National Geographic : 1993 May
primarily by Serb forces seeking to expel Mus lims from Bosnia. More than two and a half million civilians have fled their homes in that broken nation with tales of massacres, rape, torture, evictions, and imprisonment. Ger many has accepted 235,000 of them; Switzer land, 80,000. The refugees hope to return home, but may not for years, perhaps decades. "Two grenades came into my house," an old Bosnian man told me. He slashed his hand across his belly. "My wife was cut open in the stomach and killed." The man was one of 2,300 Bosnian refugees who sat for three days in a steamy 18-car train near the Croatian capital of Zagreb last sum mer. They had wandered for weeks from place to place, accepted by no one. Croatia, already burdened with 600,000 refugees, asked the West to take them. And Slovenia, the republic to the north, would not allow the train through without a guarantee that they were spoken for. The Bosnians were guarded by Croatian soldiers, who sealed the train at night. One evening I watched exhausted mothers and children lie down side by side in the narrow aisles of the train. It was only after European television broadcast pictures of the suffering refugees that Western nations took them in. Most refugees go to Germany because of the Token of happier days, a doll survives the de struction of a Serbian family's house in Gornji Borki, Croatia, where fighting has turned neighbor against neighbor. In another ethni cally mixed community nearby, ruined Serbian houses flank a Croatian home left unscathed.