Step 2 Part 1.1, The then and now of the Bosnian conflict

Character cards

Nikola Kuridža

Serbian. Born in 20/07/1989. Born and raised in Prijedor.

He was  three years old when the  terrible crimes took place and as he said, he was unable to understand the seriousness of the situation and the changes it brought about.

His impressions about the remembrance of the war :

“Our first reaction is to deny it, or to downplay it, or somehow explain it to yourself and to provide some sort of answer for it. I went to an elementary school which at that time, only Serbian students attended. In fact, the entire syllabus was taught from the Serbian perspective, it was hard for me to get out of that. That was the greatest challenge, the lack of information. My parents refused to talk about it. There was nobody I could talk to about it.”

Nikola's mother, Desanka Kuridža Knežević


Her impression about the remembrance of the war 

We all know what happened. Everyone knows. It can’t be that somebody does not know. But people do not talk about it, they simply do not. Here and there when you bring it up you hear: “And what have they done to us?” There, referring to other regions

“I thought it would be good to protect him." (by not telling him more about what happened)

Fikret Bačić

Bosniak. Born in 21/03/1958, in Zecovi (Prijedor) His whole family comes from there.

During the war he was in Germany, until he heard his village had been attacked.

He went to Croatia to a refugee camp in Rijeka. There he found 1 of the 3 family members who survived the massacre: his 17 year old nephew. The boy confirmed the news of the attack.

Fikret took his nephew with him to Germany and returned permanently to Bosnia in 1998.  

Nowadays he works as an independent  entrepreneur with a small food shop.

His impression about the the remembrance of the war :

“My return to Bosnia, especially my return to Prijedor, my pre-war residence, was motivated by my wish to find my relatives’ bodies. From the talks I had with neighbours, I know that most of them know where the bodies are. 99% of them know where the bodies were taken, but none of them want to tell me.”

Inhabitants of Prijedor

Their remembrance of the war:

We know there was a conflict, it’s over, we’re moving on. There has to be conversation. But not in the context of hate or intolerance. The truth has to be known, if you’re asking me. It has to be told to younger generations. But we aren’t guilty for all of it.” 

 “Any victims here? No! You always pretend it was a camp”. “That’s not a concentration camp”. “The Muslims think it is.” 

“I was a child back then, I was just born.”

“What? I have no information. I was here, and I’ve had enough.”