Visited the Tunnel of Hope while learning parts of Sarajevo’s darker history.
Still reeling a bit from whatever I’ve experienced and learnt. Even though I’ve always been a history geek and have learnt so much about war and the rise and fall of empires and nations, it always hits hard whenever I’m on the ground and learning it from people who have gone through it themselves.
I always have hope and love when I see the good humans are capable of doing but, on the same note, the kind of destruction and evil humans are capable of scares me shitless and fills me with despair.
Perhaps it is because they have seen so much hate on this land, that the people of Bosnia i Herzegovina grow beautiful with compassion.
“The Siege of Sarajevo is the longest siege of a capital city in the modern history. It lasted from April 5, 1992 to February 29, 1996. It is estimated that nearly 10,000 people were killed or went missing in the city during this period, including over 1,500 children. An additional 56,000 people were wounded, including nearly 15,000 children.” The siege lasted three times longer than the Battle of Stalingrad and more than a year longer than the Siege of Leningrad.
The tunnel of hope was an underground tunnel constructed during the Siege of Sarajevo in the midst of the Bosnian War. It was built by the Bosnian Army in order to link the city of Sarajevo, which was entirely cut off by Serbian forces, with Bosnian-held territory on the other side of the Sarajevo Airport, an area controlled by the United Nations. The tunnel linked the Sarajevo neighbourhoods of Dobrinja and Butmir, allowing food, war supplies, and humanitarian aid to come into the city, and allowing people to get out, without the threat of heavy shooting and mass killing above ground. The tunnel became a major way of bypassing the international arms embargo and providing the city defenders with weaponry.
The entrance on one side was the garage of an apartment building. The entrance on the other was a nondescript house near the airport belonging to the Kolar family. Both entrances were under close guard and ringed by trenches manned by Bosnian troops.
Regarding the museum’s purpose Vladimir Zubić, deputy of the City Council of Sarajevo, noted that the museum is “a reminder of everyone, so that a thing like this tunnel, that provided the people of this city with the minimum subsistence, will never have to be used again. It will be a place where younger people will be able to study a part of our recent past and it will be proof that this part of our history will never be forgotten”.”