Srđan Aleksić

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Srđan Aleksić
Obituary of Srđan Aleksić.jpg
Obituary
Native name Срђан Алексић
Born Srđan Aleksić
(1966-05-09)May 9, 1966
Trebinje, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFR Yugoslavia
Died January 27, 1993(1993-01-27) (aged 26)
Trebinje, Republika Srpska
Cause of death
Murder
Nationality SFR Yugoslav
Other names Srđo
Ethnicity Serb
Occupation amateur actor, prospective swimmer, and soldier in the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS)
Known for being killed while defending an ethnic Bosniak, his friend, from being attacked by a group of VRS soldiers

Srđan Aleksić (Serbian Cyrillic: Срђан Алексић, 1966 – January 27, 1993), nicknamed Srđo, was a Yugoslav amateur actor, prospective swimmer, and soldier in the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) during the Bosnian War. He saw his neighbour, an ethnic Bosniak, being harassed by a group of VRS soldiers, whom he then tried to stop; the soldiers turned to Aleksić, beating him with their rifle butts until he fell into a coma. He died a week later at the hospital. He has received several posthumous awards for his act, viewed of as deeply heroic in the time of bloody war. A documentary of his life, Srđo, was made by RTS in 2007.

Early life[edit]

Aleksić was born in the municipality of Trebinje, then part of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFR Yugoslavia. His father Rade was a basketball coach, and his mother Mira, from Prijedor, died at an early age. His brother died in a hang glider accident, above the Petrovo field, near Trebinje.

Aleksić received several awards as an amateur actor, and continued to act during the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including in a play San ratne noći ("War night's dream"). He was also a prospective swimmer for Yugoslavia. During the Bosnian War, he was recruited into the Army of Republika Srpska (the Bosnian Serb Army).

Heroic act and death[edit]

On January 21, 1993, a group of four uniformed VRS soldiers forced Alen Glavović, an ethnic Bosniak, out of a café by the Freedom Square across the street from the police station,[1] and started harassing and beating him.[2] Glavović was the neighbour of Aleksić; he intervened and went towards them and shouted for them to stop, ending the attack.[2] However, the four soldiers then turned against Aleksić and beat him severely with their rifle butts,[2] leaving him falling into coma. Due to the incurred injuries he died in the hospital on January 27, 1993.[2] Srđan's father wrote in his obituary that "Srđan died carrying out his human duty" ("Umro je vršeći svoju ljudsku dužnost").[3]

One of the attackers was killed during the war, whilst the other three were each sentenced to 28 months in prison.[3] One of the defence lawyers of the attackers said while in court: "Served him right, defending a balija",[4] the latter being a derogatory term for Bosnian Muslims. Alen Glavović survived and fled the war and today lives in Sweden, married with two children. Every year he visits Srđan's grave and Srđan's father with his family.[1][3] Alen has said that it his human and moral duty to visit his grave.[1]

Legacy[edit]

In 2007 Radio Television of Serbia recorded and broadcast a documentary on Srđan Aleksić, named "SRĐO" (hypocoristic form of Srđan).[5] The Trebinje theatre Slovo, which Aleksić himself had been member of, performed a memorial play, Epilog, about his life.[citation needed] In 2011, filming began of the movie Circles (Krugovi), which was inspired by the heroic act of Srđan Aleksić, directed by Srdan Golubović.[6] The Republic of Serbia awarded him the Golden Medal of Miloš Obilić in 2012.[2] Srđan Aleksić was posthumously granted a Charter of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[7] There is an initiative in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska to officially honour him.[8]

After his death, there has still not been any recognition of him in his home town.[1] The local government of Trebinje still consider how to honor him in the right way, whether in form of a monument or a fountain (as of 2012).[1] The former "Street of Great Trees" (ulica velikih drveta) in the Novi Grad municipality of Sarajevo was renamed after him, 15 years after his death, with the municipality saying "Without people like Srđan Aleksić and his heroic deeds, one would lose hope in humanity, and without it our life would have no meaning".[9] A pass is named after him in Zmaj-Jovo's street in Novi Sad, which includes a memorial plaque, and a pass also bears his name in Pančevo.[7] A street by the Pobrežje park in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, was named after him on July 11, 2013.[10] A street is to be named after him in New Belgrade.[11]

In 2013, the Post-Conflict Research Center a Sarajevo based NGO launched its own Srđan Aleksić Youth Competition. The contest, which will be run in several cities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, aims to galvanize youths in the country, of all ethnic backgrounds, to share their own stories of inspiration and heroism. The goal is to keep the spirit of Srđan Aleksić alive in young Bosnians today.[12]

References[edit]