Srebrenica Genocide Quotes and Messages…
The Bosnian Serb forces carried out the biggest massacre of the Bosnian War in the city of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was declared a “safe zone” by the UN Security Council resolution 819/1993, in July 1995.
In just a few days in July 1995, 8372 Bosniaks, mainly men and boys, were brutally killed in and around the Bosnian city of Srebrenica. Nearly 30 000 women, children and elderly people were forcibly expelled in a massive ethnic cleansing campaign, making this event the biggest war crime to take place in Europe since the end of the Second World War.
In August 2001 the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) concluded that a crime of genocide was committed in Srebrenica. Ever since, the survivors and the victims’ families have been fighting to obtain justice and recognition.
Srebrenica Genocide Quotes and Messages
Today, more than ever, we remember
“Mom, the soldiers kill the children with small bullets, don’t they?”
May mother’s tears
Never happens again
To no one and nowhere!
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 11 July 2000:
“The tragedy of Srebrenica will forever haunt the history of the United Nations.”
Neka je rahmet duši svim našim šehidima koje smo izgubili u Srebrenici. Nismo zaboravili, niti ćemo dozvoliti da se zaboravi.
One day, one whole town was frozen, even if it was summer. Srebrenica 8372 Its not a number… those are human killed in srebrenica genocide! Never forget, never forgive!
Today marks the 28th anniversary of the Bosnian Genocide in Srebrenica. 8732 fathers, sons, brothers, uncles and grandfathers got murdered while the world was watching. Let’s remember them, honor them and let’s never forget Srebrenica Genocide
I hope Srebrenica genocide teaches current and future generations about the consequences of hatred and intolerance in all communities. We need to challenge hate and take action to build better and safer communities for all.
If we don’t watch out, this could become a slow-motion genocide. –– United Nations special envoy to Srebrenica Diego Arria, April 25, 1993
We used to say, ‘never forget, never again. Now the same thing is going on in Bosnia because people are Muslims…We are legitimating genocide. — Senator Daniel P. Moynihan, May 23, 1993
I think we cannot afford to ignore what appears to be a deliberate, systematic extermination of human beings based on their ethnic origin. The United Nations was set up to stop things like that, and we ought to stop it. — Bill Clinton, Democratic candidate for president, August 5, 1992
Today, Srebrenica is on the verge of falling, in part because we have failed to take forceful action against Bosnian Serb forces…We are only attempting to end the genocide through political and economic pressures such as sanctions and intense diplomatic engagement. — Letter from twelve State Department officials to secretary of state Warren Christopher, April 1993
So my question is simple: If so many people had predicted exactly such an outcome, why was it permitted to happen?
Srebrenica Genocide Quotes and Messages in Turkish
International Criminal Tribunal judge Fouad Riad after confirming the Srebrenica indictment of Mladic and Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic on 16 November 1995:
“Thousands of men executed and buried in mass graves, hundreds of men buried alive, men and women mutilated and slaughtered, children killed before their mothers’ eyes, a grandfather forced to eat the liver of his own grandson. These are truly scenes from hell, written on the darkest pages of human history.”
“More than eight thousand Bosniak men and boys. Were slaughtered mercilessly by Serbs in Srebrenica. Who wanted Bosnia and Herzegovina’s land. Who murdered in cold blood, it was all planned. Mass graves were found on every single corner. Because torture is how Chetniks spend their time. They wanted to display their dominance over us And commit acts against humanity, their favorite crime”
Aida Mandic, Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina
“Srebrenica was officially ‘protected’ not just by UN mandate but by a 400-strong peacekeeping contingent of armed Dutch soldiers. But when Mladić’s men arrived the Dutch battalion laid down its arms and offered no resistance whatsoever as Serbian troops combed the Muslim community, systematically separating men and boys from the rest. The next day, after Mladić had given his ‘word of honor as an officer’ that the men would not be harmed, his soldiers marched the Muslim males, including boys as young as thirteen, out into the fields around Srebrenica. In the course of the next four days nearly all of them—7,400—were killed. The Dutch soldiers returned safely home to Holland.”
Tony Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945
“Serbs murdered Safet Fejzić, Azmir Alispahić, Sidik Salkić As well as Smajil Ibrahimović, Dino Salihović, and Juso Delić These killers called themselves the Scorpions to display power They thought they were gods, that they ruled society’s tower There is a video online that shows the brutality of this crime How a Serbian Orthodox priest blessed them to show support
These Serbs were so confident that Chetniks would win the war They thought that they would never see the inside of a court The cameraman of the Scorpions massacre video was disappointed
Because the camera’s battery was almost out Can you imagine the level of evil that lived
inside them? This is why good people have to fight against such scum”
Aida Mandic, Justice For Bosnia and Herzegovina
Messages of Support
Today marks 26 years since the genocide in Srebrenica. The American people join the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina in solemn remembrance of the over 8,000 victims who were murdered.
We stand with the families of those who lost their loved ones and with those who tirelessly seek justice in their names. The tragic events of the past remind us of the need to work in unity for a better future, one that is inclusive of all citizens in a Bosnia and Herzegovina that is stable and prosperous.
The United States deeply values its longstanding friendship with Bosnia and Herzegovina and remains a steadfast partner committed to our shared goal of a democratic and inclusive Bosnia and Herzegovina on the path to full Euro-Atlantic integration. As we reflect upon this anniversary, we reaffirm our commitment to work to prevent future atrocities.
PRESS STATEMENT–NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON
I’m thinking today of the Mothers of Srebrenica, and all the other survivors, whose husbands, brothers, sons were murdered in the genocide twenty-five years ago.
I think too of the victims, in particular the children, who were denied the chance to live and love and have families of their own. It is a loss beyond words.
And I think of all the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that beautiful heart-shaped country in the heart of Europe, which has given me so many dear friends and wonderful experiences, and which to me will always stand for strength, warmth, and dignity. To all Bosnians: I send you my sympathy and my respect, and I grieve with you.
I want to speak today to young people in the region, and beyond. You were not born when the Srebrenica massacre happened. You might wonder what it has to do with you. But the kind of hatred that led to Srebrenica still exists, as you know. It lives on wherever people find excuses to single out others and deny them their rights as equal human beings. You may know this better than me.
Srebrenica was a crime that did not happen overnight. It could have been prevented, even down to the last few hours. It started with prejudice and discrimination. With hate speech that demonised a whole people and treated them as less than human. It was spread by leaders who used lies to manufacture fear. To condition people to accept violence. These tendencies still exist in our world and are as dangerous as they ever have been. Of course, not all hatred and discrimination leads to genocide. But all genocides begin with a failure to challenge these behaviours.
Your generation can resist this, and it already is. This gives me hope.
You do not need to be prisoners of the past.
You can resist attempts to divide you from anybody else on the basis of their nationality, or ethnicity, or religion, or the colour of their skin.
You can reject discrimination and hate speech and propaganda and lies.
You can share a vision for a world built on equal rights and equal laws, respect for difference. A world in which the kind of murderous agenda that led to Srebrenica could not succeed.
That is the best way we can honour the families we remember today; and the victims of persecution everywhere, with whom we can be proud to stand.
I would like to greet you and express my sincere gratitude for your participation in this virtual commemoration.This commemoration provides us with the opportunity to together pay tribute to those who were brutally killed, as well as to those who have survived and endured the horrors that no one should have to go through. This moment strongly reminds us that we must reaffirm our determination and ensure that the hatred and prejudice that led to the genocide and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia does not spread in our own communities.
I am grateful that in the past seven years, the United Kingdom has organised the largest number of commemorative community action events outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina to mark the anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. The clear and unequivocal position of the British government that genocide must never be forgotten, and that the world should be vigilant and prevent similar tragedies in the future, is truly valuable for the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
We greatly appreciate the support of the United Kingdom, whose government has significantly contributed to the construction of the Potocari Memorial Centre, the work of the International Commission on Missing Persons, and the assistance to the returnees in Srebrenica through the reconstruction and construction of infrastructure, as well as the establishment of the “Remembering Srebrenica” charity organisation. I support the charity’s plan for the establishment of the first National Memorial and Learning Centre in the United Kingdom and invite you to support their fundraising activities.
I strongly support the work of “Remembering Srebrenica” in the United Kingdom. The fact that over the last seven years the organisation has introduced 100,000 young people in the UK to the lessons from Srebrenica, organised 1,200 memorial community action events and activities a year in various cities and towns across the UK and has 1,450 active Community Champions working on anti-hate and intolerance in their local communities shows the enormous impact that “Remembering Srebrenica UK” has.
It is an honour to share this platform with survivors. I pay tribute to their immense courage and resilience to unspeakable sorrow and pain. One can not even imagine how hard it is for them to recount their story. I thank them for sharing their sincere testimony. We can all see the strength and wisdom from the testimonies of survivors that help us participate in building stronger and more cohesive societies.
It’s commemorations like this one that forms an integral part of the memory process. After the Holocaust, we said “never again.” However, only fifty years later, genocide was committed again on European soil. This is why memory is so important. If we want to prevent such atrocities in the future, we must ensure that Srebrenica is never forgotten.
Today, we pay tribute to the victims of the Srebrenica genocide and reaffirm our commitment to never forget what Judge Fouad Riad at the International Criminal Court described as “true scenes from hell, written on the darkest pages of human history.” My message is clear: remembering and conveying the truth about the tragic events of the late 20th century is a prerequisite for preventing hatred and building safer, stronger and more cohesive communities. Lies, self-deception and ignorance are potential sources of renewed violence and conflict – everyone is responsible for facing the mistakes of the past in order to build a better future.
His Excellency, President Šefik Džaferović
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so very touched to have been asked to speak to you on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide and I can only say how greatly saddened I am that the current circumstances have prevented me from visiting Srebrenica in person this year. I had very much wanted to pay my respects at Potocari and the Memorial Centre and to have the opportunity of meeting the Mothers of Srebrenica as well as other family members and survivors.
It was important to me therefore that I should send this message to you today. I have cared deeply for many years about all that your country and the region have endured and have followed with close interest and particular sympathy the steps you have taken on the long, hard road of reconciliation. I greatly admire the difficult but essential work being carried out in Bosnia-Herzegovina to address the legacies of the past and I have been deeply moved by the remarkable and courageous efforts of those working tirelessly in pursuit of justice to rebuild trust and to bring hope to their communities.
The terrible events of July 1995, confirmed as genocide by international courts, are a dreadful stain on our collective conscience. The international community failed those who were killed, those who somehow survived and those who endured the terrible loss of their loved ones. By remembering the pain of the past and learning its lessons, we can together resolve that it must never happen again. This is why the work of organisations such as the United Kingdom’s Remembering Srebrenica is so vitally important and why, 25 years after these terrible crimes were committed, we should stand in determined solidarity with those who have lost so much.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I know that many of those families are still searching for their loved ones and that the painstaking effort to locate and identify all those who were murdered at Srebrenica continues to this day. I can only begin to imagine the pain that must be felt by those who are still seeking answers and the closure they might bring. I have had the greatest pleasure of meeting some of those families of the missing from Bosnia-Herzegovina and from across the region on a number of occasions, most recently in London in 2018 during the London Summit on the Western Balkans when I was delighted to welcome a group of families to my home at Clarence House. I’ve always been profoundly moved by their unwavering determination to find justice but also by the extraordinary compassion that they showed for one another. As I said on that occasion, their dignity and humanity are a lesson to us all and a reminder that reconciliation is not simply a theoretical, abstract concept. It is a matter of practical, difficult action, painful choices and hard but essential compromise.
Ladies and Gentlemen, as we remember the victims of the Srebrenica genocide, those who died and those who were left behind, let us honour their memory by recommitting ourselves to the difficult, essential process of reconciliation. In so doing, let us take inspiration and encouragement from the compassion and dignity of those who still suffer today and from the optimism of all those in Bosnia and Herzegovina who are striving to build a more just and brighter future.
HRH The Prince of Wales
25 years ago, when the terrible conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina had been raging for 3 years, Europe witnessed the worst atrocity on its soil since the Second World War. Over 8,000 mainly Muslim men and boys were killed in the genocide at Srebrenica and more than 20,000 women and children were forcibly deported.
I want to join with you once more in mourning the victims of those terrible events and to stand with the families in their fight for justice. As in so many cases from this conflict, which brought violence and destruction across the Western Balkans, many families still do not know what happened to their loved ones. Many perpetrators have still not been held to account and there are those who would prefer to forget or deny the enormity of what took place. We must not allow that to happen. We owe it to the victims and to future generations to remember Srebrenica and to ensure it never happens again.
I’m proud of the role Britain has played over the past 25 years in the fight for justice, including the work carried out by British judges, lawyers and prosecutors. We will continue in that work, remaining by your side and working together to eliminate prejudice and discrimination so that we can create a safer and more hopeful future for everyone.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson