Transcript of clip for the Vraca Memorial Park PDF Ispis E-mail
Tuesday, 03 February 2015

ImageThis is a story about the national Memorial Park Vraca, a former place of encounter and social cohesion situated just above Sarajevo. It is a story about the sacrifice of more than 9000 lives, and  more than 2000 People’s Heroes (opponents of fascism and fighters for freedom) during the most  recent war between 1992-1995. The memorial consists of a destroyed building that does not exist  on tourist maps. It seems that the oblivion is all that remains. Does this story still serve as a symbol  of pride and inspiration for the citizens of Sarajevo?

What is Vraca Memorial Park dedicated to?

“At first, it was a fortress during the Austro-Hungarian Rule. When the Austrians came, they built fortresses on many hillsides that can be seen around Sarajevo. It was built in the late 19th century”. “Firstly, the Austrians made the fortress which later on, during the WWII, was used by the Independent State of Croatia. They killed I do not know how many people...The communists afterwards constructed a monument for the people who were shot. The names of all the victims are written there. The monument is a bit neglected now...”

“As I said, this monument was constructed for victims who were killed during World War II. Besides  being a memorial for mentioned victims, it was a park as well. It was a recreational centre with  such a beautiful architectural design that it was a pleasure to take a walk there or sit down for some rest. There was water and a fountain. Also, the park had a large botanical garden. Pupils from the secondary school of forestry were brought here to see different kinds of plants, roses, trees, and so on. Now the park is devastated, destroyed, and there is nothing left. The monument used to be a significant cultural, historical and recreational site in Sarajevo”.

What does this monument mean to you?

“The memorial is a shrine.”

Who is responsible for the current state of the monument?

“Both this monument and our country are neglected due to the same reason. It’s because the country is run by incompetent people, who do not dedicate their attention to many things, including cultural and historical monuments such as the Vraca Memorial Park where a large number of  people had been killed. That’s sad, but it is as it is”.

“The object is severely neglected and damaged. The worst part is that nobody, absolutely nobody, takes care of it. Here one can see the moss plants growing all over it. The restoration and rehabilitation requires certain funds. To begin with, the Park needs to be cleaned so that its  purpose becomes clear”.

How many people visit the Memorial Park Vraca?

“Well, there are not a lot of tourists, but there are visitors. We can see two kinds of visitors – the ones  that come to admire, and the others who come by night to sit here, usually to consume alcohol and to hang out. But basically, the second kinds of visitors are the biggest problem because they leave  behind almost all of the garbage you see in the park”.

“Honestly, in my guidebook, this monument is not mentioned and the guided tour that we took  never mentioned this monument. We really do not know where is located in the city and we are not  supposed to visit it”.

Is there hope to restore the Park’s old glory?

“Well, if it had some kind of appearance, and if something was done, that would surely... Probably  the schools should be engaged, and the history should be brought back in... It would be known what the park was for. Probably it would be covered more by the media and it would have more visitors”.

“I think that everybody would visit it more often, because it is a shame...It is a pretty park and a  nice place to hang out, so I think if it were to be renovated more people would visit it”.

“I doubt it. The old generations are dying, the younger ones are forgetting. Will you remember to fix it? I do not know. If you do remember, fix it”.

National Memorial Park Vraca is a monument dedicated to people of all religions and nationalities. As different as we may seem to be, we are all equal in death. Let’s accept everybody’s victims of  the past for a better future. Let’s start respecting our legacy.

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Zadnja Promjena ( Tuesday, 03 February 2015 )
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