Published: June 22nd 2012June 22nd 2012
Just a quick entry about our visit to Vukovar, Croatia. We crossed into Serbia not long after and it felt strange putting Vukovar and Serbia together in one entry.
After a fantastic dinner at our guide (Sonja)'s parents house, with homemade wild boar sausage and homemade rakija (the local brandy/schnapps), we temporarily left Croatia to head to Serbia. We nominated to do this via Vukovar, a town on the way to Serbia, without really knowing the significance of the town. However it all soon became apparent.
Right on the border with Serbia, Vukovar suffered a 90 day seige by the Serbs where most of the town was completely destroyed. We visited the hospital which continued to function during this time, although it too was being bombed. They relocated all patients to the basement of the hospital, which thanks to Croatian regulations that all buildings have a nuclear bomb shelter, was a relatively solid place to keep people. Still, many died in the seige and in the Hospital, with bombs dropping a number of floors to the basement.
When the town fell, the Serbs evacuated the hospital, taking 263 people to a prison camp a few kilometres away from
the town. There some of the staff and patients were tortured and beaten by Serbian forces. Then they were all put on buses and taken 100 metres down the road, shot and buried in a mass grave.
We visited both the hospital and a shed in the former prison camp, which has now been turned into a very affecting memorial. More about the massacre here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vukovar_massacre
We are getting to hear stories from all sides on this trip, which is fantastic, but very hard to process. The thing I'm trying to keep in mind though is that every country did atrocious things and there is no point trying to find one bad guy to take the fall for the whole war.
There are more photos below