One of the most influential intellectuals of our time, French philosopher, writer and journalist, Bernard-Henri Levy, paid his respects to retired Bosnian general Jovan Divjak, saying he was “the only man I ever called ‘My General’.”
“The only man I ever called “My General”. His name was Jovan Divjak. And he just died, in Sarajevo: he had been the defender and protector of the City; and he remained, until his last day, its embodiment. Sorrow. Brotherhood. And condolences to my sisters and brothers of Bosnia,” he tweeted.
General Jovan Divjak, seen in the country as a symbol of multi-ethnic Bosnia, died on Thursday aged 84 after a long illness.
Although he was born in Belgrade and was a retired officer of the Yugoslav National Army, Divjak chose to go against the army he served during his career and joined those who defended Bosnia’s independence when the Bosnian war broke out in 1992.
He became the Deputy Commander of the Territorial Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the commander of the Sarajevo Territorial District. In 1993, he was awarded the rank of brigadier general.
In 1994, Divjak founded the Association ‘Education Builds BiH’, which helps the education of children who lost their parents in the war. In July 2001, he was awarded the Order of the Legion of Honor.
Sarajevo, the city Divjak loved and defended, paid special tribute to its beloved general. Citizens paid their respect on social media, calling him their hero and posting photos of themselves with him. Divjak would often be stopped on the street by people who asked to be photographed with him.
The only man I ever called “My General”. His name was #JovanDivjak. And he just died, in #Sarajevo: he had been the defender and protector of the City; and he remained, until his last day, its embodiment. Sorrow. Brotherhood. And condolences to my sisters and brothers of #Bosna. pic.twitter.com/E4kmQPxfmU
— Bernard-Henri Lévy (@BHL) April 8, 2021