May 29, 2006

Srebrenica Genocide Denier and Milosevic’s Darling Kicked from French Theatre

Peter Handke - Srebrenica Genocide Denier - Attends Slobodan Milosevic's funeral… and then Awarded $50,000 EURO Literary Price – guess where? – in Germany (country with rich Nazi past, never-ending Holocaust denial, incurable Anti Semitism & Islamophobism). To award Srebrenica Genocide denier with $50,000 is same as awarding Adolph Hitler with Nobel Prize for Peace.

Peter Handke is controversial because of his pro-Milosevic stance during the Balkan wars, and his support for the Serbian regime. Recently, French national theatre Comédie-Française removed the play “Voyage to the Sonorous Land or the Art of Asking” from its 2007 season lineup, after Handke spoke at the burial of former Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic in March.

Handke, who lives in France, said in an essay in the French newspaper Libération: “Let’s stop laying the massacre … on the backs of the Serbian military and paramilitary. And listen — at last — to the survivors of the Muslim massacres in numerous Serbian villages around Srebrenica.”

By calling the casualties of eleven Serb civilians in Kravice in 1993 a ‘massacre’, the Austrian playwright Peter Handke is trying to justify all the previous and later slaughters of tens of thousands of Bosniak civilians by Serb forces, including the genocide of 8,106 Bosniak civilians in supposedly UN ‘protected’ enclave of Srebrenica. Of course, this is not the first time this Austrian ‘intellectual’ and Srebrenica Genocide Denier has exercised such extreme views and warped logic in his overly pro-Milosevic stances. What Handke, Milosevic’s darling, does not know is that numbers of alleged Serb victims around Srebrenica were extremely inflated by both Serbian media and Srebrenica Genocide deniers and revisionists. Read Myth About Serb Victims Around Srebrenica and Example of Serbian Propaganda: Rade Rogic and the Effect of Imaginary Serb Soldier.

One of Handke’s greatest plays, The Art of Asking was scheduled by the French public theatre company, the Comédie Française.

Peter Handke - Face of Srebrenica Genocide DenierOn April 29, 2006, the daily Libération reported that Marcel Bozonnet had decided to scrap the play after having read a snippet published on April 6, 2006 in the Nouvel Observateur, a weekly magazine published every Thursday. The snippet called a sifflet (a “whistle”) — by the journalist Ruth Valentini read:

Peter Handke in Pozarevac

“I am happy to be close to Slobodan Milosevic, who has defended his people,” said — in Serb — Peter Handke on March 18 on Liberation Square, in Pozarevac. The guest flaunted his grief along with 20,000 fanatics. Loyal to the “Butcher of the Balkans” and to his own revisionist position, the Austrian writer, author of Justice for Serbia, had come as a “truth seeker.” Thus Handke, for whom “to be pro-Serb is a honorific title,” persists in his defense of “Slobo,” considers that the Serbs are “the real victims of the war,” approves the Srebrenica massacre and other crimes done in the name of ethnic cleansing. Waving the Serbian flag, squeezing forward to touch the hearse and lay his red rose, Handke looks a sorry sight. With his tribute to the despot, the poet has definitively dug the grave of his lost honor.

Deeply disturbed by Valentini’s report, the general administrator reached the conclusion that his personal conscience could not allow him to let Handke’s play be shown at the Comédie Française. He scrapped the play. It was a “personal decision,” said Bozonnet.

Handke, who reduced himself to being Srebrenica Genocide denier, said he was “disgusted” with the decision by company administrator Marcel Bozonnet to pull the play, while Bozonnet shot back that he has been scandalized by the playwright’s eulogy at Milosevic’s graveside. “For my soul and my conscience it was impossible to welcome this person into my theatre,” Bozonnet told a press conference, adding that to host someone’s work in the theatre was “an act of recognition, of love.”
“For three weeks . . . I have been plunged back into the horror of ethnic cleansing,” Bozonnet said as he confirmed that Handke’s Voyage to the Sonorous Land or the Art of Asking would not be staged in January.

Bozonnet took the decision after reading reports about Milosevic’s funeral in Serbia on March 18 at which Handke, 63, gave a eulogy saying he was “happy to be beside Slobodan Milosevic, a man who defended his people.” One wonders who did Milosevic defend his people from when he was the one destroying them?

Bozonnet, who has held the post since 2001 and is hoping to win a second and final term as theatre administrator, denied his decision amounted to censorship.

“This is not censorship. It is one theatre director who has decided not to put on a play, but all the others can stage it. [Handke] is allowed a lot of freedom, so give me some too,” he added.

In his article in Liberation Mr Handke goes on to write: “Let us stop comparing Slobodan Milosevic with Hitler. Let us stop drawing parallels between him and his wife Mira Markovic on one hand, and the Romanian dictator Ceausescu and his wife Elena on the other. And let’s stop calling camps established during the secessionist war in Yugoslavia, concentration camps.”

Those who, unlike Handke, were eyewitnesses to the horrors of Serbian concentration camps in Bosnia, like an American journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner, Roy Gutman, called these camps concentration camps and death camps.

Following his warped logic, Handke appealed to the wider public to stop making connection between Serbian military and paramilitary forces and slaughters of innocent civilians in Bosnia, including the most notorious one in Srebrenica, where at least 8000 Bosniak civilians, were killed by regular Serb forces under the command of Ratko Mladic.
Bozonnet gave a press conference on May 4, 2006 to expand on his decision:

For three weeks, I reviewed European history, from 1990 to date. I reviewed this terrible film! I reviewed it in my mind, ladies and gentlemen! I plunged back in this horror that ethnic cleansing was, the planning of these facts, of these crimes. I learned about all that Peter Handke had said, which I did not know . . . . I was scandalized by what Peter Handke said. In part I knew it but I did not know the extent: the work of historians systematically questioned, of war correspondents, of your papers, ladies and gentlemen, that have admirably informed us for years, that thanks to their work, their courage, pierced the wall of indifference. This is I found out what Peter Handke ridiculed….These are no longer suppositions, one cannot doubt Milosevic’s actions….it’s unbelievable, he does not know where is the world, he does not know where is the truth, he does not know where is history, he does not believe in the accounts from witnesses: that’s what he said on Milosevic’s grave!

Peter Handke was awarded the city of Düsseldorf’s Heine Prize for literature. The Heine Prize, endowed for 50,000 euros ($64,000), is one of the three highest-paying literature prizes in – guess where? – Germany, country with rich nazi past and never-ending Hitler supremacist nostalgia among young and old. The jury said Handke — like Heinrich Heine, the German poet after whom the prize is named — obstinately follows the way to an “open truth.” He puts forth his own poetic world view, in contrast to broader public opinion, they said.

The prize will be awared on Dec. 13.

  1. Anonymous
    May 30, 2006 at 2:38 pm

    Please note that Handke isn’t awarded yet but nominated for this literary price. And that this nomination is a result of the jury’s slim majority (only one vote) and is highly controverial in Germany.
    By the way, there are quite a lot of intelligent and decent people here in Germany, and there’s no reason to insult the Germans across-the-boad by comments like “country with rich Nazi past, never-ending Holocaust denial, incurable Anti Semitism & Islamophobism”.

  2. Owen
    May 31, 2006 at 7:04 am

    Handke’s interventions have routinely been criticised by his fellow-countryfolk and Germany is certainly not the only country where prominent individuals have expressed themselves in such an offensive way. Your anger at Handke is justified but your comments about Germany are disrespectful to the many decent-thinking Germans who don’t share his views (incidentally I’m British).

  3. Owen
    June 1, 2006 at 11:36 am

    I’m copying the text of a press release from Society for Threatened Peoples / Gesellschaft fuer bedrohte Voelher in Goettingen:

    PRESS RELEASE Düsseldorf/Göttingen, 31st May 2006

    No Heine Prize for Handke – Relief at decision of the Düsseldorf City Council

    “Intellectual support for genocide must not be rewarded”

    It was with relief that the Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) registered
    the decision of the SPD, FDP and Greens in the Düsseldorf City Council to
    prevent the donation of the Heinrich Heine Prize to Peter Handke. “The mind
    boggles at the notion of rewarding the intellectual support of genocide”,
    criticised the GfbV General Secretary, Tilman Zülch (at present in Erbil/Kurdistan) on Wednesday the vote of the independent jury for the Austrian writer. “The scandal is made even greater by the intentional misuse of the name of one of the most important German poets, the Jew, Heinrich Heine.”

    Precisely in Germany one ought to have more sensitivity for seeing that
    Handke´s “poetry” turns victims into criminals and criminals into victims. This was the charge brought against the jury, consisting of literature experts,
    members of the City Council and a representative of the province, which wanted to bestow on Handke the Heine Prize worth 50,000 euros.

    Handke has in the opinion of the GfbV turned himself into the “literary
    second of extreme chauvinism, so-called ethnic cleansing and genocide, also
    because he denied the War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague the right to pass judgment on the Serb dictator, Slobodan Milosevic.

    In 1996 the GfbV charged the writer of ignoring all evidence for the
    genocide in Bosnia with 200,000 dead, some 20,000 raped women, with over 100
    concentration and internment camps, as well as 324 mass graves which had by then been discovered. The human rights organisation published at the time under the title “The poet´s fear of reality” 16 contributions by writers, journalists and human rights experts**, who had reacted with indignation at Handke´s” Winter journey to the rivers Danube, Save, Morava and Drina or justice for Serbia”.

    “The fact that civilians were for years enclosed, starved and shot at in
    Bosnian towns, some of which were declared UN protected areas, evidently leaves Handke cold”, says the GfbV of Handke. Returning home from his “winter journey” he said: “The war, as served up to you by the media, was seen in a distorted way, you were the victims of a worldwide conspiracy of journalists at the expense of the Serbs.” The invitation of the GfbV to talk to the survivors of the genocide in Bosnia and visit the places where the massacres took place was turned down by the writer. A panel discussion at the theatre in Frankfurt with the GfbV General Secretary, Tilman Zülch, was broken off after the first few minutes by Handke because Zülch had raised the subject of the Serb concentration camps in Bosnia with the words: “Zülch, you arse-hole, the
    discussion is over.”

    ** Die Angst des Dichters vor der Wirklichkeit (“The poet´s fear of reality”) 16 answers to Peter Handke´s Winterreise nach Serbien (“Winter journey to Serbia”) published by Tilman Zülch, Steidl Verlag, Göttingen 1996 with contributions by Peter Schneider, Marcel Ophuls, Dzevad Karahasan, Bora Cosic, Günter Kunert, Wolfram Schütte, Gustav Seibt, Thomas Schmid, Ralf Caspary, Sonja Biserko, Wilfried F. Schoeller, Elisabeth von Thadden, Ed Vulliamy and Tilman Zülch.

    Gesellschaft fuer bedrohte Voelker e.V. (GfbV)
    Inse Geismar, Pressereferentin
    Postfach 2024, D-37010 Goettingen
    Tel. +49/551/49906-25, Fax:+49/551/58028
    E-Mail: presse@gfbv.de, Homepage:http://www.gfbv.de

  4. Anonymous
    June 1, 2006 at 10:37 pm

    In fact Handke didn’t deny the massacre of Srebenica and other war crimes in the Bosnian civil war at any time. He’s even recently claimed this massacre as “the worst crime angainst humanity since the end of the [second world] war”. (http://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/artikel/99/77022/)

    The reason why he is wrongly taken as a pro-Serbian propagandist is that he pointed to Serbian victims of this shameful civil war in times when the Bosniac-Serbian war crimes became known to the public. And his indeed questionable presence at Milisevic’s burial.
    Some say that he’s a kind of poet who doesn’t really care about reality but about his works, and he writes poetry but not reports like journalists ought to do.
    You can like this or not (I don’t), but you cannot allerge that he’s a war crime denier because this is clearly wrong. Many do this, but they haven’t obviously read his works in this range. I had to correct my mind on this as well.

  5. Anonymous
    June 21, 2006 at 10:18 am

    In his latest interview given to a Swiss paper, Handke said that Srebrenica was not a genocide or a massacre but a revenge for crimes against Serbs. I respect his literal work, but he has no right to hide behind his art. He is the one who has chosen to behave as politician. Now he has to deal with the public scrutiny as every politician does. It is clear that he is dishonest individual. Otherwise he would accept an invitation to meet the survivors of the genocide.

    August 7, 2006 at 3:43 am

    I doubt that the person who wrote the main entry ever read any of Handke’s five books the disintegration of Yugoslavia. Handke never denied anything, however he did not write his upset in the approved media terms; moreover, he looked at other matters during his travels in a stretch of land which he knows nearly like a native; he favored the continued existence of the Yugoslav federation, and thought, perhaps mistakenly, that that was all that Milosevics and the central governmnent wanted to do; more-over he pointed to the crimes committed by the Fascist successor to the Ustasha government in Zagreb; and the Bosnian Muslim crimes, and those of the Kosovo Albanians. He may be wrong in thinking of Milosevics as a tragic person. To blame that tragedy on one man is typical American thinking; it would be as if I blaned the US War Crimes in Vietam on President Johnson, or the current crimes that is the occupation of Iraq entirely on G.W, Bush, in which later case I probably would have an easier time in making out such a simple case. for us crimes see;



    November 27, 2006 at 4:50 am


    http://www.kultur.at/lesen/index.htm [IN german as is the one below]


    http://www.handke.scriptmania.com has a 15 piece of mine delving into the fair complexity of handke’s relationship. the poster appears not to have read his book “sommerlicher nachtrag” where handke has a surrogate go made exclaiming that he does not want to be a serb!

    there is the site
    http://www.handkeyugo.scriptmania.com which is a fair record of all that


    Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society
    SCRIPTMANIA PROJECT MAIN SITE: http://www.handke.scriptmania.com


    “Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde” [von Alvensleben]

  8. Anonymous
    January 1, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Let us cut this intellectual blasphemy short…. Just take a closer look at Handke’s life (especially childhood), his work and link this with his Milosevic endorsement – the only conclusion a person can make is that Handke is a SEROIUSLY DISTURBED PERSON!

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