Among dozens of quick stops during his tour (the kind where nobody gets off the bus) Bata pulls on the sidewalk and points to an unattractive area on the other side of the street. Honestly it doesn’t look like much at all and besides I am still trying to take in the story of the bank building 100 meters back that had been converted into a snipers’ location during the 1992-95 war. So, I’m not paying attention. But finally I get it: we are at the entrance of what has once been a monumental architectural feast: Tito’s Partisan Cemetery, designed by architect Bogdan Bogdanovic, in honor of the 810 Yugoslav Partisans of Mostar who were killed during World War II in Yugoslavia. Judging from photos that I found online and on this blog http://herojisaneretve.blogger.ba , it must have been quite a sight when it was opened by Josip Boz Tito in September 1964.
As I glance at it today, I would have never guessed!
The next day we decide we will not only go back, but we will go IN. Intuitively, and because we couldn’t find much information on the internet, we know we are doing something – let’s say: unusual — and although we believe all of Bata’s stories, at heart we are still American and/or Swiss: in other words, we are people who do not live their life every day with the consequences of war. All we can think is it’s been years since Tito. We are tourists. It can’t be that bad.
Or can it?
We have a vague idea of the location: we know it is near the Sniper Tower. Armed with a map that doesn’t match Mostar’s streets very well, we draw a plan: we will walk every contiguous street in a radius of 0.5 km from the Tower. Certaintly that should ensure that we find the park.
Wishful thinking! 95ºF and 6km later, we are back empty handed. How can a 4-acre city park disappear, taking with it a monumental installation??