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An American in Serbia: From a Writer’s Notebook

August 3, 2018

Visit to Zemun cemetery’s brings back joyful memories of my late brother

Bora was my late brother. He was the human being I had felt closest to in my entire life. And I know the feeling was mutual.

That’s what we call each other in Serbian – brothers. In the English family nomenclature, Bora would have been my first cousin. Our mothers were sisters. But I cannot imagine having a “real” brother (by the same parents), or even a twin, whom I could have loved more.

So when I went today “all the way” from downtown Belgrade to the Zemun cemetery to pay my respects to Bora, I felt nothing but joy. And gratitude to have had such a wonderful human being in my life. This time around.

But as I found out in 2011 when I did my first ceremony at Bora’s grave we shared other lifetimes before. Including that when I was Constantine and he was my son Crispus. For more on that see Epic Pilgrimage along Spine of Europe (Oct 2011).

Ever since I got to Belgrade – on July 3,  Bora’s birthday – I have been trying to synchronize a visit there with other family members. But since that did not work out, I decided to head out there today myself – Aug 3 – Bora’s birthday plus one month.

And now, here’s first the video about my playing the Amazing Grace for Bora.

“AMAZING GRACE” AT BORA’S GRAVE – filmed at the Zemun cemetery on Aug 3, 2018 – music and film by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic


And now here are also some still shots, including some of the wonderful views of the Danube river and Belgrade in the distance. The Zemun cemetery is on a hill which offers early bird’s eye views of this Belgrade suburb, of the War Island and Belgrade.



The ruins you see here around the19th century Gardoš Tower, which is next to the Zemun cemetery, date back to the 14th century.

After the visit to the cemetery, I walked down the steep Zemun streets to the Danube where I took some more shots.





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