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When they moved in in 1975, the two high-rises still smelled like construction sites. The red one had 13 floors. In order not to evoke disaster, the residents renamed the second floor "Gallery". Before they became the skyscrapers of death, they celebrated the achievements and successes of the working class together and practiced solidarity. Because teachers and doctors lived there next to miners, Bosniaks next to Serbs, Croats ... - a phantasmatically condensed image of Yugoslavia and multicultural Bosnia. For the inhabitants, the elevators were a sign of urbanization and urban life.

Fifteen years later, the elevators accompanied undesirable residents to execution or even became a guillotine themselves. Together with the chimneys of the surrounding abandoned factories, the houses today form the backdrop of the Bosnian town of Prijedor and remind us like tombs of how a unique world was defeated by nationalist terror.

Thirty-two narrative fragments form a structure in which the two skyscrapers function more as novel characters than as pure plot locations; a miniature that reflects the still untold Bosnian tragedy and the disappearance of an era.

"Schindler's Lift" (2018) is the first prose work by theater maker and poet Darko Cvijetić, who lives in Prijedor, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The text was translated from Bosnian into German by artist Adnan Softić.

Articles about the author and the book:

“Erinnerung an den Jugoslawienkrieg/Das Drama seines Landes - am Beispiel eines Hochhauses“ zu Darko Cvijetić „Schindlers Lift“ ein Beitrag von Walter Mayr im Spiegel+.

“The Case of Schindlers Lift“ in

Autorenfoto: Milomir Kovačević Strašni/Bookstan 2019