First the Bricks, then the Soul
New Sunday Times
18 October 1992.
(A Bosnian refugee)
ZAGREB: The Serbian academic dissident Bogdan Bogdanovic said:
“Serbian fascism is especially dangerous because it originates in the rural areas, and feels no responsibility for the architecture of towns.”
Their criminal attack on urban areas has been especially directed towards Bosnia-Herzegovinian towns, mainly the Muslim ones of Foca, Visegrad, Zvornik, Sarajevo, Srebrenica, Brcko, and the old towns of Prusac.
Bosniak and Croatian architectures of value in Mostar have been especially attacked and religious buildings — mosques, abbeys, Catholic churches, graveyards, and other sacred places, have become particular targets.
About one hundred mosques, among them of great cultural and historical value to the world, such as Ferhadija in Banja Luka, Aladza in Foca, Gazi Husref-bay’s mosque in Sarajevo, and 20 Catholic churches have been burnt or destroyed.
The latest criminal act on Muslim sacred buildings and places took place in Brcko, by Serbian-Montenegran fascists.
Two Muslim cemeteries, and one Catholic one, were first razed by bulldozers, then flattened with tanks. They were then covered over with grass.
But these barbarians, not being content with just that, blew up an old wooden mosque on Aug. 14 and 15. They dug up its foundations and used the soil to cover a Muslim mass grave near a cattle farm. The ruins were cleared, the earth flattened, and the ground turned into a parking space.
The famous white mosque experienced the same fate, but this time the ground on which it stood was turned into a park. In line with Communist tradition, 51 red roses were planted there to mark the age of the Serbian former Communist fascist leader Milosevic.
The old Sava Mosque was also destroyed, but the ruins were left to stand. Why?
This is so that the Serbian fascists will be able to say tomorrow, when the United Nations or some other international delegations arrive, that it had been destroyed by Croatians from nearby Gunja. (Brcko, in northeast Bosnia, is on the right bank of the river Sava, bordering Croatia).
They will also say that in Brcko (where the Serbs total 19 per cent of the population) they had lived there for centuries, and that it is a Serbian town. But in truth, the Muslims [Bosniaks] there make up 50 per cent, the Croats 26 per cent, and others, five percent of the population.
But will they also bring them to the new car park, the newly-sown lawns, and the 51 red roses in order to convince those visitors that no Muslims ever lived there?
There are also two Catholic churches there, if they have not blown them up already.
They will do all that if they can defeat the defenders of Brcko, and they are now near the town centre. But Brcko’s defenders shall never let them continue in their path of destruction, and shall defend their heritage as do the defenders of Gorazde, Mostar, and other towns.
But why are the Serbian barbarians doing all this?
There are two reasons: By destroying all the material evidence of Bosniak and Croatian existence they are realising a part of the Greater Serbian fascist strategy of ethnic cleansing. Then again, there is jealously: there is no town, no building, monument or architecture in Serbia older than 200 years. That’s where the hatred and the complex come from.
The second reason is of personal nature. The main destroyers of Vukovar (in Croatia), Dubrovnik (a historical town on the Adriatic), Sarajevo, Foca, Visegrad, and Brcko are General Adzic, General Perisic, a truck driver called Vucurevic, and many others who come from primitive rural families with little culture in their backgrounds.
Because the leading members of the Serbian government come from crude, uncultured backgrounds and a different social environment, they do not feel at ease in towns and distrust them.