Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sarajevo's jewish cemetery Bosnia's living history in the hills above the city

Sarajevo's famous Jewish cemetery has a monument to the those Sarajevan's who lost their lives in WW2 at the hands of the Nazi's. It also has a lot of interesting unique monuments and tells the history of the Jewish population in BiH.
During the Bosnian war it was occupied by the Cetniks and was used as a fire base to attack and snipe into the city. Led by the infamous Slavko Aleksic and bolstered by an American who volunteered to fight with the cetniks, Zack Novkovic from New York City.
Grbavica was hell for it's non serb inhabitants who were raped, murdered and expelled by the likes of the infamous Veselin Vlahovic, known as the "Monster of Grbavica", for war crimes committed against Bosniaks and Croats in Sarajevo in 1992 and 1993. As a member of a paramilitary group, Vlahovic allegedly took part in murders, rapes, illegal detention and torture of non-Serb civilians.
These killers have left a sad lasting legacy for the those in Sarajevo.
Standing in the Jewish cemetery you see how easy it was for the killers to spot there prey. The gravestones made excellent sniper barriers for the cowards who manned them. The brutality of the Nazi occupation in Bosnia didn't even imagine some of the cruelty that was to come in the Bosnian war in the 1990's. I hope that the cycle of violence in Bosnia does not return to plague future generations again.

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