Crucible of War
a Journey Back to the Balkans

Zora and Her Family

The most sorry thing is that you can never Branka_Head150 copy
defend yourself from being called an aggressor.
You can never defend yourself by saying
you have lived here for 20 years, you have family and friends
who are Muslims or Croats.  Simply you’re a Serb.”

Zora, her husband, and their son, Goran, lived a comfortable middle class life in Zagreb, Croatia.  The fact that they were Serbs didn’t seem to be an issue to them or any of their neighbors…until war broke out between Croatia and Yugoslavia in 1991.   Like many others in Zagreb, the family spent many nights in underground shelters as their city was being bombed by the Yugoslav National Army.  Unlike many others in Zagreb, however, they did not necessarily feel any safer underground.  Forced to leave their jobs and fearful for the safety of their son, the couple made the painful decision to leave Zagreb and move to Belgrade, the capital of Serbia and Yugoslavia.   There they hoped for acceptance and safety.  What they found was far different.