The Times, April 5 1999       
   British wife tells of shame at Nato 'lies'       
           FROM TOM WALKER IN BELGRADE              
  THE British wife of a Yugoslav national
  trapped in Nato's bombardment of Belgrade
  yesterday said that she felt so "torn up          
  and ashamed" of her country's role in the
  airstrikes that she had only just                 
  re-emerged in public.
  But Janice Mrdjenovic said that since             
  showing her face again in the Zvezdara
  suburb, her home for the past 13 years, she       
  had been "very deeply touched" by the
  reactions of neighbours. "You can't be in
  Belgrade and not start to feel some               
  admiration for these people," she said,           
  attaching an anti-Nato tag to her dog,
  She said the bombing campaign had cleared         
  up any lingering identity crisis for her
  eldest son, Branko, 16. "He has absorbed
  this feeling from his friends over the last
  week or so about being a Serb. If he ever
  had difficulty over his identity, then over
  the last week he has solved it."
  Her youngest child, Stevan, is nine, and
  the middle boy Marco is 13. Despite wanting
  to keep them all safe, evacuation costs
  were too high. So for the past ten days she
  and her artist husband, Dusan, have
  arranged a temporary bomb shelter in the
  basement of their detached house, and hoped
  that Nato's technology is as accurate as is
  "I didn't believe that we'd ever be in this
  position with a British Government. They
  say they're not bombing the Serb people,"
  said Janice, who was born in London. "Well,
  it's very difficult to say that to someone
  lying in hospital missing a leg at this
  While her two eldest boys were coping well
  with the stress, she said she was worried
  about Stevan.
  "I heard him mumbling in his sleep 'you're
  killing me' - he could have got it from his
  Bond game on his Nintendo or it could have
  come from the situation we're in. There's
  bound to be some effect." And she was
  thankful that Branco's Yugoslav military
  service was still at least a year away.
  Smoking constantly, and watching as Dusan
  played with Bonnie and the boys in the
  garden, she showed her diary about Nato's
  nightly airstrikes.
  Janice's writing reflects upon the
  differences of being English and Serbian.
  "I think maybe the English are more in love
  with their Englishness than their homeland,
  and the Serbs are more in love with their
  homeland than being at ease with
Back to texts' page
Back to index page

This page has been visited times.