One of the most interesting and sad stories from the wars in Yugoslavia is the story of Josip Reihl Kir, who gave his life trying to keep war from breaking out in Croatia. He was a Croatian police officer who kept the peace between Serbs and Croats in Croatia and paid for it with his life. He was killed not by a Serb extremist but by fellow Croats who he had helped to arm and was trying to protect. It is one of the best examples of how extremists on all sides fed the wars in Yugoslavia and how elements on all sides saw the benefits of war for themselves, by enriching themselves as war profiteers and warlords.
The fallowing article is a reprint from FENA news agency in Sarajevo...
SARAJEVO, March 22 (FENA) – Exhibition of Center for cultural decontamination (CZKD) from Belgrade "Who is Reihl Kir to you?", by Tanja Simic Berclaz and Metaklinik, was opened in Sarajevo last night in Sarajevo in Bosniak Institute.This exhibition was made in cooperation with Center for peace studies from Zagreb, Bureau for human rights from Tuzla and Peace Institute from Ljubljana. Its premiere was on July 23 2010 in Belgrade.
Josip Reihl Kir was Chief of Police in Osijek, who was killed in village Tenje as one of the first victims of war in Croatia on July 1 1991. Twenty eight bullets in this police officer’s body, were answer to his multi-monthly peace efforts to try to stop bloodshed which came after in former Yugoslavia.
Director of CZKD Borka Pavicevic stated last night, during the opening of this exhibition that murder of Reihl Kir meant that destruction of Vukovar and the aggression can start.
"When they killed people who did not allow for the bloodshed to take place, killing could start”, Pavicevic said, noting she fully supports release of Jovan Divjak, former General of Army of RBiH.
Exhibition was opened by director Suada Kapic who said that she still does not understand why everyone is trying to escape from what happened when the history is taking place in today’s everyday life.
"We are actually in constant process of wars which are no finished”, Kapic added.
With this exhibition CZKD contributed to regional project “Minorities for minorities”, with intention to remind everyone of Reihl Kir. Furthermore, the intention of organizers was to use this exhibition to point to efforts of his wife Jadranka Reihl-Kir, who has been trying to find out the truth about murder of her husband for twenty years and for perpetrators and those responsible to be brought to justice.
After Sarajevo, exhibition is travelling to Tuzla, Brcko and Bijeljina, then coming back to Serbia, and will be presented to citizens of Novi Sad, Nis and Novi Pazar. Visit to Sarajevo came after visit to Zagrebu, Rijeka, Split, Osijek, Ljubljana, Maribor and Kopar