Srebrenica and genocide 20 years later - YASIN AKTAY

Srebrenica and genocide 20 years later

One of the most important results of World War II was the fact that the cost of the genocide, which had been committed against the Jews before and during the war, was paid by all humanity, especially the Germans.

The idea that “if a violence of that scale had been conducted, then the rest of the world is responsible for it” was not an unjust one. Even today, materially and morally, Germans are still paying the indemnity of the crime committed by their fathers or grandfathers. The idea behind this indemnity and confrontation necessity was to make sure no such incidents happen again in the future of humanity.

However, while the Germans are paying heavy indemnities, they are also being a spectator to Israel's activities in foreign policies and having this regarded as compensation in the same direction. Despite that, it's clear that Germans are still failing to learn the lessons that correspond to genocides and humanity crimes. If they had, then they wouldn't have coveted the 8 million dollars' worth trade agreement that will be signed by the coupist dictator of Egypt, who brutally slaughtered thousands of his own people in the Rabia square, and hosted it in their country.

Every day, other segments of the world are being invited to an emotional communion with movies, conferences, exhibitions, and dramas related with the Jewish genocide. It would be ungrateful to say that humanity didn't accept all those invitations. Everyone, no matter if they participated in the genocide or not, judged the genocide implemented on the Jews, imprisoned it and continued to pay the indemnity designated by the Jews. The most important justification of these indemnity cases, movies and all the reminders, which are gradually becoming saturating, is to ensure that humanity never falls down to this atrocity point. These incidents have to be kept in the agenda frequently to prevent humanity from repeating the same mistakes. However, forget about humanity preventing this; these expressions are not even abstaining some Jews, who were victims of the previous atrocity, from being the fierce perpetrator of another atrocity. Then, don't we have to ask “What are the benefits of Holocaust expressions on humanity?” Besides, the historicity of the genocide had been closed for discussion in many countries through the power of law or with justifications that appear to have a philosophical depth.

Israel's actions/implementations on Palestinians are enough to show us that the expectation from Holocaust expressions cannot replace this universal principle. Israel already turned these Holocaust expressions into a source of income. Each passing day, Israel is proving that they can do much worse, when they have the opportunity. If the Holocaust expression had any benefit, it would have formed an obstacle against the genocide attempt on the Bosnians 20 years ago. Didn't Karadziç, Miloseviç and the Chetniks under their command ever listen to the Holocaust story, or curse at Hitler while watching Hollywood movies? However, while saying that the Bosnians were not expecting the concentration camps, and, isolation and genocide attempts they were exposed to, the deceased Aliya İzzetbegoviç also stated he also believed in the propaganda related with the Holocaust experience. Naively, he was saying; “We weren't able to presume such a thing could happen from the geography we are living in, in other words from Europe and the era we are in; in other words just because of the last ten years of the 20th century”.

Twenty years ago, today, the Dutch gathered the Bosnians, who were being chased by armed Serbians in Srebrenica which is regarded as a safe zone by the UN, took their weapons and handed them over to the Serbians. Of course, the Dutch took their humanity lesson from the Jewish genocide expressions. However, it was as if the Dutch interpreted this lesson as “to never overlook an attempt to hurt any Jewish person”. When the Serbian Chetniks requested the townsfolk to be handed to them with an excuse like “we are investigating the war criminals, thus, we will interrogate the Bosnians”, the Dutch didn't abstain from handing the townsfolk over while all the indicators were saying that the Serbians will slaughter them. Despite the pleads of the Bosnians, who knew what would happen to them, despite the audible gunshots, which killed the previously sent Bosnians, the UN soldiers continued to transfer the Bosnians to the execution field.

Within a week, 8372 Bosnians had been slaughtered brutally in Srebrenica, under the supervision of the UN. The corpses were buried in mass graves.

Slowly, these corpses, which had been regarded to be lost for years, were revealed as a result of investigations on these mass graves. Each mass grave opened a new page of shame related with the misery of mankind. There had been some relocations conducted in order to camouflage the graves. Thus, some of the corpses were distorted; sometimes pieces of a corpse are found in separate graves. Gathering all the pieces and identifying the corpse they belong to, is a long and troublesome task that is carried out with a detailed DNA examination. The identified ones are being buried with a ceremony on July 11th of every year.

These ceremonies are conducted as a call for justice. The objective is not revenge; it's justice. In an environment, where century-old genocide claims are turned into a source of income, this is an invitation to feel the sorrows of genocide.

We are at Srebrenica, ten years after the above statements, which I've mentioned exactly 10 years ago, due to the 20th anniversary.

Twenty years after the incident, the world is closer to accepting that the happenings were a genocide and to sharing the pain. However, this situation is still not enough to form a preventive and effective sensitivity at the moment genocide incidents, massacres and humanity crimes are conducted.

Today, the world is in “negligence” against the massacres and humanity crimes happening in Syria, Egypt, Myanmar and many other places.

Politicians, who generously open the century-old cases in order to ease consciences, are in an inattention against the massacres, which charges a first degree responsibility, since they are happening in front of their eyes.

We can already see that, in the future, this apathy will be regarded as being a partner to the crimes committed today.


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