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Kurt Schork- Sarajevo`s ’93 painful Romeo and Juliet story

Kurt Schork- Sarajevo`s ’93 painful Romeo and Juliet story

Kurt Schork, an American reporter, and war correspondent share an unusual connection with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sarajevo in particular.

Originally from Washington D.C. Kurt Schork worked in many professions before devoting his career fully to journalism. He reported extensively on conflicts around the world including the Former Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Chechnya.

Many foreign war correspondents were reporting from Bosnia during the war, but Kurt Schork’s writings made a difference. They brought the world’s attention to the plight of the Bosnian people. One of his texts marked not only his career but also immortalized the story of a young couple from Sarajevo. Which stressed the human tragedy in the war, which is so often lost in the statistical reports.

Kurt Schork’s heartbreaking story

The story is about Admira Ismić and Boško Brkić.  Today is known globally as Romeo and Juliet of Sarajevo. In the city surrounded by canons and almost successfully divided along ethnic lines, they defied the monstrosity by showing that love knows no bounds.

Romeo and Juliet, bosnia, War in bosnia, kurt schork, bosnian romeo and juliet
Boško and Admira – Bosnian Romeo and Juliet

Admira was a Bosniak girl from Sarajevo and Boško was a Serb. Which means they belonged to the two opposite sides that were fighting each other.  They were deeply in love and continued to be so even during the bombing of their city. Their love ended tragically and Kurt Schork was the first one to write about it.

Bosnian Romeo and Juliet  (C) Photo Credit: Mark H. Milstein/ Northfoto, Image: 160223821, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: , Model Release: no, Credit line: Profimedia, Alamy
The bodies of Admira Ismić and Boško Brkić lying near the Vrbanja bridge in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on Wednesday, May 19, 1993.
(C) Photo Credit: Mark H. Milstein/ Northfoto, Image: 160223821, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: Model Release: no, Credit line: Profimedia, Alamy

After the article was published the story became known worldwide. That was an inspiration for music bands and film directors alike to devote their work to this most unusual human tragedy. Boško and Admira became Romeo and Juliet of surrounded Sarajevo. Bosko and Admira

After the Siege of Sarajevo

The siege of Sarajevo was lifted in early 1996 and Kurt Schork continued to report from other war-torn areas. After that in one of his assignments in Sierra Leone, he got caught up in an ambush together with cameraman Miguel Gil Moreno de Mora of Spain, who worked for Associated Press Television. The outcome was fatal. In the attack in which Schork died two other Reuters journalists. South African cameraman Mark Chisholm and Greek photographer Yannis Behrakis suffered injuries.

-> Related topic: The Longest Siege in Modern History

According to his own wishes, one-half of Kurt’s ashes was brought to Sarajevo.  Therefore he was buried next to the grave of Admira a Boško while the other half stays in Washington D.C., his hometown. He has been memorialized posthumously. Namely in Sarajevo, one street is named after him and he has been granted the citizenship of Bosnia and Herzegovina. At Jamestown College, his alma mater, one newsroom has been dedicated to him. His friends and colleagues remember him as a modest and selfless man. He famously ran to help a wounded woman who got shot during an attack at a funeral in Sarajevo in August 1992. 

Bosnian romeo and juliete
Grave of Admira and Boško

Reuters Editor-in-chief Geert Linnebank had this to say about him: “Kurt the pragmatist knew that if his by-line did not gain fame with the broad public, it really did register with those of influence and power. And, as an idealist, Kurt sensed that if his reporting of the dark forgotten places that attracted him like a magnet.  That reporting could help shape events and actions too, that it would on occasion dispel lethargy and strengthen resolve, and lighten the burden of those without power or voice.”

Find out more about the War

To find out more about the Bosnian War and to see many places relevant to the Siege of Sarajevo such as the bridge which divided the city, the one next to which two famous lovers had died. We suggest you join us on our Fall of Yugoslavia Tour that starts every day from our office.

If you are a traveler who would like to add something to our list similar to Kurt Schork’s topic to read about, make sure you contact us with the message subject “Kurt Schork”. Along with that, we can recommend you to follow us on our Facebook page Meet Bosnia Tours where we regularly post our activities. Looking forward to hearing from you!

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