Facing memory of Serbs in Sarajevo.

Serb community in Sarajevo

The historical Serb Christian community in Sarajevo is a part of the autochthonous Serbs who have lived on the territory of today’s Bosnia and Herzegovina since the 7th-8th centuries AD.

The Old Church, a symbol of the Serb Orthodox Christian Historical Community in Sarajevo! Built between the 12th and 14th century, is the oldest building and worship place in Sarajevo and the region. In its exceptionally rich museum treasury there is handwritten Book of Nomocanon written in 1307 and a Liturgical icon painted in 1600 by Georgios Klontzas, a teacher of the famous El Greco.

Тhe Serb community has existed in Sarajevo for centuries. In socialist Yugoslavia, the Serb community in Sarajevo was a vibrant economic and scientific entity and constituted 29,9% of the entire Sarajevo population (157,526 persons), while Yugoslavs of mixed ethnic background numbered about 56,000 people (Federal Statistical Office, 1998). Many entrepreneurs, doctors, economists, lecturers and professors of Serb origin lived and worked in Sarajevo. Serb writers, artists, musicians, doctors, lecturers, professors, and athletes left a lasting cultural heritage in Sarajevo.

During the civil war in BiH, the historic Serb Christian community in the Muslim part of Sarajevo was outlawed. These included arbitrary arrests, incarceration in concentration camps, torture, rape, and murder. Coupled with the systematic anti-Serb propaganda and ethnic pressure, these crimes constituted a systematic ethnic cleansing campaign, which culminated in the exodus of remaining Serbs from Sarajevo after the Dayton Peace Accords. This campaign took a terrible toll on the Serb community in Sarajevo. As a result of the targeted campaign of terror and intimidation, the vibrant prewar Serb community in Sarajevo virtually ceased to exist.

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