Finding Petar Kočić
Petar Kočić, was a Bosnian Serb writer, activist and politician.
We visit the village of Stričići, in the mountainous region of Manjaća.
Petar Kočić was born in 1877, when the Ottoman occupation of Bosnia was ending and another occupation by Austro Hungary began.
His father was an Eastern Orthodox priest and his mother, Mara, was a homemaker.
At the end of the 19th century, about 90 percent of the population in Bosnia was illiterate. When he was 11 years old he received a basic education advancing his education to study at university.
In 1888, Kocic's father was arrested by the Austro-Hungarian police for leading a demonstration against Crown Prince Rudolph during a state visit to Banja Luka, and he was sentenced to 7 months in prison.
While in college, Petar Kočić became politically active and began to mobilise for land reforms. He was also passionate about freedom of the press and freedom of assembly, which were denied under Austro-Hungary and that was the reason why Kočić led several demonstrations in Sarajevo.
He was also imprisoned on 3 occasions for publishing newspaper articles criticising Habsburg rule. He spent most of his incarceration in solitary confinement, which contributed to the development of his depression.
After being released from prison, he won a seat in the newly created Bosnian Parliament, where he became the leader of a faction of anti-Austrian Serb nationalists.
He lobbied for more concessions to be made to Bosnian Serb peasants and farmers, agitating against the Austro-Hungarians and the Muslim Bosnian landowning class. He left parliament in 1913 because he was mentally exhausted. In January 1914, Kočić was admitted to a mental hospital in Belgrade, where he died two years later.
Kočić was one of the most important Bosnian Serb politicians of the Austro-Hungarian era. He was known for his fiery temper and his sharp wit, which he used frequently against the Austro-Hungarian authorities.
Kočić influenced a whole generation of Bosnian intellectuals, such as the future Nobel writer Ivo Andrić.
He was also influential in the Serbian and Yugoslav nationalist movements, as well as the Bosnian autonomist and Yugoslav communist movements.
Today, many streets in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia are named after him.
His photo has appeared on the Bosnian 100 mark banknotes since 1998.
While visiting Stričići, we discovered that the house where he was born had moved to a small ethnic village.
It's the first house on the left as you watch our video.
Just up the hill, about 100 meters to the left, you will find a small monument in the place where his home originally stood.