Interviews [with Florence La Bruyère]
Author: Florence The Bruyè and Jovan Divjak
Translation: Oriol Valls i Fornells
The Catalan edition o the book “Sarajevo, mon amour“, by Jovan Divjak and Florence La Bruyère, has been published on October 2022 by Editions Bellaterra and the European Observatory on Memories. The publication is the result of the collaboration with the Foundation ”Education builds Bosnia and Herzegovina – Jovan Divjak.
Originally published in French, the book is based on conversations between the authors about Divjak’s position during and after the war, and specially the resistance of Sarajevo, the city he defended “against all the nationalists“.
Jovan Divjak (Belgrade, 1937- Sarajevo, 2021) was a Colonel of the Yugoslav People’s Army in 1992 when the war broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Refusing listening to nationalist siren songs, he defended the idea of a multi-ethnic republic. It became number two in the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, before being appointed general by President Alija Izetbegovic. He led the Association “Education builds Bosnia and Herzegovina”, for the orphans of war, which he founded in 1994.
Florence La Bruyère is a journalist, specialist in Central Europe and the Balkans. Bushed to Budapest, in Hungary, a correspondent of Libération, the Express and Radio France and Radio France Internationale, she has visited the former Yugoslavia on numerous occasions.
“I defended Sarajevo against all the nationalists, because I have this city inside my skin.” This is how Jovan Divjak, 67, spoke. Born in Belgrade of Serbian parents, but Bosnian of soul, this officer refused to align with Milosevic, Karadzic, Mladic and others, at the time they precipitated Bosnia and Herzegovina in the war. A former member of the Guard de Tito, for whom he has an indefectible admiration, an old friend of France, endowed with a humor as solid as his sanity, Jovan Divjak returns to the route that led him to say no to the blood foster. He speaks with passion of the city where he has been living since 1966. He has the incredible resistance of Sarajevo, as the artists acted under the bombs, the tribulations of the Army of Bosnia. And does not hide his impacts or his doubts: peace is not the one he had dreamed of.