Srebrenica: Ten Years After

Today is the 10th anniversary of the worst case of European genocide since World War II: while the international community and U.N. peacekeepers looked on, Serb forces separated civilian Bosnian Muslim men from women and killed at least 8000 men and boys (from age 12 to 77) en masse, or hunted them down in the forests. Two of the main culprits, Ratko Mladic, the leader of the Bosnian Serb army, and Radovan Karadžić, a Bosnian Serb politician, poet & psychiatrist, are still fugitives and unlikely to be caught and brought to justice. The Bosnian dramatist Almir Basovic calls the events at Srebrenica a contemporary tragedy:

In ancient tragedy it is the hero who dies. In Srebrenica death claims the chorus. To anyone with even the slightest inkling of ancient tragedy, it will be obvious what a horrible disaster the death of the chorus must be. It represents the death of human society itself, because it means the end of the ‘ideology of the Golden Age,’ on which each and every society has based itself since antiquity. In the lethal failure of the chorus one would further have seen a clear sign that the cosmic levels of existence have been disturbed. Without the chorus it becomes impossible to indicate the extent of human freedom.

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