The Forgotten Serbs

Despite the effort of Serb religious nationalists to dehumanize both their own population and their target population, many Serbs have resisted and kept their humanity. Serbs in Serbia evaded military service in large numbers. Bosnian Muslim survivors commonly reported that a Serb or (in the case of Croat extremist violence) a Croat helped them escape. A soldier or border guard may have turned a blind eye as a Bosnian slipped away from an atrocity or fled to safe territory. A family might shelter a fugitive in their home, at great risk. A Muslim survivor of the killing camp at Susica mentioned that a Serb priest tried to help him.[16] Bogdan Bogdanovic, the Serb former mayor of Belgrade, has spoken out courageously against the systematic annihilation of mosques and other cultural monuments. Many of the stories of resistance and courage cannot be told at this time, because the resisters or their families are still vulnerable to reprisals.[17]

In 1995, the majority of Bosnian Serbs did not live in Serbarmy occupied Bosnia but had fled, many of them to Serbia proper. In 1994, President Milosevic allowed agents of Radovan Karadzic and militia leaders like Arkan to sweep through Serbia, rounding up thousands of Serbs from refugee camps, abusing them for refusing to fight, and punishing them by sending them to the front lines with little training.

In Bosnian government areas, the Serb Civic Council was formed to work for a multireligious society and to articulate the concerns of those Serbs loyal to a multireligious BosniaHerzegovina. The Civic Council pointed out that the total number of Bosnian Serbs living under the control of the Republika

Srpska was less than 50 percent; over 150,000 lived in Bosnian government-controlled areas and some 500,000 had fled abroad. The council criticized the international community for treating the religious nationalist faction as the sole representative of the Serbian people.[18]

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment