Baylor University Institute for Oral History

Mirzeta Colic

Baylor University Institute for Oral History
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0:25 - Growing up in Bijeljina

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Subjects: living environment that fosters education, wanting to help others


Hyperlink: Bijeljina
3:27 - Studying electrical engineering

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Subjects: studying and working in Serbia

4:14 - Family life

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Subjects: sisters' education, father's desire to not leave Bosnia, life under General Tito


Hyperlink: Novi Sad
7:13 - High school studies influence on work

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Subjects: studying at the "gymnasium," adapting to changes

9:07 - Attending college

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Subjects: starting college in Tuzla, finishing college in Subotica


Hyperlink: Tuzla
10:18 - Relations with Serbians

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Subjects: growing up with Serbians in high school, Bijeljina, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Sarajevo, families with mixed ethnicity, jealousy between Serbs and Muslims, family not practicing Islam but abiding by Muslim heritage


Hyperlink: Belgrade
13:24 - Advantage of the last name "Colic"

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Subjects: "Colic" is a common Serbian name, experiences crossing the Serbian border with passports


Hyperlink: border between Bosnia and Serbia
15:54 - Thoughts of Serbians before genocide

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Keywords: "We didn't think that we could be next."

Subjects: silence leads to a lack of knowledge, paramilitary bombing Vukovar, killing civilians, raping women, questioning how genocide can happen, planning genocide in advance


Hyperlink: Vukovar
20:02 - Memory of the death of Tito

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Subjects: going from peace to uncertainty after the death of a powerful leader


Hyperlink: Josip Broz Tito
21:26 - Changing conditions in Bosnia

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Subjects: Beginning the separation of people, Slobodan Milosevic (president of Serbia), difference between Serbs and Croatians, independent nations forming, history of Bosnia as the heart of former-Yugoslavia


Hyperlink: Slobodan Milosevic
24:27 - Bosnian Independence

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Subjects: killing of civilians in Bosnia despite peace, massacre in Tuzla, massacre in Srebrenica in 1995, killing males in order to eliminate a generation


Hyperlink: massacre in Tuzla
26:46 - Fear develops

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Subjects: hearing about the bombing in Vukovar, last family celebration together for New Years


Hyperlink: Vukovar massacre
28:27 - Serbians take action in Bijeljina

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Subjects: barricades in Bijeljina, Serbs utilizing the media and propaganda, tensions mounting between Muslims and Serbs


Hyperlink: Propaganda during the Yugoslav Wars
30:45 - Arkan Tigers occupy Bijeljina

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Keywords: "I was in constant fear."

Subjects: terrorism, neighbors murdered and raped, media manipulation against Muslims


Hyperlink: Arkan Tigers
34:04 - Family during the War

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Subjects: Sister living in Zvonik, capture by Chetniks, brother-in-law swimming out of Bosnia


Hyperlink: Chetniks
35:35 - Encounter with Chetniks while escaping from Bosnia

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Subjects: horrific human mutilation and murder

37:22 - Traveling through Europe after escape from Bosnia

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Keywords: traveling to Serbia, Hungary, and Austria, being arrested in Vienna then rescued by family, parents still remaining in Bosnia


Hyperlink: Belgrade
40:05 - Parents' experiences in Bosnia

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Subjects: Chetniks coming into houses, throwing bombs, torturing citizens, mother relates to Chetnik soldier in order to save her life

42:42 - Family continues to escape from Bosnia

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Subjects: transport from Austria to Germany, camp for Bosnians in Hungary with terrible conditions


Hyperlink: Concentration Camps for Bosnians
43:51 - Family arrives in Germany

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Subjects: German government deporting families


Hyperlink: Saarbrücken
45:00 - Applying for entry into the United States

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Subjects: family being issued deportation back to Bosnia, desire to not visit hometown because Serbs still occupy their home, applying to come to the United States, refugees filling European countries, father's desire for Mirzeta to come to Houston


Hyperlink: Bosnian refugee crisis in Europe
51:49 - Transitioning to life in the United States

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Subjects: educated people not being able to work, job searching in Houston, taking English classes and learning the language through reading and writing, adjusting to the weather in Houston

51:50 - Bringing family to the Untied States

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Subjects: YMC sponsoring immigration to the United States, family living in Croatia before Mirzeta is able to bring them to the United States

57:21 - Family arrives in America

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Subjects: joy of family reuniting, family accomplishments, younger sister marrying a man from Sarajevo


Hyperlink: Sarajevo
62:16 - Children during the war

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Subjects: Younger sister giving birth during the war, Serbs at the hospital killing Muslim babies

62:17 - Remembering the opportunity to leave Bosnia

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Subjects: connections required for escaping to Serbia


Hyperlink: White Eagle paramilitary
64:53 - Relations with Serbs after the genocide

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Subjects: growing up with a Serb best friend, being placed with a Serb family in the United States and consequently moving apartments

68:19 - Friends in the United States

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Subjects: friends from work helping collect donations for Mirzeta's family when they came to the United States, making international friends in martial arts classes

71:11 - Practicing martial arts

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Subjects: learning how to overcome fears and practice strength and defense

73:45 - Planned ethnic cleansing

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Subjects: benefits of talking about what happened and not keeping silent, lack of justice in Bosnia, officials still finding remains of victims from the genocide today


Hyperlink: Discovering mass graves in Bosnia
77:35 - Relations with parents 80:10 - Hardest parts of living alone in America

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Subjects: grieving the death of her father, family in Florida, Bosnian community in Houston

85:42 - Desire not to return to Bosnia

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Subjects: Serbs living in her family home, trying to get their house back in Bosnia because of corruption in the justice system

87:37 - Gratitude

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Subjects: writing to former President Clinton to thank him for his efforts in Bosnia, sharing truth about the genocide