As a journalist who lived through the war in her native Vukovar, Mirjana Đermadi holds a special significance to ordinary Kandit’s cooking chocolate. The chocolate, weighing 100 grams, was kept as her greatest treasure for a month under the thin pillow of a ‘ship berth’ in the Vukovar hospital where she was brought in October 1991 while eight months pregnant.
Mirjana recalls the fear of being in a hospital that was constantly bombarded with shells and shares her shock at seeing her wounded brother among the casualties. Her only comfort during this time was the Kandit’s cooking chocolate which she had initially intended to use for her 33rd birthday, two days before the fall of Vukovar.
As the days passed, her hope and resolve continued to be tested. When the day of her birthday arrived, she remembered the chocolate she had hidden under her pillow. Despite being crushed and no longer in its original form, the chocolate brought a moment of sweetness and joy to the women in the hospital during those dark and uncertain times.
Following her evacuation from the hospital and the city on November 20, she gave birth to a daughter in Maribor, where her cousin lived. Despite facing hardships, she returned to Vukovar with her daughter and continues to share other people’s life stories as a journalist while also carrying her own untold poignant experiences with Kandit’s cooking chocolate that holds special significance for her.