Srebrenica memorial Haris Memija/ZumaPress

Ending Genocide Denial at Srebrenica

The UN Security Council is considering a resolution that condemns denial of the genocide at Srebrenica, describing it as “hampering efforts at reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.” And indeed, victim groups cannot imagine reconciling with the Bosnian Serbs as long as they are trying to rewrite history.

CHICAGO – Driving into Srebrenica, where a brutal genocide was carried out 20 years ago, remains a surreal experience. It lies deep within the time-warped landscape of Republika Srpska, the economically depressed Serb sector of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Streets evoke a ghost town. The central square is barren, with none of the typical outdoor cafes teeming with locals and tourists common in other cities and towns in the more prosperous Federation, or non-Serb, region of the country.

Still standing on many of Srebrenica’s streets are the gutted homes of the Muslims who were routed out by Bosnian Serb forces led by General Ratko Mladić. A few miles north of town is the former United Nations peacekeeping base of Potočari, where now rest the fractured remains of most of the more than 8,000 mainly Muslim men and boys slaughtered over several days in July 1995. The cemetery is an impressive but haunting demonstration not only of the genocide itself; but also of the survivors’ determination that it be remembered.

The house that was used to rape Muslim women, while the men and boys were being led to their deaths, still stands next to the cemetery. It is occupied by Serbs. Every day, thousands of Bosnian Serbs living in the area walk or drive by the crumbling homes of the cleansed Muslims, the vast field of white Islamic grave stones, and the rape house, each one boldly reminding them of the undeniable.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in;
  1. Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images

    The Summit of Climate Hopes

    Presidents, prime ministers, and policymakers gather in Paris today for the One Planet Summit. But with no senior US representative attending, is the 2015 Paris climate agreement still viable?

  2. Trump greets his supporters The Washington Post/Getty Images

    Populist Plutocracy and the Future of America

    • In the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump has consistently sold out the blue-collar, socially conservative whites who brought him to power, while pursuing policies to enrich his fellow plutocrats. 

    • Sooner or later, Trump's core supporters will wake up to this fact, so it is worth asking how far he might go to keep them on his side.
  3. Agents are bidding on at the auction of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

    The Man Who Didn’t Save the World

    A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the buyer of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," for which he spent $450.3 million. Had he given the money to the poor, as the subject of the painting instructed another rich man, he could have restored eyesight to nine million people, or enabled 13 million families to grow 50% more food.

  4.  An inside view of the 'AknRobotics' Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    Two Myths About Automation

    While many people believe that technological progress and job destruction are accelerating dramatically, there is no evidence of either trend. In reality, total factor productivity, the best summary measure of the pace of technical change, has been stagnating since 2005 in the US and across the advanced-country world.

  5. A student shows a combo pictures of three dictators, Austrian born Hitler, Castro and Stalin with Viktor Orban Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images

    The Hungarian Government’s Failed Campaign of Lies

    The Hungarian government has released the results of its "national consultation" on what it calls the "Soros Plan" to flood the country with Muslim migrants and refugees. But no such plan exists, only a taxpayer-funded propaganda campaign to help a corrupt administration deflect attention from its failure to fulfill Hungarians’ aspirations.

  6. Project Syndicate

    DEBATE: Should the Eurozone Impose Fiscal Union?

    French President Emmanuel Macron wants European leaders to appoint a eurozone finance minister as a way to ensure the single currency's long-term viability. But would it work, and, more fundamentally, is it necessary?

  7. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now