“Yesterday, around 7, the Sarajevo maternity hospital was brutally attacked without warning. At that moment, there was located 130 women and 70 newborns. Thanks to the presence of mind of staff and members of the TO who secured the building, the disaster was avoided,” said Elvedin Kantardzic for Oslobodjenje on the 26th of May 1992 when reported on the battle for the defense of the maternity hospital “Zehra Muidovic” in the Sarajevo neighborhood Jezero.
Attack on maternity hospital started with infantry attack which lasted for the entire day, and in the afternoon, when the aggressor units realized that they will not be able to occupy the building, started tremendous shelling from tanks on Poljine and guns from parcels located above Nahorevo.
“It is certain that all those who can accept the reality, everyone who can remember, everyone who will memorize this, who will remember this, will never forget the night of hell, the night for which there are no real words,” said the day after Prof. Dr. Srecko Simic, former director of the clinic Jezero.
In a later interview, Prof. Dr. Simic said that the evacuation of babies and mothers started with the first shells. Without electricity and aggregates – there was no fuel, in the basement were placed mothers, newborns, pregnant women, children from Pediatrics, the residents of nearby houses, staff…
Five children were killed on that fatal day, and children and mothers were evacuated day after the battle. Most of the equipment of maternity hospital was destroyed.
“I have no words to describe the horror when they started shelling the maternity hospital. Big, reinforced-concrete building, nine floors was terribly shaking … Everyone was praying to their God in their own way. No one was saying anything. We only heard crying of newborns,” recalled the doctor.
The first defenders of the maternity clinic, according to then journalists, were joined by about thousand volunteers from all around Sarajevo, who came to help defend the babies.
“Our soldiers managed to prevent the breakthrough of enemy and taking over this object”, published “Oslobodjenje” at the time.
Maternity hospital Jezero was reopened in 2010.