Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Letters to the Celestial Serbs Bosnian war Siege of Sarajevo book review

I just read this book and it was excellent and eloquently written. A great read of a collection of short columns he has wrote.

Letters to the Celestial Serbs

Gojko Berić

Introduction by Ivan Lovrenović

As a columnist for Oslobodenj (Sarajevo’s acclaimed daily newspaper), Gojko Berić gained an international reputation for his grimly ironic yet passionate writing from the city under siege. Since then, as this eloquent selection of his recent writing demonstrates, he has continued to cast an unsparing gaze on the miseries and hypocrisies besetting postwar Bosnia, as well as its Croatian and Serbian neighbours. Mingling recollections of his country’s bitter past with comments on its bitter present, Letters to the Celestial Serbs contains many of the most memorable pages ever penned on wartime and postwar Bosnia, of which his extended essay on the historical role of Alija Izetbegović is exemplary.
Compelled by events – and Western policy – to confront the question ‘Am I a Serb?’, Berić never doubted that the real issues in Bosnia were political and ethical, not ‘ethnic’.
‘All these years, Serb nationalists have been sending me insulting letters: Will I ever stop saying that the Serbs are to blame for the war, stop talking about Serbian fascism and Serb atrocities? No, I won’t.’

About the Author(s)

Gojko Beric is one of Bosnia-Herzegovina's best-known commentators. In 1991 he became the first political columnist to be awarded the prestigious 6 April Prize, commemorating Sarajevo's 1945 liberation, and was voted Journalist of the Year by the Journalists' Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. Beric's wartime and post-war reports have been syndicated to newspapers worldwide. He has been published in Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, Sweden and Poland.


  1. http://theremustbejustice.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/march-26-1992-massacre-of-the-serbs-in-sijekovac/

  2. Do not call me, father. Do not seek me. Do not call me. Do not wish me back. We’re on a route uncharted, fire and blood erase our track. On we fly on wings of thunder, never more to sheath our swords. All of us in battle fallen – not to be brought back by words. Will there be a rendezvous? I know not. I only know we still must fight. We are sand grains in infinity, never to meet, nevermore to see light. (Father to son…) Farewell then my son. Farewell then my conscience. Farewell my youth, my solace, my one-and-only. Let this farewell be the end of a story Of solitude past which now is more lonely. In which you remained barred forever from light, From air, with your death pains untold. Untold and unsoothed, never to be resurrected. Forever and ever an 18 year old. Farewell then. No trains ever come from those regions, Unscheduled and scheduled. No aeroplanes fly there. Farewell then my son, For no miracles happen, as in this world Dreams do not come true. Farewell. I will dream of you still as a baby, Treading the earth with little strong toes, The earth where already so many lie buried. This song to my son, then, is come to its close.