Dr. Demaris Wehr came to Bosnia after the war with the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding to assist in peacebuilding trainings. She returned several times to bear witness as survivors of the genocide told her their stories in one-on-one interviews. She asked each of them, “How did you make it through?”


Bosnian Survivors Share Stories of Trauma, Transcendence, and Truth


“In this beautifully written book, Demaris Wehr presents a brief history of the war in Bosnia, illuminating a moment in human history that some people prefer to forget. But as Wehr explains, forgetting does not contribute to forgiveness, which is the only thing that will help humanity create a different, more loving future. Readers will be captivated by the guiding image of the book, the centerpost, around which eight stories of survival revolve. Each survivor describes a different centerpost, the one thing that helped them make it through and return home including family, optimism, faith, duty, and more. The final message of the book is that each of us must find our own centerpost in turbulent, chaotic times in order to stand, with the author, for the possibility of peace. By reading these stories, you too will see ‘what the best of humanity can do under the worst of circumstances.’”

Elizabeth Èowyn Nelson PhD,
author of The Art of Inquiry and Psyche’s Knife

Jacob Finci


“We were able to organize. I did it because it was my duty.”

Marijana Senjak


“How did one preserve one’s internal values and also survive?”

Vjekoslav Saje


“Bosnia and its people are so beautiful.”

Senka Jakupović

Devotion to Family

“I suppose the person who killed my husband has been having a hard time for many years.”

Milka Marinković


“If I could regain my integrity, I would be able to look to the future with more hope.”

Salih Rasavać


“What kept me going is that I’m an optimist. I was sure I would survive.”

Sabiha Husić


“My religion is my life. It helps me live more easily.”

Vahidin Omanović


“I’d rather be a victim than a victimizer.”

Michael Dowd

author of Thank God for Evolution

A book of immeasurable heart and practical wisdom that can help each of us identify our own ‘centerpost’ and ‘way home.’ These inspiring stories will appeal to people of all religious and political persuasions. Making It Through shows how to survive and thrive in an increasingly chaotic and difficult world—a treasure map for our times.

The Bosnian tragedy illustrates how easily we human beings can turn against each other when shadow projections and ancient wounds rip apart the fabric of our interdependence.

Polly Young-Eisendrath, PhD

author of Love Between Equals

Pierre Pradervand

author of The Gentle Art of Blessing

This book, about one of the darkest moments of Western history since the last world war, is paradoxically an extraordinary book of hope. It is a book of hope because it shows how very ordinary people, who could have been you or me, managed to rise above hate and the total disruption of their lives.