Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Survival Retreat During War

Burt Gummer said...

    If you read Selco's SHTF Survival Course you will learn that in the Balkan civil war it was better to be rural and not stuck in besieged urban hell holes.

    I think it all depends on the scenario that plays out; I'll take my chances in rural America verses Urban or Suburban America. I believe the Georgia Guide-stones proves they want to kill Millions, and it will be easier for them to start where the people are most concentrated.

Hi Burt Gummer,

I don’t think it qualifies as civil war when a neighboring county invades another and goes for clear ethnic cleansing and massacring innocent people.

A rural retreat didn’t provide any degree of safety when the Serbian army came rolling down the street or Scorprions (Serbian paramilitary) had your home surrounded.

Selco doesnt explain where he was located and what side of the conflict he was in. That’s key to understanding his situation, what worked for him and why. If I want to learn about survival from someone that went through WWII in Germany, a Nazi soldier will have a pretty different perspective from that of a Jew. In the case of the Yugoslav Wars it’s the same thing because it was an ethnic conflict. If he’s Chetnik his situation is VERY different from his Bosniak neighbor right next door, who by all accounts had a big chance of ending up executed in most brutal fashion. What we do know is that while in Sarajevo you lived sieged for three years without running water and sporadic electric power at best, with the UN not letting you leave the city and Serbs shelling and sniping you, if you were outside the sieged city you were likely to end up crucified, executed, in a concentration camp or a rape house. It was in the country and smaller towns where some of the worse massacres took place (Foča massacres, Srebrenica massacre, massacres in Zvornik and Cerska). Hundreds of the smaller villages around Srebrenica and other small cities had been wiped out even before the actual Srebrenica massacre:

More than three years before the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, Bosnian Serb nationalists – with the logistical, moral and financial support of Serbia and the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) – destroyed 296 predominantly Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) villages in the region around Srebrenica, forcibly uprooting some 70,000 Bosniaks from their homes and systematically massacring at least 3,166 Bosniaks (documented deaths) including many women, children and elderly.

This is from IFAD, a specialized agency of the United Nations:

The collapse of the former socialist system and the war that followed led to physical and socio-economic devastation and loss of employment. Rural people fled to urban areas for security and survival. When the war ended many returned to the countryside and to subsistence farming to escape poverty. At present about half of the rural population relies on agriculture for a livelihood. However, the lack of employment opportunities in rural areas is hindering economic revival and could lead to another exodus to cities and towns.


The widespread poverty in Bosnia-Herzegovina is largely an outcome of the war and the difficult transition of a former communist state to a market economy. The four-year war caused extensive damage and led to high unemployment. Farmers lost 50 to 60 per cent of their assets and 90 per cent of their livestock. Buildings were ruined and water and electrical power facilities destroyed.

Immediate reconstruction efforts after the war focused largely on urban areas. Despite the fact that many turned to farming to make a living after the war, in 2005 only half of the arable land was under cultivation, often because state-owned land was awaiting privatization or because most of the arable land is poorly irrigated, lacks flood protection or is infested with land mines.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want to be stuck in Sarajevo either and live under constant shelling and sniper fire but if there’s something you can learn from the Bosnian war and other similar conflicts is that the best, smartest thing to do is to get the hell out of there entirely!

You are right about all depending on the scenario that plays out. Being in WWII London while Nazis drop bombs over your head makes a strong case for living outside the city, then again getting caught in Holodomor (1932 – 1933) or the Irish Genocide (1845-1852) with farmers being pushed to eating their own dead children shows the horrors of living in the country during a worst case scenarios.

    I just finished reading a very powerful book about the soviet caused famine in Ukraine in the 1930's called "Execution by Hunger" by Miron Dolot.

    As you've pointed out in the past, living on a rural farm can be a death sentence. The government took all of the food and rationed it to those in the cities. The rural farmers were forced to starve. Communists literally searched farm houses again and again while the farmers lay nearby dying. The soviets wanted to make absolutely sure they punished supposed food hoarders.

    The men were mostly taken away to prisons. The women and children were not allowed to work, buy food or fuel, emigrate. Even wild game was declared off limits and hunted by government officials to punish the farmers. The communists literally took every choice but starvation away from the people.


Hi Y.G.

Indeed, about 7 million people where starved to death. If anyone feels like getting a taste of what a worst case scenario looks like for farmers, or you feel like ruining your day,  just google “Holodomor” and click on images.


1 comment:

Burt Gummer said...

Selco wasn't in Sarajevo, he was in a mid-sized city of about 60,000 that was divided in half and under siege for over a year. It's been a couple of years since I read his account; but the war had been going on for sometime but had not affected his city. The normalcy bias kept the population in denial until the SHTF in their town. Anyhow, Selco had relatives who resided in the countryside and they fared better. I believe when the US collapses it will be closer to a Bosnia scenario than a Argentine scenario. America is terribly divided along social, racial and regional differences. And TPTB are aggravating these divisions daily. When the SHTF in the USA you don't want to be in certain regions such as the SW, NE and California where there will be ethnic violence. And you don't want to be in Major Cities which will be kill zones.

BTW, here's a link to a SELCO Q&A