[This is an amendment to an ongoing series about the Bosnian community in Chicago. The first piece discussed inaccuracies by the U.S. Census Bureau in describing the language and birth country of people from the former Yugoslovia, while the second piece recounted the celebration of the Islamic New Year at a Northbrook, IL mosque. The most recent was an interview with Yugoslavian Holocaust survivor, Ava (Hegedish) Kadishson Schieber. I write this series as a reporter and Bosnian immigrant. If you have any questions or comments on this, past or upcoming articles by me, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome your feedback.]
As part of my series on Chicago’s Bosnian community, I interviewed artist and writer Ava Kadishson Schieber who, like many Yugoslavians, fled the nation due to religious persecution.
Following a long and bloody war that broke up the former Yugoslavia, millions of Yugoslavians fled the former socialist republic, resulting in the largest displacement in Europe since World War II. The conflict centered around religious and ethnic disputes among Bosnian Muslims, Catholic Croats and Greek Orthodox Serbs.
Kadishson Schieber, a minority Jew in her native Serbia, fled well before that conflict eventually split the country into seven — Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo.
After surviving the Holocaust by hiding on a remote Serbian farm, a 15-year-old Kadishson Schieber fled Yugoslavia with her mother in 1949 to escape the newly implemented communist regime. She recounts her childhood and exodus in her book “Soundless Roar.”
After settling down in Israel and eventually making her way to Chicago as an artist, Kadishson Schieber continues to paint, write, travel and lecture about her experiences.
Earlier this month, we wrote about our meeting with Kadishson Schieber, who revisits the land in which she grew up through her art and writing. We have also compiled a video playlist of our January 11, 2013 interview with the artist sharing her philosophies on life and survival.
As always, your feedback is welcomed.