Bosnia and Herzegovina (Modern World Nations) by Douglas A. Phillips

By Douglas A. Phillips

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Q 12/11/03 6:46 AM Page 51 Disintegration and War Muslims were the majority. Sanja’s parents had always helped their neighbors, in the truest spirit of neighborliness. When the war started, many Muslims left, but one family of Muslim friends lost the head of their family when he died of a heart attack. This left the wife alone, poor, afraid, and in poor health. Sanja’s family and others provided assistance to this Muslim woman who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. During the war, Sanja had a young child, and one day, a small gift arrived from the woman who had been helped.

Benjamin Kallay, a Hungarian, administered the region of Bosnia and Herzegovina until 1903, during much of this period of occupation. He did many positive things for the region; including enforcing laws, and building roads, schools, and railways. Sadly, he also assumed a negative role by playing off the different nationalist groups against one another. He exploited the differences between the Orthodox Serbs, Muslim Slavs, and the Catholic Croats, dividing the people as a means of maintaining Habsburg control over them.

Q 12/11/03 6:50 AM Page 53 In postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina Nedim Kruskonja, left, a Muslim boy, and his Croat friend Sasa Dukic watch swimmers from a bridge over the river Neretva, which divides the town. Though cultural diversity has caused devastation and conflict, it also can be one of this region’s greatest strengths. POPULATION AND DIVERSITY Population estimates in Bosnia and Herzegovina vary widely, because of the number of people who fled or were killed during the war. Present estimates, and they are just that, estimates, place the population at about four million.

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