Kroatien: Spasenija Moro

My engagement in peace activities is based on an effort and a wish to bring about real changes in the manner of thinking by opening a dialogue between the parties in conflict.

— Spasenija Moro

When war first broke out in Croatia, Spasenija Moro tried to escape its horrors. She found the strength to return and back in Osijek in 1992, she took the job of a German translator in the Center for Peace. Later, she engaged in projects that provided psychological and social support to the refugees and displaced persons, especially children. From 1992 to 1998, she participated in national and international efforts of reconciliation, peacemaking, and empowerment for traumatized persons and in the peaceful reintegration of Baranja and Eastern Slavonia in 1998.

The announcement of war in Croatia disrupted the peaceful life of Spasenija Moro. An optimist, she believed that war could not really happen in Yugoslavia. The painful confrontation with the state of war, sounds of shells, burning smell, and the destruction and decline of physical and mental systems made her wish to escape. She fled to Germany, but after some months, she found the courage and strength to return to the besieged city of Osijek. There, she came into contact with a group of intellectuals who were conducting a poll among returnees to Osijek. That is how peacemaking took hold in her life; how development started in new conditions with new encounters and learning. The Center for Peace, Nonviolence, and Human Rights in Osijek gathered some ten people willing to learn and get involved in preserving the nucleus of a civil society that appreciates the differences among people. It was an opportunity for people to speak in public about the horrors happening in the war. Spasenija began as a translator at the Center for Peace. Although the work was exhausting, it regenerated and strengthened her. She tried to learn many new skills and gain knowledge so she could provide support to others when they needed it. And there were many people in Osijek and its surroundings who needed support: refugees, displaced persons, and especially children. In 1994, the refugee community living in Osijek began to meet with the people from Baranja. From 1994 to 1998, Spasenija participated in those meetings through the joint projects of Germany, Hungary, and the Netherlands in “Kuca susreta” (House of Meetings) in Mohacs, Hungary. The goal of the projects was to empower populations to return. In 1998, Baranja and Eastern Slavonia were peacefully reintegrated into the territory of the Republic of Croatia.

Center for Peace, Nonviolence, and Human Rights