Usually they were coming during the night, but late (or very early) around 3 or 4 in the morning. They would not coming in silence, always with shooting, cursing and yelling, sometimes they would just throw couple of hand grenades in front of the house, to kinda shock you. Even some tough and good prepared guys would just run away if they had a chance.
It takes some guts and serious weapon to stand up to 10,15 or 20 armed guys, mostly drunk, or high. Sometimes if people did not resist everything ends with few punches, broken rib, or similar. They could just took what is interesting for them and leave, on the other hand they could rape,kill,torture. If you choose to resist, be sure that you can resist to them, or just be sure to kill yourself before they get you alive. People just were not sure what to do, to resist and take chance or to surrender and take chance.
One incident I can remember
I will call him Dan, because his security. His father was goldsmith, quite famous in town. Two of them just waited in the city and looked how everything going to hell with first months of chaos. Father could not survive all changes, lack of medical care and every day uncertainty just finished him and his already sick heart.
Dan buried him with 2 neighbors one night in near graveyard, while city was in flames and battles raged over the reasons that nobody actually cared as soon as TV and TV news were gone with propaganda stories. They had some amount of gold in house, pretty much gold.
They came for Dan at 3 in the morning, did not ask anything, they just search the house in details, beat him and took him to their prison. They ruled in that part of town, prison was not like real prison, it was a basement in local mall.
After 5 th day of regular beating their leader came and said to him: you will take us to the gold.
And he took them, he and two gang members spent 2 hours on rain in the middle of the night, while Dan was trying to remember where he is buried his father s gold in graveyard close to house.
After 2 hours he just use the moment and hit the gang member with shovel in the head, other one was sleeping in house, he took him too, and run away.
I do not know what ways and connections he used then, but after 2 months in Croatia, he ends up in Germany. War ended, I did not hear too much about him, except that he is in Germany, and not doing so good, and that he is keep telling that he is never coming back here.
One day I heard that he is back.
I met him in one cafee close to his old house, we had some coffee, he did not want to speak too much about old times. I ask him why did you come back here? His answer was: I remember where I buried my father s gold.
He also told me :
“Right after my father s death i took all his gold, put it in jars and buried in graveyard. I did not use any map or anything like that, but I was perfectly aware where I was buried that, I memorize it very good.
After they put me in that prison, after they beat me, humiliate me, they took me to graveyard because I told them I was buried gold there. Standing in that graveyard, in night, with two of them with their rifles just erase everything from my head, I was desperately trying to remember where I was buried those jars, but nothing; my head was empty, blank page. I knew they going to shot me if I do not find it, and maybe even if I find it they shot me.
So I was digging like crazy, and suddenly i decide to hit him with shovel, I think it was not voluntary at all, something just woke up in me, like it was not me hitting him.
After I get to Germany I still could not remember where I buried that jars, so after few years I just stop thinking on that. And then few days ago I dreamed everything, like in fast forward motion, my father s death, killings, all atrocities, my prison, beatings, and I also dream about correct place of my jars, so I came here again
You know I think I was lucky because when they came in my house in 3 in morning they did not ask me anything, they just beat me and took me to prison, if they asked me the about gold, I am sure that I would tell them, I was scared to death, and if I told them then maybe after the took it they would kill me at the place.”
He did not want to talk any more, so I leave. I heard later that he suddenly “got rich” somewhere, and that he is doing fine now.
At that night when Dan was digging trough graveyard while two gang members were watching him, he was 17 years old.