He stood for the sacredness of life
Amidst ethnic cleansing
Playing the music of the civilized-
The most mournful pieces
“I felt as if my insides would ignite for the longing I felt to defend all that is good. When they finished playing, a solemn reverence hung in the air. Nancy said, “Surely this is what it means to be civilized…to stand for the sacredness of life in the face of bombs…to step into a river of light that includes order and freedom to act.” Nancy Baird
“When [Smailovic] saw the carnage from the massacre outside his window, he was pushed past his capacity to absorb and endure any more. Anguished, he resolved to do the thing he did best: make music. Public music, daring music, music on a battlefield.
For each of the next 22 days, at 4 P.M., Smailovic put on his full, formal concert attire, took up his cello, and walked out of his apartment into the midst of the battle raging around him. Placing a plastic chair beside the crater that the shell had made, he played in memory of the dead Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor, one of the most mournful and haunting pieces in the classical repertoire.
He played to the abandoned streets, smashed trucks, and burning buildings, and to the terrified people who hid in the cellars while the bombs dropped and bullets flew. With masonry exploding around him, he made his unimaginably courageous stand for human dignity, for those lost to war, for civilization, for compassion, and for peace. Though the shellings went on, he was never hurt.” Paul Sullivan, published in the Reader’s Digest in 1996, about the Cellist of Sarajevo
in all 100,000 were killed. Bosnia 1992 Another site stated 275,000 were killed or missing. ???