Genocide in Bosnia, Chilling Parallels to the Nazis’ attempt to make Europe “Judenrein”
“Never Again” Applies to Bosnia, too
The Jewish Post & News, p.4
12 August 1992.
Never again! That’s the expression Jewish Holocaust survivors and the rest of world Jewry use when referring to the horrors perpetrated by Nazi Germany.
Never again should anyone stand by, shrug off reports about atrocities committed against other human beings, and claim that it’s not worth intervening.
That’s what happened during the Second World War. Informed of the Nazi killing machine at Auschwitz and other death camps, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dismissed the suggestion that U.S. planes bomb the camps. FDR claimed he couldn’t spare any planes for such a task.
Now, a similar situation has arisen in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Serbian nationalists are committing brutal attacks on innocent men, women and children throughout that former Yugoslav state, with the assistance of the Serbian government in Belgrade.
Moslems [Bosniaks] make up 44 per cent of the Bosnia-Herzegovina population, and form the largest ethno-religious group. But Serbs are a close second in size, and there are also substantial numbers of Croats t here.
The Bosnian government claims the Serbian nationalists have set up 94 concentration camps around the country since the Croats and Bosniaks of Bosnia-Herzegovina voted to break away from Serb-dominated Yugoslavia last February. The government maintains the Serbs have arrested about 240,000 people, and as of last week, killed more than 9,000 civilian captives.
U.S. President George Bush early last week dismissed reports about the atrocities as unconfirmed.
And last week, it surfaced that UN personnel had known for a month about detailed reports of horrors in that part of “civilized” Europe and kept quiet about them.
The evidence since April of wholesale Serbian drives to force Croats and Bosniaks out of large areas of the republic in a policy of “ethnic cleansing” – reports of people being packed into sealed cattle cars, and TV news clips of starving prisoners with bones protruding – are chilling parallels to the Nazis’ attempt to make Europe “Judenrein.”
The world’s indifference, the caution, the warnings by Time Magazine, American, Canadian and European officials against large scale military action despite the evidence of horrors against civilians, all smack so sickeningly of what happened during the Holocaust.
There is no point in using timid efforts like sanctions and limited military actions against bullies – whether they’are Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic or the nationalist Serbian warlords in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Bullies respect only one language – the threat of reality of brute force that surpasses their own.
It is heartening, and altogether fitting, that some Jewish organizations and individuals have spoken out loudly against the outrages now going on in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Israeli government has also expressed vocal concern about the atrocities there.
And on July 9, The Jerusalem Post published an especially heartwarming story. It tells how a Jewish family now living in Jerusalem has taken in a Moslem family from besieged Sarajevo.
The Jewish family was returning a favor – the Moslem family had sheltered it from the Nazis when it lived in Sarajevo, decades ago. The same Moslems helped other Jewish families during the Holocaust.
If only the warring parties in former Yugoslavia could get along as well as those two families. No group there is entirely innocent – Croatian as well as Serbian nationalists have been involved in land grabs in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Until these factions learn the art of compromise, the world should do whatever it takes to impose a solution before thousands of more are murdered, and even more driven into exile, beyond the hundreds of thousands that have already suffered that fate.