The breakup of Yugoslavia and the resulting Bosnian War has stirred up hatred and created tensions among Chicago's immigrant Serbian and Croatian communities.
0:05Copy video clip URL Immigrant Serbians and Croatians have lived in Chicago’s industrial southeast side for years. “The breakup of Yugoslavia and the resulting war has stirred up old hatred and created new tensions.” Serbian-American Helen Pavichevich sees the conflict as a civil war, and does not believe the United States should engage in “selected air strikes”. However, Croatian immigrant Mira Kosol sees the conflict as a war of Serbian aggression, and supports US air strikes.
3:21Copy video clip URL Many Serbian-Americans do not understand why only Serbians are being portrayed as the aggressors. Most American Serbs are just as critical of the proposed Vance-Owen peace plan as Serbs in Bosnia. The priest of St. Archangel Michael, a Serbian Orthodox Church, says that the United States’ lack of understanding of Balkan history should prevent the country from becoming involved.
4:55Copy video clip URL Pavichevich says that many Serbs are angered by the fact that few Americans know of the one-million Serbs allegedly killed during WWII by the Croatian secret police. She left her teaching job in order to join efforts to tell the Serbian side of the story. SerbNet, a coalition of Serbian-American organizations, does not think school-age children should have to respond to media reports of ethnic cleansing. A young Serbian-American speaks about being confronted in class by her teacher.
6:42Copy video clip URL Croatian children are also sensitive to coverage about the war. Kosol finds it difficult to talk about the war with people outside her family. The priest at their church says that it is difficult to deal with the pain caused by the conflict because they all have family caught up in the war.
8:52Copy video clip URL Local businesses have been hurt by the tension between the Serbian and Croatian communities. In some areas, the tensions have resulted in hate crimes against Serbs.
11:35Copy video clip URL End of tape