Croats and Serbs switched their houses during the war in 90-ties: They never visited their homes until now, and the memories are still painful (VIDEO)

"People are not storks" is focusing on life stories of two residents of these villages - Goran Trlaic, who left Kula in 1992 and escaped to Hrtkovce, and Stjepan Roland, who escaped the same year from Hrtkovce to Kula - revealing the lasting consequences of the forced exchange of the population on the lives of ordinary people

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and journalist Maja Zivanovic produced a documentary "People Are not Storks" about the lives of Serbs and Croats who during the 1990s switched houses to avoid violence. This forced exchange of the population is referred to as "humane migration".

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During the war in the former Yugoslavia, some villages in Serbia and Croatia have completely changed their ethnic composition. Due to threats and pressure, people had to switch houses where they were born for someone else's.

Mostly Serbs lived in Croatian Kula, while Croats lived in Hrtkovce. They lived in peace since the end of the World War II - until the first multi-party elections in 1990, when nationalists came to power and minorities became undesirable.

Goran Trlaic from the Croatian village of Kula appears in the document, who says he did not know that he should call himself a Serb until somebody else told him.

- When they told me to declare myself, I said Yugoslav. They told me, "We know your father, you are a Serb," and they wrote that I was a Serb", Goran recalls.

Printskrin: Youtube/Birn Balkans

In 1992, Goran who was 17, and his family, moved to a house in the Serb village of Hrtkovci, as well as many Serbs from Kula.

Stjepan Roland has been living in Kula since 1992 when he escaped from Hrtkovac. He still feels that he should be living in Hrtkovac after all this time. 

- I belong there, that's normal. I was born there, my family has been there for more than 400 years.

Printskrin: Youtube/Birn Balkans

He went to Croatia with his wife and child on May 29, 1992. Everything he brought with him was a briefcase with documents, a pair of trousers, a shirt and 100 German marks.

Although the war ended more than 25 years ago, those who fled from their homes have never returned to see their birth places, and memories are still too painful.

The documentary "Your House Was My Home" will be premiered at Al Jazeera Balkans on September 5th at 5:05 pm.

Printskrin: Youtube/Birn Balkans

You can see more information about the movie HERE.

Watch the trailer for the documentary:


Tags: Balkan news, Birthplace, Croatia, Croats, Daily news, Documentary, East Europe, family, Home, Migration, People, Serbia, Serbs, Village, War, War in Yugoslavia
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