MUDr. Edib Jaganjac

* 1957  

  • "I was walking down the street with my little Nina sitting behind my neck. The sniper fired a bullet which flew through her hair and hit the door right behind her. We ran away from that street along with other families. In the evening, me and my wife came to realize that if we stayed in Sarajevo and got shot, it was our fault. And that we were responsible for our children surviving the war. We could never forgive ourselves had they been harmed. My wife thus agreed to leave Sarajevo. A week later, a convoy was leaving the hospital. In the morning, we got to the hospital and waited there up until evening when the convoy departed. And they left. I was sure they wouldn't survive; by that time, there was shooting all around the place. It was one of the worst moments in my life."

  • "I received a UNICEF vest so that it appeared I was their employee. Even though, in fact, UNICEF employed people in Zagreb, not Sarajevo. I am the only one who received their ID in Sarajevo. Of course, the photo was a problem. Back then, photos were developed in special solutions which there was no way of obtaining in Sarajevo, two years into the siege. So, I found some old black and white photo, they glued it, put a stamp on it, gave me a flak vest, a blue helmet and told me we'd cross the Serbian checkpoint on the way to the airport. I was scared they'd recognize me there. Luckily, CNN reporter Jackie Shymanski's jeep was just there at that point. She saw me, took a deep breath and screamed on the soldier who was approaching our car. She then began to shout at everyone else. They turned towards her and just waved us off to carry on. As we were passing by, she looked at me and waved at me."

  • "They were armed, they were ten of them, and they were banging on people's doors. Unless people let them in, they began shooting into the door. They claimed to be on a search for snipers. People let them in, alright, also hating the fact that there were snipers in every other building. Only at the point when the guys began taking their furniture and equipment away, people began to disagree. All of Sarajevo was robbed. Within half a year since the beginning of the war, everything was stolen. The so-called Sarajevo soldiers needed that! They were getting organized, and to do that, they needed this, this and also that. They even stole all diesel-powered cars because petrol was too explosive and could only be stored at gas stations. And gas stations were under control of yet another group of criminals."

  • "Imagine a hospital without running water. Without food. Where sterilization is impossible. Where operating rooms don't work. Where there are a thousand beds and out of these six hundred are destroyed. This is what our hospital looked like. Obviously, we had to do something about it and couldn't just let it be. In the military hospital, operating rooms were well protected and even the equipment remained so we then undertook surgeries there. We had four operating rooms and there were five of us surgeons. We first had two hundred, then two hundred fifty and eventually four hundred beds. The department of surgery was the only one in operation and it was forbidden to undertake any surgeries which could be postponed."

  • "One day, I was asleep when suddenly the room next door got blown up. My colleagues came to get me, once they saw bombs falling nearby. It was 10:30 in the morning. I hadn't slept a couple days prior to that and was so tired that I told them to leave me be. I just moved to another bed and carried on sleeping. When I woke up, I realized the whole wall was missing in the room next door. They then brought in some concrete block to cover the hole and we carried on."

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    Praha, 12.10.2017

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Imagine a hospital with no running water, with no food, without functioning operating rooms

Edib Jaganjac
Edib Jaganjac
photo: Archiv - Pamět národa

Edib Jaganjac was born on 14 May 1957 in Sarajevo. He grew up in Tito’s Yugoslavia. In 1985, he got married, a year later his daughter Sára was born and in 1990 another daughter Nina. He graduated from a medical school and in 1992 obtained a specialization in surgery. Ever since 6 April 1992, Sarajevo was under siege by Serbian and Yugoslav armies. Due to the continous shelling of the city, his wife and children left for Serbia. He stayed in Sarajevo, working as a surgeon in a military hospital. For almost two years, he hadn’t left the hospital building which was frequently bombed. Among many others, he treated the “Sarajevo princess” Irma Hadžimuratović who was injured in Sarajevo and then transported to undergo surgery in London. Many journalists came over to cover her story. Edib Jaganjac was on TV practically every day, strongly criticizing the functioning of humanitarian organizations present in Sarajevo. In 1993, he left the city and rejoined his family in Prague where they have been living since. At present, he works as a medical doctor in the Motol hospital. He is a founder of the Lastavica association and an author of the book Sarajevo Princess.