[h2]WWI Postcard Reaches Bosnia After Century of Traveling Around the Globe[/h2]
Sarajevo | 18 June 2010 |
Nadir Bicakcic points at his grandfather on the postcard.
Edhem Bicakcic used a photo of his army unit resting somewhere in Hungary during World War I as a postcard for his family in Sarajevo, but the loving message took nearly a century to reach its destination.
“Dear Razija, hoping to find you in good spirits and health…I am sending you this photo with me in it. Tell my mom and dad, your mother and (their small daughters) Zekija and Camka that I am well,” Bicakcic wrote to his wife in July 1915.
The postcard was sent from Villany in Hungary where the unit of the Austro-Hungarian army in which Bicakcic served was staying at the time.
Bicakcic was one of many Bosnian men who fought in the Danubian monarchy’s army during World War I as the country was annexed from Turkey and taken into the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 19th century.
At the end of the war, Bicakcic returned home and rose to prominence, becoming the mayor of Sarajevo and the central bank governor before dying of a heart attack in 1941, but his postcard took 95 years to reach the Bosnian capital.
A Sarajevo-born art collector Nihad Eric Dzinovic who has been living in the United States for the past 40 years found the postcard at an antique show in Long Beach, California and took it with him when he came to visit friends in Bosnia this week.
On Thursday, the owner of an antique shop in Sarajevo introduced Dzinovic to another art lover who happened to be the grandson of the long deceased Edhem Bicakcic.
“Because of his surname, I showed him the postcard and I asked if the names meant anything to him,” Dzinovic said.
“At first I did not get it, but as I was reading the names, I thought, 'hold on my grandma’s name was Razija and my aunts were called Zekija and Camka,'” said Nadir Bicakcic.
But it was not before he examined the photo more closely that he was sure it had been written by his grandfather.
“We have grandpa’s portrait on the wall of our family house and everyone was always saying that I am the one who resembles him the most,” he said.
“I thought ‘this is my grandpa’ and I froze.”
Dzinovic decided to leave the postcard, which Edhem Bicakcic addressed to his brother Asim adding a simple note “give this to Razija”, with the family.
“Over the years, I collected more than 200,000 old postcards, but this has never happened to me,” Dzinovic said.
Dzinovic said he decided to give the postcard, for which he paid some USD 50, as a present, “because it finally reached the family it was intended for” although all of the people Bicakcic mentioned in it are long dead.
Nadir Bicakcic said he and his brother Kerim will make a copy of the postcard, enlarge and frame it, and hang it on the wall.
But the original, which took nearly a century to reach home, will be kept in a safe box along with other family treasures, they said.
WWI Postcard Reaches Bosnia After Century of Traveling Around the Globe :: BalkanInsight.com