During a recent appearance on AH Radio, IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson talked about his last year’s “Scream for Me Sarajevo” documentary, which chronicles his 1994 concert in Sarajevo, Bosnia in the midst of the ongoing siege of the city during the Bosnian War.
When asked if he “sort of pinch” himself for going to Sarajevo at the time, he answered:
“Yeah, I mean, I do look at it, and I thought, ‘Was this some kind of a weird dream?’. But, of course, it wasn’t a dream, it was very real – the bullets were absolutely real, and there’s so many things that could’ve gone horribly wrong, which thankfully didn’t. It was just luck, that we didn’t get shot or blown up.
“I suppose that’s something which makes you think differently about things. Perhaps it is some – in some subtle way – the element that luck plays and the fact that life appears to be sometimes just not fair and that’s just tough. But, life is sometimes not fair and you just have to deal with that.
“I just finished reading a book about the 617, the “Dambusters” [RAF] squadron – what they did and what they went through, and the whole issue of what happens in war. The reason why people survived so often is luck. Doesn’t matter how skillful you are, doesn’t matter how much of a good soldier you are or anything else like that.
“Sometimes you just need a slice of luck, and sometimes you get a slice of bad luck, and then you just have to deal with what’s on your plate that you’ve been given, and Sarajevo was kind of like that.
“What was amazing was that the people who’d been there under siege for years, the longest siege in modern history, longer than the siege of Stalingrad in the second World War – that was Sarajevo. It’s a forgotten siege, in a way, it’s almost a forgotten war.
“It’s been swept under the carpet by people who try to pretend. The EU has turned Europe into some strange shopping paradise – and it’s not. This stuff is all bubbling under and I don’t think it’s been fully resolved anyway.
“Regardless of all that, the people who were there are living in it, I thought they’re remarkable because they still retained their humanity and their desire for a normal human communication, normal human interaction, even though circumstances were perverse and even though they had to undergo terrible deprivation and see appalling atrocities.
“At the end of it, they have gone on with fixing their town and I went back there recently. They’re all still there, and they are still the same people, just no war.”