rule has alienated most of the non-muslim population from the Bosnian state and the feeling of Bosnian nationality (even though Croats, Serbs and Bosnians are much more alike than different from each other; they all have their regional differences, even within every one of the three nations).

    During the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the pro-Bosnian government was muslim dominated. Country's first president Alija Izetbegovic is also to be blamed for the islamisation of the Bosnian Army (e.g. by calling killed soldiers "Shehid"), and thus alienating those non-muslims who at fist joined the unified armed forces (Territorial Defence) in their fight for freedom and equality.

    Very early on in the war, already in 1993, the war had become almost completely a three-"nation", three-religion war. There were mujaheddin fighters in Bosnia and Herzegovina (coming mostly from Afghanistan), and they did start their own training camps, through which they recruited local Bosnian muslims. However, they usually did not obey the officers and generals of the Bosnian Army, and they have purpotrated war crimes against civilians and prisoners of war. On the other hand, they were all kinds of fascsists and neo-nazis in the Croat forces (one of the most known is a Swedish neo-nazi, Jackie Arklöv, that 1999 robbed a bank with two others and murdered two police officers execution style). In the Serb forces, there were many Russians, Greeks and others from the former Sovjet Union, that fought agianst the internationally recognized Bosnian state, that was also a member of the UN from early on in the war. The most notable "sport" of the Russian fighters was sniping civilians in Sarajevo, the beseiged capital.

    These are all well known facts, coming from UN-reports, from ICTY-verdicts, from witnesses (regardless of "nationality"), from political and social scientific books and articles. I suggest reading and learning. The whole thing is complex and cannot be simplified.
    Hos, Hispeedal2 and chelloveck like this.
  8. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Think the point of the thread is how to survive in those condition and how some did. The other is interesting but not what is important. If we fail to hear what they did, how they did, and why some things were done then we have missed the "lessons". Like Ferfals sharing his experiences from South America's problems--we had better listen.
    Motomom34, Yard Dart and ditch witch like this.
  9. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Very interesting guide to read...informative and instructive on how things can go in SHTF times. Politics aside, as there are many different angles to a story depending on perspective. These people lived what we can only imagine...and survived. There are nuggets here for sure!!
  10. recon

    recon Senior Member Founding Member

    pearlselby and Yard Dart like this.
  11. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    @-06 was absolutely correct and this is a great read that gives one insight and a lot to think about.

    "History repeats itself because no one was listening the first time."
    Yard Dart likes this.
  12. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    No matter the story teller, these are written from a perspective," we make decisions based on the information at hand."
    Worst case scenarios are not what we hope for, but prepare for none the less, because things can get worse than we like to imagine .
    There are always some that look forward to some sort of revolution ,simply because they have no real experience in that form of disaster.
    I highly value the experiences shared .
    Yard Dart likes this.
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