Thursday, July 12, 2007

From Srebrenica: On attending a mass funeral and seeing a mass grave

We spent the day in Srebrenica, together with thousands of others, to mark the anniversary of the day on which Bosnian Serbs took control [actually the Dutch UN so-called peacekeeping forces gave it to them] of a large number of Bosniaks [Bosnian Muslims] and then preceded to take the men and boys and massacre them.

We began with a visit to a mass grave that is being excavated so that the bones can be DNA analyzed, returned to the family, and then properly buried. After that we went to the memorial site in Srebrenica and attended the funeral of over 450 people.

As you will see in the pictures, the coffins [covered in green cloth] are carried by family members [if there are any] and passed through the crowd. They were then buried by the family in plots which had been prepared.

On the way to the event I reread Samantha Power's chapter on this topic. It is a chilling reminder of how the world -- including the United States of America -- fiddled as this horror took place.

While there have been larger killings [in terms of numbers, e.g. Rwanda] in recent years, it is particularly mind boggling to think that this could occur in Europe adjacent to the European powers 40 years after the Holocaust.

As I have said here before: Never again has become again and again and again.

1 comment:

Srebrenica Massacre Editor said...

It's sad. It seems that history repeats itself. The world has learned nothing.