Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"From Enemy Territory" by Mladen Vuksanovic [2]

"It Began in April" [forward by Joschka Fischer]

Fischer is a German leftist who recognized that the Left in general often failed to recognize the situation in Bosnia for what it was. As a man of the Left, he very clearly feels a responsibility to remind his readers of the need to take a stand against fascism, no matter how petty and sordid its manifestation, no matter how pro-Western its victims. He points the the example of Peter Handke, who somehow twisted the language of the Left to defend overt nationalist expansion.

Fischer also explicitly draws a comparison between Vuksanovic's wartime diary and that of Viktor Klemperer, which was just published as the nightmare in Bosnia was coming to an end in 1995. While Fischer states that the experience of the Holocaust and Nazism were unique, he still notes commonalities between the experience of Klemperer, a German Jew living in Dresden and writing about the madness around him, and of Vuksanovic in Pale. Fischer does not say so, but the then-new eyewitness look at the rise of Nazism was surely a record of a moral burden that could not be shrugged off, even so many decades removed. Surely he understand that Europeans like Handke have no right to deny the Klemperers and Vuksanovics the right to be clearly heard.

Author's Preface

This brief Preface simply gives the context--Vuksanovic explains that he had worked for Sarajevo Television but refused to work for the Bosnian Serb station in Pale once it was established; and due to the fact that his mother had been a Croat he was doubly suspected of not being a loyal Serb. As a result, he lived under de facto house arrest for 110 days, until he was able to make his out--smuggling this diary with him.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Peter Lippman's latest Travel Journal

I've been so remiss in keeping this blog up (I'm an avid soccer fan, but haven't even posted about Bosnia's first-ever trip to the World Cup next summer!) that I haven't been posting Peter Lippman's travel journal entries as he sends them out. His latest series, recounting his most recent trip to the region, is up to entry #8. Given that he started sending these out in September, rather than reposting all eight of them now I'm just going to share the link for them at the great Balkan Witness blog:

Peter Lippman: Reports from Kosovo and Bosnia

Thanks as alwasy to Peter for sharing these; I strongly encourage anyone reading this to go to the link above and read all of Peter's excellent reports.