The Sarajevo Tunnel
A lifeline for the city
Sarajevo was held under siege for 4 years, with Serbs surrounding the city in the mountains. The airport runway & a small track of land leading down to Croatia was the only non Serb held land. The UN protected the runway for humanitarian purposes, people attempting to cross were frequently killed by snipers & the airport frequently closed. The people of the city were largely without foodstuffs, electricity, fuel or arms.
With courage, devotion & exceptional ingenuity a tunnel was dug under the runway which provided a lifeline for the city. It enabled hundreds of thousands of inhabitants to survive 1000 days total blockade & Sarajevo to remain a free city.
In bad weather & with a lack of tools & under permanent shelling the work was performed in top secrecy. On 30 July 1993 at 21.00 two diggers from opposite directions, offered a hand to each other, the hand of hope, the hand of victory. It symbolised the resistance of unarmed people to one of the most powerful armies in Europe.