January 1992, I was visiting my aunt in Germany, where I was spending the
second half of my annual leave. I left Germany on 26 January. On
28 January we were stopped by [Croat] police on the highway,
a few kilometres away from Sisak [Croatia]; they checked our passports
and six of us, four girls and two men, all young, were forced to step out.
The driver was told to drive on. He complained and he was beaten and maltreated
and eventually had to leave without us.
taken to the police station somewhere near Sisak, where we were split into
two groups. One was sent to Slavonska Pozega and the other to Slavonski
Brod [all in Croatia]. I was assigned to the group which went to Slavonski
we arrived there, it was clear to all of us
that it was a camp, that all kinds of atrocities
were inflicted upon prisoners, but we were completely powerless. It was
no use saying anything or protesting, since things could only get worse
for us. We were left alone for two days.
successful operations on the front, they came to us for rest and pleasure.
That day I met many women from Kninska Krajina who were imprisoned, mistreated,
tortured and some of them even disfigured. Some among them were very beautiful
women. Younger women were put aside. Later on, we realized that they made
it their purpose to increase the birth rate of Croatian children.
of younger women like myself were used for their pleasure and sometimes
day, a group of newly arrived women, including myself, had a nightmarish
experience. Five or six men on top of me and
I blacked out. I could not believe it was happening to me and I could not
remember anything until daybreak. After that experience, we were mistreated,
abused and invariably raped day in and day out.
they let us be for two or three days. When this happened, we
were given no water, no food, no nothing.
If food was given to us at all, it was so poor that not even animals would
remember a very striking, and very distressing for me, incident which occurred
in Slavonski Brod and which is occasionally the cause of my bad dreams
when I see their ugly faces.
night, they came after midnight. They were very angry since they had to
withdraw. We were placed in a hangar storing petrol barrels. We took these
barrels out as they were empty and had no use. So, we slept in them. Each
of us was given only a thin blanket. I had nothing else on me except for
the clothes they brought me in. All our belongings were taken away from
night they came to our hangar, they connected
a few empty oil barrels and by taking one woman at a time, four of them
molested her. My turn came. One tried to cut
off my arm by axe. I still have a scar there,
while the other was already inside me.
A third one stabbed my leg and I fainted. They left me naked on these barrels
all night. I was hungry, thirsty and terribly
they found out that many women were pregnant, myself included, they did
not disturb us from time to time for the benefit of Croatian children.
They had nothing against Serbian women bearing children by them, since
fathers are Croats and therefore the children will be Croats too.
time, the oil refinery was on fire and we were also used as fire fighters.
In this total chaos, I had been detained in Slavonski Brod since 28 January
and was detained in the oil refinery till 22 April.
latter date, they transported us in trucks to the Sava river and therefrom
to the other bank by boats. They moved us to the Odzak [Bosnia] detention
centre guarded by the joint forces of two nations: Croats and Muslims.
knew that there were many pregnant women among us, so they grouped us in
a building which used to be, as I heard, a school. At times, they dragged
us to other buildings and used us as a shield
against the attacking Serbian military units,
of us pregnant women were left alone, since our pregnancy was advanced
(four or five months).
now tell you what happened once.
four or five hours of raping and torture in this school, they brought the
imprisoned Serbs, young and old alike, ordering them to lick us after the
16 July, the black legionaries
or black shirts,
whatever they called them, came asking us for any hidden money or gold
as ransom which would save our lives. Until
the very end we did not know what was going on and what made them act that
I left Germany I had DM 800 on me. I hid DM 500 in the sole of my boot
because of the customs and the rest of DM 300 were in my handbag, which
was taken from me when I was arrested. They took all my belongings, so
that during the whole period of my detention in the camp I was only in
a blouse, a bodice, a denim jacket, a pair of blue jeans, one piece underwear,
one pair of stockings and boots.
DM 500 I sewed in my jeans, so I had money to buy out my life.
The person was abducted on the trip home from Germany. It was customary
for Yugoslavs coming home from abroad to hide money from the Yugoslav customs].
taken out of the school one at a time. There was a man with a box sitting
outside. Those who had nothing of value were lined up on one side and those
who had some money on the other.
who had money actually bailed themselves out and we were later exchanged.
We had no idea that life was worth that much money you had in your pocket,
or a ring or DM 50 or any other amount you had on you at the moment.
we were received by the Krajina corps. That night they let us have a good
sleep. We were given food, drink and cigarettes. It was the first time
after six months that I drank juice and milk. I was a non-smoker for four
years, but I lit a cigarette then. I could not believe my eyes and ears
that I was free, that my head was still on my shoulders.
then sent to the hospital in Bosanski Samac. Once there, I asked to be
sent to my hometown of Brcko, where I arrived on 18 July.
following month I was treated in the Brcko hospital and I
asked the doctors to terminate my five-and-a-half-month pregnancy.
the doctor in Brcko was not for termination of my pregnancy because of
my poor health. I had lost 30 kilos [more than 60 pounds] in five months.
nothing of my parents. I had a father, mother, a brother, sister-in-law
and their children.
all disappeared. I had no news of them. My friends from the "Srpska Biljenska
Garda" tried to help me. They tried to trace the whereabouts of my parents,
brother, sister-in-law and their children, but with no success. After a
month's time, they helped me to visit my house, which was hit by three
shells. I found some of my personal effects, which I packed into several
bags. I also found out that my 74-year-old aunt was still alive and I called
on her. I took over to her place my bare necessities. I also found some
money at home and decided to visit my cousin in Belgrade.
welcomed me and later left for Germany. So, I am presently alone in her
to see a doctor for advice on my health and pregnancy. Two doctors from
Zemun [Serbia] recommended the Gynaecology-Obstetrics Clinic, where I was
admitted in late August and early September. I previously contacted the
Health Centre of Stari Grad Municipality, after which I was hospitalized
here to see what could be done for me.
to Dr. Krstic, I am here today and thanks to all his fellow doctors I managed
to find my peace of mind, if this is possible at all.
girl was born and put up for adoption while I myself have to fight for
my own life.
out that my parents are safe and sound and that they are somewhere around
the town of Prijedor. My brother is on the front. So I have calmed down.
But I still have no information about my sister-in-law and her children.
tell you about some other events.
Brod [Croatia] one man was called "Plavi", they all had nicknames and we
had no idea what their real names were or where they came from.
specialty was to burn down an eyebrow of a beautiful woman or to cut it
out along its lines. He also liked to bite off a piece of ear or to gouge
out an eye. He did all of these things together
or at least one of them.
was a woman who came to Slavonski Brod camp in the seventh month of her
pregnancy. They tore out her belly and took
a live baby out of her womb.
I don't know the reason why, something was stolen or someone was falsely
accused, one soldier crushed the skull of a 40-year-old Serb by a rifle
two Muslims circumcised all men without exception according to the Muslim
women had their finger cut off for a ring or their ears for ear rings.
I saw the lower lip of a very beautiful girl from Kninska Krajina being
shredded by a man called "Crni" who previously raped and molested the girl.
He enjoyed it.
saw other imprisoned men. We did not meet them often, and when we did they
had visible marks of strangulation by metal wire, knife cuts on their necks,
heads; some were with no eyes,
or a hand, etc.
like an executioner, enjoyed to cut off a leg to the knee by axe, and let
the bleeding man die.
was a warehouse in Odzak where Serbs were imprisoned for 10 days with no
water or food and left to urinate and empty there. They were mistreated
and tortured day and night. Each night the bodies of two or three victims
were removed to cover up the crimes.
they poured petrol on a cloth fixed to a stick and burned the skin of a
naked man or woman. The more the victim screamed, the more they enjoyed
another example. An 11-year-old girl, who was daily abused, had to serve
them as a waitress completely naked.
is all I can tell about myself and what happened to me. I find it very
difficult to even bring myself to talk about this.