In 1975, the two newly-built blocks still smelled of the construction site they had emerged from. The red one had 13 floors. In order to stave off misfortune and bad luck the residents renamed the first floor “gallery”. Before they turned into skyscrapers of death, the blocks were a symbol of the achievements and successes of the working class and of its solidarity. Fifteen years later, the blocks’ lifts accompanied undesirable residents to their execution, sometimes they themselves were the guillotines. Together with the chimneys of the surrounding abandoned factories, these buildings today form the backdrop of the Bosnian town of Prijedor and remind us like tombs of how a unique world was brought to its knees by nationalist terror.
Bosnia and Herzegovina