Fax From Sarajevo

Fax From Sarajevo

A Story of Survival

Book - 1998
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In 1945, we told the world, Never again.' In 1992, the promise was broken into bloody shards. That was the year the war broke out in Sarajevo, Bosnia, the year that genocide revisited the planet. It was the year that Ervin Rustemagic -- an international businessman whose clients included author Joe Kubert -- found himself and his family trapped in a city under siege. Ervin's only means of communication to the outside world was via his fax machine. As Joe began to receive these messages from Ervin, he did what he had done for years -- he put the story to paper.'
Publisher: Milwaukie, Ore. : Dark Horse Comics, Inc., 1998, c1996
Edition: 1st softcover ed
ISBN: 9781569713464
1569713464
Characteristics: 207 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 27 cm

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skyekilaen
May 29, 2016

I lost track of how many times I started to cry while reading this book. I almost didn’t read it because the art style didn’t immediately grab me. But I thought “Skye, this is important, you need to make it at least halfway through.” So I did, and by then, I had no doubts that I’d recommend this comic.

During the siege of Sarajevo in 1992-93, Ervin Rustemagic and his family were trapped in the city. Rustemagic had access (sometimes) to a fax machine, which he used to update his friends on their situation and beg for help in saving his family’s lives. Kubert was one of those friends, and later he used Rustemagic’s faxes and recollections as the basis for this graphic novel. It’s harrowing and heartbreaking. The ethnic and religious genocide, the murder of civilians (especially children), and the seemingly complete disregard for Sarajevans by nations outside of the war… and their officials on the ground, who give Rustemagic five different answers to any question. The back of the book says it’s a story “ultimately, of unflagging hope” but honestly, it’s a story of increasing despair and a lucky happy ending. Many weren’t so lucky. Left me thinking about why we can’t stop this kind of atrocity, with all our supposed wisdom. Brutal reminder not to take what I have for granted.

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