In Memoriam: Behija&Dzemo Zukic

zukic behija

Image: The tombstone of Behija Zukic in Visegrad.

Image: Behija Zukic, famous businesswomen from Visegrad.

Behija and her husband Dzemo Zukic lived in Germany before returning to Visegrad where they opened up a few stores. They were well-known  and respected by everyone in Visegrad. They owned a brand new red Volkswagen Passat passenger vehicle. Witness VG-042 testified at the Hague:

“One day I went to the MUP building in town to get a pass  to leave town just to make sure we were safe.  I was on my way back to Dusce.  There were two roads.  One was next to the Drina River; it was an asphalt road, surfaced.  And then there was a macadam road parallel to the rail line, so we took that road in order not to meet any Chetniks on our way back.  As soon as I reached the Varda furniture factory, there’s a house there belonging to a man named Sevko Hodzic.  Dzemo Zukic and his Behija passed us, and then there was a white Fico driving behind us and it pulled over right outside Sevko Hodzic’s house.  Milan Lukic got out of that Fico vehicle and walked up to Vico [as interpreted] Zukic and his wife Behija.  He seized their car.  We walked on past the Varda factory to our homes.  I said, Dzemo, my dear, what was that?  And Behija told me one thing, Don’t ask a question.  Milan Lukic just took my car away.  And that was that.  We talked no more.”

Behija was shot and killed by Milan Lukic at her doorstep on 21 May 1992. Her husband Dzemo and son were taken away by Lukic and other members of Bosnian Serb Army’s Special Unit “Avengers” (“Osvetnici”). Behija was later buried in Straziste cemetery by her neighbors.

Her funeral would also be remembered by Visegrad’s Bosniaks. Zukic family’s TAM Truck which was seized by the Special Unit “Avengers”, drove up to the cemetery entrance and armed camouflaged Serb soldiers, members of the “Avengers”, got off the truck and started apprehending Bosniak men and shoving them onto the truck.  The other people present at the funeral started running in panic across the cemetery into the woods. Around 15 Bosniaks men were shoved onto the truck that day and have not been seen since.

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