Bosnia-Herzegovina Fire Destroys Ottoman Archives

The following is from the February 9, 2014 edition of theguardian.com:

Archive director Adamir Jerkovic condems blaze at state archives in Sarajevo as an “act of vandalism.”

There have been large anti-government protests in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Photograph: Elvis Barukcic/AFP/Getty Images
There have been large anti-government protests in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Photograph: Elvis Barukcic/AFP/Getty Images

Some of the most important historical documents charting the history of central Europe in the 20th century are feared lost, after a fire at the state archives of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo.

The archive, which contains mostly documents from 1878 to 1918, when the Austro-Hungarian ministry of finance was in charge of Bosnia, but also older material from the Ottoman period and documents from the war crimes commission after the second world war, was targeted by protesters on Friday.

While staff have not been allowed to enter the building to assess the damage, historians are concerned that key documents have been lost in what archive director Adamir Jerkovic condemned as an act of vandalism.

News of the damage comes as central Europe prepares to commemorate the centenary of the start of the first world war. After the closure of the National Museum of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2012 and the burning down of the National Library in 1992, there are fears that this region in Europe may be left without key empirical records of its own history.

Read the full article.

Author: Leland Meitzler

Leland K. Meitzler founded Heritage Quest in 1985, and has worked as Managing Editor of both Heritage Quest Magazine and The Genealogical Helper. He currently operates Family Roots Publishing Company (www.FamilyRootsPublishing.com), writes daily at GenealogyBlog.com, writes the weekly Genealogy Newsline, conducts the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour to the Family History Library, and speaks nationally, having given over 2000 lectures since 1983.

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