Filipovic, Zlata (c. 1981—) | (2024)

Bosnian diarist. Name variations: Zlata Filipovic. Born in Sarajevo, Bosnia, around 1981; only daughter of Malik (a lawyer) and Alica Filipović (a biochemist).

Dubbed the Anne Frank of the Bosnian War, Sarajevo schoolgirl Zlata Filipović was ten years old and looking forward to a new school year when she began a diary. The only child of a middle-class couple, she was a precocious student who took tennis and piano lessons and had a passion for pizza, American movies, and Michael Jackson. "I wanted to have a happy memory from a happy childhood," she said. "I wanted 20 years after to open that funny book and read the things that happened." By April of 1992, however, Sarajevo was under siege by Bosnian Serbs, and Filipović's diary, much like Anne Frank's (which she had read), turned into a heartwrenching chronicle of the horrors of war and a young girl's loss of innocence.

"Oh God! Things are heating up in Sarajevo," she wrote on March 5, 1992, as the conflict was in its early stages. "On Sunday, A small group of armed civilians (as they say on TV) killed a Serbian wedding guest and wounded the priest. On March 2 (Monday) the whole city was full of barricades." Within two months, conditions had deteriorated considerably. "Today was truly, absolutely the worst day ever in Sarajevo," began her entry of May 2, 1992, which was now addressed to an imaginary friend called "Mimmy." By this time, the constant gunfire had forced the family into the dark, smelly, rat-infested cellar. "We listened to the pounding shells, the shooting, the thundering noise overhead," she continued. "We even heard planes. At one moment, I realized that this awful cellar was the only place that could save our lives. Suddenly, it started to look almost warm and nice. We heard glass shattering in our street. Horrible. I put my fingers in my ears to block out the terrible sounds."

For two years, Filipović continued her poignant account of the war and the hardships of living without gas, electricity, or water, and subsisting on United Nations food packages. She mourned the death of her 11-year-old friend Nina, who was hit by shrapnel that lodged in her brain ("I cry and wonder why? She didn't do anything.") and denounced the politicians ("Ordinary people don't want this division because it won't make anyone happy, not the Serbs, not the Croats, not the Muslims. But who asks ordinary people? Politics only asks its own people.") As the war ground on, she described the toll it had taken on her parents. "Daddy … really has lost a lot of weight. I think even his glasses are too big for him. Mommy has lost weight too. She's shrunk somehow. The war has given her wrinkles." There were moments of despair ("There's a growing possibility of my killing myself.… I'm so sick of it all") and signs of youthful hope ("You had to have a light of life there, in that dark, in that hell and death").

In the summer of 1993, Filipović's diary was chosen from 100 others for publication by a peace group in Sarajevo and then found its way to French publishing house Fixot & Editions Robert Lafont, which released the diary and also arranged to get Zlata and her parents out of Bosnia. The French edition became an instant bestseller, as did 25 foreign editions, including Viking's American translation by Christina Pribichevich-Zorić , Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo. By Christmas 1993, when the Filipovićs were flown out of the war zone and landed in Paris, Zlata was already a literary sensation.

At age 13, Filipović was swept up in a celebrity whirl that left no time for the continuation of her diary. There were television appearances and a book tour, which included a visit to the United States. "When people read my book, when they see me on television, they may help the children of Sarajevo because we must not forget the children," she said in an interview, hoping to call attention to the 70,000 or so that were left in Sarajevo. To help those still in harm's way, Zlata and her publishers donated a portion of the profits from the diary to various relief projects, including distributing 5,000 ski jackets in the war-ravaged country. On a personal level, Filipović left a lasting impression on everyone she met. "She's very lovable, very modest and not remotely spoiled," said Susanna Lee , the director of foreign rights at Lafont/Fixot. "And her moral education is extraordinary."


Chin, Paula, and Cathy Nolan. "Days of Despair," in People. March 21, 1994, pp. 66–68.

Filipović, Zlata. Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo. Translated by Christina Pribichevich-Zorić. NY: Viking, 1994.

Krilic, Samir. "Schoolgirl's diary becomes a moving chronicle of war's terror, loss in Sarajevo," in The Day (New London, CT). July 20, 1993.

Publishers Weekly. February 21, 1994, p. 245.

Riding, Alan. "Teen-age Bosnian diarist is literary sensation," in The Day (New London, CT), January 6, 1994.

Filipovic, Zlata (c. 1981—) | (2024)


Did Zlata survive the war? ›

This courageous, intelligent young woman has been called "the Anne Frank of Sarajevo" for her searing account of war's effects, but her story has had a happier ending. Readers will be relieved to know that Zlata survived the war and moved to France with her family.

What conflict is Zlata writing about? ›

Content. Zlata Filipović was given a diary in September 1991, when she had just begun fifth grade, and wrote from 1991 to 1993 during the Bosnian war, which began just before her eleventh birthday. Zlata's diary chronicles her daily life and the war's increasing impact on her home town of Sarajevo.

What conflict is zlata Filipovic writing about quizlet? ›

Filipovic portrays people's reaction to war as. "Zlata's Diary" is a novel written by Zlata Filipović, a Bosnian-Croat child during the Bosnian War. The novel takes place during the Siege of Sarajevo, when Zlata was aged 11 to 13, and offers a child's perspective on the war.

Who is Zlata Filipovic compared to? ›

Compared to Anne Frank because of her depiction of the horrors of war, twelve-year-old Zlata writes from 1992 to 1993 about the effects of the Bosnian war on her hometown, Sarajevo.

Is Zlata Filipović still alive? ›

She currently lives in Denmark. Zlata Filipović, born in Sarajevo, Bosnia is the author of Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Wartime Sarajevo. She lives in Ireland and works on documentary films.

How many children were killed in the siege of Sarajevo? ›

They were among more than 11,000 Sarajevans, including around 1,600 children, who were killed during the 44-month siege of the capital.

What do you think motivated Zlata to write the diary? ›

Inspired by Anne Frank's story, Zlata reflects on the destructiveness of war and the loss of her childhood to violence. She expresses hope for peace, yearning to return to her school, friends, and normal life.

What feelings does Zlata have when asked to write the forward? ›

What feelings does Zlata have when asked to write the forward? Honored, proud, and amazed. When does Zlata meet the students of Wilson High School? March, 1996.

What does Zlata say her diary allowed her to do? ›

What does Zlata say her diary allowed her to do? Her diary allowed her to express her feelings and thoughts about the world around her.

Why does zlata decide to stop writing about herself in her own diary? ›

Why does Zlata Filipovic decide to stop writing about herself in her own diary? She has seen so much destruction that it has overshadowed her own life.

Which statement describes Zlata Filipovic's perspective on war best? ›

She saw the effects of war on her city and family, but she believed that people have the strength to create change and make the world a better place. Therefore, Zlata Filipovic's perspective on war best describes the statement "People are more powerful than war."

Why does Zlata Filipovic decide to stop writing about herself in her own diary brainly? ›

She wrote about the sound of gunfire, bombs, and grenades, and how they affected her daily life.As the war continued, the violence and destruction became too much for Zlata to handle. She eventually decided to stop writing about herself in her diary because the war had overshadowed her own life.

How does the war affect Zlata and her family? ›

Quick answer:

Zlata is concerned about what she sees on TV, but she still has her normal life. When the war reaches Sarajevo, the immediate impact is life-altering. Zlata and the other children can no longer attend school. A girl Zlata knew from kindergarten is killed.

What did Zlata Filipovic do? ›

Zlata Filipovic is a documentary filmmaker and world-renowned diarist. In 1992, as the war in Bosnia arrived in her hometown of Sarajevo, Zlata recounted the war's horrors in her diary. The diary's publication in 1993 brought worldwide acclaim, as well as the means for Zlata and her family to escape.

How is Zlata's diary different from a fictional story? ›

In conclusion, Zlata's Diary differs from a fictional story in that it is a factual, firsthand account of the author's experiences during the Bosnian War, whereas a fictional story is a creation of the author's imagination, designed to entertain, inform, or convey a message through made-up characters and events.

What was the immediate impact of the war on the children of Sarajevo from Zlata's diary? ›

Quick answer:

When the war reaches Sarajevo, the immediate impact is life-altering. Zlata and the other children can no longer attend school. A girl Zlata knew from kindergarten is killed.

Why did Zlata write her diary? ›

At first a way to process and externalize her experiences and emotions, the diary became a lifeline when it was selected by a small Sarajevan press and released for UNICEF week to raise awareness of the war in Bosnia and to encourage international interventions for those impacted by the war.

What happens to the notion of peace in Zlata's diary? ›

Sarajevo is a peaceful city and they believe that things will continue to be peaceful there. Unfortunately, the rumour-believers turn out to be right. The shelling happens and all hell breaks loose. Zlata continues recording all these happenings in her diary, which she calls Mimmy.


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