US President Speaks Out Against Bosnian Genocide
By Dana Kennedy
19 April 1993.
NEW YORK – Vice President Al Gore on Sunday compared the killings in Bosnia-Herzegovina to the Nazi atrocities during World War II.
“Dictators refuse to learn the bitter lessons of history,” Gore said Sunday in an emotional speech at a memorial service honoring Holocaust victims on the 50th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
“Fifty years after the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto, petty tyrants around the world smother their people and seek to blind and confuse them with the clumsy lies of dictatorship.”
Gore, who was scheduled to arrive in Warsaw today, said he was haunted by a photograph of a little boy being herded to a Nazi concentration camp that he saw at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.
He said he was equally struck by a recent image of a 10-year-old boy slain in Sarajevo.
The Bosnian capital has been shelled for more than a year by ethnic Serbs, who have seized most of Bosnia-Herzegovina in their war against ethnic Croats and Muslims [Bosniaks].
“And this happened in our time, only weeks ago,” Gore said of the slain boy. “Must such horrors go on and on? They must not. Those who commit such crimes should know that judgment stands in the wings of history, awaiting its moment. And the moment invariably comes.”
Gore was the keynote speaker at Sunday’s event, the nation’s largest commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the uprising. The service was attended by more than 6,000 survivors of the Nazi concentration camps and members of resistance groups, along with their families.
The uprising began on April 19, 1943, when German forces moved to liquidate the Warsaw Ghetto. Among the 50,000 Jews still in the ghetto, then, 1000 fought back for the first time. The uprising lasted nearly a month before it was crushed.
“The story of the Warsaw Ghetto is sacred text for out time,” Gore said. “It warns us of the unfathomable power of evil, the pestilence of the human soul that for a time can dissolve nations and devastate civilizations.”