My Book

Not My Turn to Die: Memoirs of a Broken Childhood in Bosnia is my book about living through the Bosnian war in the early 1990s.

Andrew Himes, executive director of the Voices in Wartime Education Project, described the book as an 'eloquent testimony to the human capacity for compassion and forgiveness. Only by hearing the personal stories of those, like Savo, who are witnesses to the terrible trauma and lasting damage of war, can we imagine how to create a culture of peace.' 

Dr. James Lyons, who worked for the International Crisis Group in the Former Yugoslavia, described my book as a 'gripping and compelling story of the nobility of good and the banality of evil. Through the eyes of young Savo we watch the collapse of human moral values under the onslaught of hatred, propaganda, desperation and lies, while also seeing the attempts by some to maintain their humanity in the face of overwhelming odds. It is a fascinating piece of memoir literature from Bosnia that is certain to outrage the reader, while at the same time offering an exciting narrative.'

Louise Diamond, Ph.D., president emeritus, the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, said the following about the book: 'All of us face the choice to feed hatred or love, war or peace, yet few of us need do so under the desperate circumstances that teenaged Savo experienced during the Bosnian war. We tremble with him and his family through the violence and trauma of those years, and rejoice with him as he confronts the path of revenge and chooses instead the way of the peacemaker. Thank you, Savo, for taking us with you on this incredible journey.'

'Savo Heleta's moving portrait of life in Gorazde during the Bosnian War takes us beyond the simplicity of victim and victimizer, beyond the minutiae of peace negotiations and into the realm of cold, hard war.' - Ambassador John McDonald, founder of the Institute of Multi-Track Diplomacy, Washington, D.C.

'This is a powerful book, which shows how difficult it is to make peace after a conflict, not least peace among neighbours.' - Stefan Wagstyl, Financial Times.