Letter to the University of Minnesota’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
CARL SAVICH IS GENOCIDE DENIER AND UNRELIABLE SOURCE FOR THE HOLOCAUST RESEARCH
Robert H. Bruininks, President
University of Minnesota
202 Morrill Hall
100 Church Street S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
University of Minnesota
100 Nolte Center West
315 Pillsbury Drive
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Esteemed President Bruininks and Faculty and Staff members at the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies:
The Congress of North American Bosniaks (CNAB), an umbrella organization representing American and Canadian Bosniaks, is appalled that an esteemed institution such as the University of Minnesota has published Serbian propaganda on its web page.
Please refer to the web address: www.chgs.umn.edu/museum/memorials/bosnia/ where the topic of Holocaust and the recent genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina are viewed from a single and unfortunately extremely biased source – that of one Carl Savich. Moreover, the references he makes to serbianna.net reveal just what an ultra-nationalist Savich is.1
Instead of relying on the abundance of material and research done by highly respected international / US historians and academics such as Dr. Noel Malcolm, Dr. Marko Attila Hoare, Dr. Ivo Banac, Michael A. Sells, Dr. Robert J. Donia, Dr. John V. A. Fine to mention just a few, your institution chose to promote the personal agenda of the obscure and biased Savich who does not even list genuine verified historical evidence and even goes so far to add falsehood to his claims stating that the “Entire Jewish and Serbian communities in the Sarajevo region were destroyed.” As post-war Yugoslav censuses have already proven, this was not the case and the Jewish-Bosnian community remained in Sarajevo where it coexisted and prospered with all others for the previous 500 years – until the most recent 1992 brutal aggression on Bosnia forced Jews and Bosnian Muslims to flee as refugees which resulted in a sharp decline in numbers.
Bosnian historians and academics such as the late Dr. Muhamed Hadzijahic, Dr. Atif Purivatra, Dr. Branko Djurdjev, and Valdimir Dedijer studied the topic of the Holocaust within the wider context of WWII and Balkan wars. In more recent times Nihad Halilbegovic, Dr. Paul Cohen, and Dr. Smail Cengic wrote extensively on Holocaust in Bosnia and all its often unknown and denied victims. In particular, very thorough research from the Nazi archives presented in the following books Zijo Sulejmanpasic “13. SS Handzar Division: the truth and lies”; George Lepre “Himmler’s Bosnian Division” Rolf Michaelis “Gebirgsdivisionen der Waffen-SS”. These are all available today in English.
The French town Villefrance-de-Rouergue has honored Bosnian soldiers every year on September 17th as anti-fascists for the past 6 decades.
Furthermore, Savich deliberately skates over the fact that in October 1942, in the midst of Nazi-occupied Europe and alone on the Balkans, thousands of Bosnian Muslims signed a petition, submitted to Croatia’s Nazi regime requesting legal and physical protection for their Jewish and Roma neighbors. Therefore individuals mentioned in Savich’s quotes and on the UoM web page are rather the exceptions than the rule for Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims). In fact, many Bosniak Muslims hid their numerous Jewish neighbors and their most prized treasures, causing many of these valiant Muslims to become persecuted themselves – by Croatian Nazi and Serb Communist regimes alike. The example of Dervis Korkut’s family is only one such among many.1
What Carl Savich and Bosnia genocide deniers all have in common is a desire to re-frame Serbian war crimes as heroic acts while demonizing the Muslim inhabitants of the Balkans, “thereby countering the perceived brainwashing of the human race by imperialist propaganda” as Savich likes to call US media. Please refer to the attached articles from Serbianna.net web site. Such a radical position as that has no place in an institution of higher learning. Furthermore, members of Carl Savich’s circle often seem genuinely unable to distinguish between the recent Balkan wars and World War II and for this reason, more than any other part of the world, the former Yugoslav federal state of Bosnia-Herzegovina is portrayed as the place of “civil war” and “ancient hatreds” instead of “bridge between the cultures” as Bosnians themselves call it.
It is terrifying to read the claim quoted on Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies page that temples of faith and compassions, “the churches, the cathedrals, the mosques, and the synagogues are the remaining symbols of this battle and conflict between cultures and empires.” For Bosnians these institutions have always been a place for interfaith dialogue, ancient wisdom and learning and any hate preached from the pulpit was brought from the outside, not conceived by Bosnians.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has already become a moral battlefield, a “world war” if you like, “in terms of the focus, money, alliances formed (Russia, Serbia, and Greece against the West) and alliances discredited (such as NATO, the OSCE, the European Community, and the UN).”
Please do no allow the name and the history of the Bosnian people to become victimized by Serbian propaganda via so called “Holocaust education.” The denial of the genocide against Bosniaks puts the credibility of the entire University of Minnesota at stake and we as the representatives of Bosnian Diaspora in North America must protect Bosniak honor from bigotry.
Thank you for your consideration.
On behalf of the CNAB
President of the Board of Directors
Cc: Faculty and Staff at the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
1. This is an excerpt from Carl Savitch’s article “U.S. Presidential Election 2008” from November 2, 2008; “Like Obama and Biden, McCain and Palin seek to continue the anti-Serbian, anti-Russian, and anti-Orthodox policies that have characterized U.S. foreign policy since the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1992. McCain and Palin seek the expansion of NATO in the Balkans and in the Caucasus. Like Obama and Biden, both seek the military and strategic encirclement of the Russian Federation and both seek to maintain anti-Serbian policies, preventing a resurgence of Serbian “nationalism” and drastically restricting Serbian sovereignty over its own territory. http://www.serbianna.com/columns/savich/105.shtml
2. Sarajevo Haggadah http://povcrystal.blogspot.com/2009/05/sarajevo-haggadah.html
RESPONSE FROM THE CENTER FOR HOLOCAUST AND GENOCIDE STUDIES
I apologize for this mistake. I have sent a request to our website team asking them to remove the link to the Carl Savich article and also to remove the reference to Carl Savich in the first paragraph. This should be done either today or tomorrow.
Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
University of Minnesota
101 Nolte Center
315 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis MN 55455
NEBOJSA MALIC’S TWISTED MIND OF GENOCIDE DENIAL
Discredited genocide denier and an amateur ‘historian,’ Nebojsa Malic (photo), is back to his old tricks again. As a long-time apologist for Serb(ian) war crimes, Malic acts as a parrot for shameless Belgrade propaganda.
Malic does not have any PhD qualification in history, He has never held an academic post, published his work in an academic journal, or even visited an archive. For the purpose of self-promotion, he alleges that he “had exposure to diplomatic and media affairs in Sarajevo,” but our sources in Sarajevo could not confirm his so called “exposure” to anything except numerous racist web sites that enjoy republishing his propaganda.
Since 2000, unqualified Nebojsa Malic has been tirelessly writing for Antiwar.com – a website where conspiracy theorists and Srebrenica genocide deniers come together to rewrite the history, and condemn the “West” for being “Anti-Serb.” In his mind, Serbs and Serbia are so “important” that the “West” had to conspire against them.
In his latest genocide denial article, titled “Matter of Opinion,” Malic claims that the Srebrenica genocide case rests on only one witness, namely Drazen Erdemovic. To be exact, “the ICTY’s entire case on Srebrenica rests on the testimony of one man,” clueless Malic alleges in his article.
But, the facts tell a different story. In a landmark genocide case involving Radislav Krstic, more than 100 Srebrenica genocide witnesses were called to testify (see Case Information Sheet). Since then, at least seven (7) other Serbs were convicted on genocide charges by the Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina with international judges presiding.
To prove his “one witness” argument, Malic provided a link to John Laughland’s article in which Laughland reviewed a book of an obscure Bulgarian author Germinal Civikov. In his book review, Laughland cited Jonathan Rooper as an authority on Srebrenica. What a joke. One can notice a circle of genocide deniers quoting each other as sources – how convenient. Both Laughland and Rooper are well known supporters of Milosevic-Karadzic apologist camp. Furthermore, they are shameless Srebrenica genocide deniers. Like Malic, they have no credibility and no academic journal would even take their opinions into consideration.
John Laughland is a member of the so called “British Helsinki Human Rights Group,” which is not a genuine human rights organization. Despite its name, the organization is not affiliated to the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights. Laughland’s organization appears to have fallen on hard times recently, with its funding falling by nearly 99% after 2001. A possible reason is suggested by The Economist, which reports that “the group lost almost all its supporters when it threw its weight behind people like Mr Milosevic.”
Malic’s weak arguments are followed by a string of half-truths and distortions. He blames Bosniak victims – who found themselves trapped in the Srebrenica ghetto – for using the enclave to attack “surrounding Serb villages constantly” and for not demilitarizing. However, according to the United Nations’ findings, the Serbs were asked to withdraw their heavy weapons before the Bosniaks gave up their weapons. Serbs never demilitarized around Srebrenica. Heavily militarized Serb villages around Srebrenica were used as bases for attacks on Srebrenica. In order to prolong the suffering of innocent victims, Serbs around Srebrenica would barricade Bosnian Muslim women, children, and elderly men in abandoned houses and then set them on fire alive – see photo gallery of burned Bosnian Muslim civilians in 1992 (3 years before Serbs committed the genocide!).
Recently, Srebrenica survivors commemorated 17th anniversary of the Bosnian Serb attacks on Srebrenica. Serbs started massacring Bosnian Muslim civilians in May 1992. This was more more than three years before the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, read here.
Malic is troubled because Srebrenica Genocide Blog – at the request of our Jewish readers – published historical facts about Serbia’s Nazi past and Serbian involvement in both the Holocaust of Jews (read here) and the genocide of Bosnian Muslims in World War II (read here). To this day, Serbian Nazi Chetnik supporters, like Nebojsa Malic, refuse to acknowledge the Serbian involvement in the holocaust of Jews in Serbia, as well as Serbian involvement in World War II genocide of Bosnian Muslims (see 1943 genocide of Bosniaks in and around Srebrenica).
Nebojsa Malic is so blinded by a radical Serbian ultra-nationalism that he declares Srebrenica genocide mass graves “nonexistent.” Furthermore, Malic claims that “the very attempt to call what happened in Srebrenica ‘genocide’ ought to be an insult to the documented, systematically exterminated victims of the Holocaust.” In fact, his statement is an insult to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum that recognizes Srebrenica Genocide. It is also an insult to the Jewish Holocaust survivors, like Ellie Wiesel and Samuel R. Harris, who also recognize Srebrenica genocide and condemn war criminals like Radovan Karadzic.
As a sideline, it is important to note that the ICTY found the acts of genocide were perpetrated not only in Srebrenica, but also elsewhere in Bosnia (example: Krajisnik case). However, in Krajisnik’s case, the intent – notoriously difficult to prove – had not been established. With respect to 100,000 dead figure, it only includes known direct deaths. It is not a final number of dead in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The ICTY-backed Research and Documentation Center in Sarajevo is preparing a new research that would take into account indirect deaths and population losses, which could amount to another 100,000 victims (or over 200,000 total).
Little does Nebojsa Malic know. On 26 September 1997 Germany handed down the first Bosnian Genocide conviction. Nikola Jorgic was found guilty by the Düsseldorf, Germany, Oberlandesgericht (Higher Regional Court) on 11 counts of genocide. His appeal was rejected by the German Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Supreme Court) on 30 April 1999. He was sentenced to four terms of life imprisonment for his involvement in the Bosnian Genocide. Jorgic challenged the verdict at the European Court of Human Rights, arguing the German court did not have jurisdiction over the case. On July 12th 2007 – responding to Jorgic’s appeal – European Court of Human Rights upheld Bosnia Genocide judgment and a life term for a Nicola Jorgic for committing acts of genocide in Bosnia during the ethnic cleansing in 1992.
In his “Matter of Opinion” article, unqualified Malic attacks the reality of Bosnian concentration camps by repeating old denial arguments produced by an obscure communist magazine known as the “Living Marxism.” The magazine’s self-proclaimed “investigative journalist” Thomas Deichmann (who had no training in journalism whatsoever) served as an apologist for the Serbian war crimes in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The same defunct pro-Milosevic magazine claimed that the pictures of emaciated Bosniaks and Croats in concentration camps were fake. The magazine failed to prove “nonexistence” of concentration camps in Bosnia and the ITN lawsuit forced them into bankruptcy.
The existence of the Serb-run concentration camps – in which Bosniaks and Croats were tortured and killed – was confirmed by numerous witnesses and survivors at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Furthermore, the authenticity of concentration camp photographs was also confirmed by the UN-backed ICTY forensic experts. See our photo gallery: Remembering Concentration Camps in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Also see, Jerusalem Post remembers Bosniaks and Croats in Serb-operated Concentration Camps in Bosnia.
Considering that Nebojsa Malic refers to the U.N.-backed ICTY as the “Hague Inquisition” and “the illegitimate ICTY,” we wonder what else can be said about Nebojsa Malic’s credibility? What else can be said about a genocide denier; a man without credibility; a man blinded by a radical Serbian ultranationalism; a man without appreciation for historical facts; a man disconnected with reality. No wonder a long time Jewish friend of ours described Nebojsa Malic as “insensitive pig.”
Opinions are cheap. Everybody has them, yet they are not worth much. On the other hand, Srebrenica genocide is not a matter of anybody’s opinion; it’s a judicial fact recognized first by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and subsequently by the International Court of Justice. End of story.
Herman still uses his old selective arguments distorting facts and quoting unreliable sources, such as former paid Serb lobbyist and alleged rapist Gen. Lewis MacKenzie who had never been in Srebrenica. Here are some of the most interesting myths that Herman actively promotes.
MYTH: In his latest article, titled “Serb Demonization as Propaganda Coup” unqualified Edward S. Herman challenges DNA science and claims that the “[Bosniak]post-2000 findings and DNA identifications have been further compromised by their very unscientific handling of the body remains (in the ground five or more years.”
FACT: The forensic remains and DNA of Srebrenica genocide victims have been processed according to the highest international standards and by the world-renowned ICMP (International Commission for Missing Persons). You can read more about forensicshere.
MYTH: Edward S. Herman goes on to criticize the U.N.-based International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for not including Serb forensic expert Dr. Zoran Stankovicas a witness. Herman claims that “Serb forensic expert Dr. Zoran Stankovic never testified at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.”
FACT: The fact is that he did. In his own words, Dr. Zoran Stankovic said:
“I testified before this Tribunal on two occasions. Once, I was present during the proceedings of General Krstic, and then in May I was an expert witness for the Defence in the trial of Milutinovic, Sainovic, Ojdanic, Pavkovic,and Lazarevic, and Lukic.”
MYTH: Edward Herman claims that Bosniaks in Srebrenica never demilitarized. Thus far, he suggests they were legitimate military target.
FACT: Apparently, Herman is not aware that Serbs around Srebrenica had never demilitarized, even though they were required to do so as per the demilitarization agreement. The Bosnian Government had entered into demilitarization agreements with the Bosnian Serbs. On 21 April 1993, the UNPROFOR issued press release saying that the process of demilitarization of Bosnian defenders of Srebrenica had been a success. According to the Agreement, the Serbs should withdraw their heavy weapons before the Bosniaks gave up their weapons. The Serbs refused to demilitarize. They never honored their part of agreement. Instead, Serb military and paramilitary troops continued using surrounding Serb villages as a base for attacks on (and brutal siege of) Srebrenica.
MORE FACTS: As per other circus allegations promoted by Edward Herman, please keyword-search our blog and you will find answers.
1. Photos of Serb terror around Srebrenica: Serb villages around Srebrenica used as military bases used to launch attacks on Bosniak civilians.
2. Human Rights Watch, ICTY Prosecutors, and U.N.-endorsed Research and Documentation Center – Allegations about 3,000 Serb “victims” around Srebrenica are inacurate.
3. Edward Herman’s allegations about the list of missing at Srebrenica.
4. Srebrenica numbers – Quick Facts.
PHOTO: The 1995 Srebrenica genocide resulted in a mass scale ethnic cleansing and forcible deportations of 25,000-30,000 people, as well as summary executions of at least 8372 men, boys, and elderly.
On his web site, Stephen Karganovic accuses this blog of being “Moslem-sponsored Srebrenica Genocide Blog.” The founder of this blog is not a Muslim – as Karganovic claims, nor is this blog sponsored by anyone. The nationality of the blog’s editor is none of Karganovic’s business, especially because Karganovic associates himself with people who hate Jews.
Is there a point in arguing with Karadzic’s sympathizers, followers, and apologists? According to the Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel: “No point in arguing – the pigheaded Karadzic denied it all.” Srebrenica genocide deniers are no different than their”role model,” Radovan Karadzic, who is currently on trial for genocide at the Hague.
UNQUALIFIED KARGANOVIC CHALLENGES FORENSIC SCIENCE
Stefan Karganovic’s lack of respect for DNA science is appaling. On his genocide denial web site, conveniently titled “Srebrenica Historical Project,” he alleges the following:
“Out of the 8000 victims who were allegedly shot by the army of the Republic of Srpska, there is no relevant expert evidence for even 10% to prove that. The material cited by the Moslem side as evidence would not pass muster with any professionally responsible crime lab, let alone a serious forensic examination in a court of law in the civilized world.”
Karganovic goes on to claim that “Serbian civilian victims… have been processed according to the highest internationally recognized standards,” while forensic examinations of Bosniak victims “would not pass muster with any professionally responsible crime lab.” Of course, his self-serving allegations are nonsense. Each exhumed victim of the Srebrenica genocide has gone through extensive forensic and DNA analysis by the world renowned ICMP labs with the most advanced DNA system in the World. On the other side, war-time Serb casualties from Bosnia and Croatia had been ‘processed’ and ‘investigated’ mostly by radical Serbian ultra-nationalists in Belgrade. For example, military pathologist Zoran Stankovic – a well known Serbian ultra-nationalist and a personal friend of indicted Serb war criminal Ratko Mladic. Stankovic’s ultanationalist forensics were gratefully accepted by media outlets like Glas Javnosti and Politika – owned and operated by the members of a right-wing ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party. In 2007, Glas Javnosti misused photos of Srebrenica genocide mass graves and portrayed them as graveyards Serbs who died as a result of the so called “Muslim-Croat terror.”
Unqualified Karganovic distorts the facts behind forensic evidence, without providing any sources or evidence for his dubious claims. Here is what he said:
“If a public hearing on the merits of the resolution had been held, the parliamentary committee would undoubtedly have been informed that 8000 Muslims were not lined up and shot and that the utmost number of victims of the Srebrenica massacre in July of 1995 is around 3400, assuming that each forensic report is taken at its face value as proof of execution, something that is not even theoretically possible. That is because slightly over 50% of those post-mortem reports refer to body fragments, such as a jaw or a femur, which zealous ICTY forensic experts elevated to the status of ‘cases’ but from which no credible conclusions about the cause and manner of death can be drawn. In fact, in about 50% of the cases, ICTY forensic specialists themselves stated in their reports that they are unable to determine the cause and manner of death, notwithstanding their obvious motivation to present satisfactory results to the institution which hired them.”
On his web site, Karganovic refers to “several thousands” Serb victims in villages around Srebrenica – a number that had been grossly inflated and found to be inaccurate by the UN-endorsed Research and Documentation Center, ICTY’s Office of the Prosecutor, and Human Rights Watch. In reality, between 1992-1995, Serbs suffered 151 civilian casualties around Srebrenica (not “several thousands” as claimed by Karganovic) . During the same period, Bosniaks (Muslims) suffered approximately 1,000 victims as a result of the Bosnian Serb terror from militarized villages around Srebrenica – (no need to remind our readers that this mass scale murder of Muslim civilians in and around Srebrenica occurred well before the July 1995 genocide).
STEFAN KARGANOVIC’S ANTI-SEMITIC FRIEND
On his “Srebrenica Historical Project” web site, Stefan Karganovic devoted a lengthy page to his activist-friend – Dmitar Stoyanov, Bulgarian EU parliament deputy – praising him of saving “the honor of the European Parliament” for his opposition to the Srebrenica Genocide Resolution. Stoyanov is better known as hater of Jewish people or anti-semite. According to IsralNetDaily, Stoyanov said that “Jews have too much media influence and exploit economic crises in poor countries.”
Karganovic’s associate, Dmitar Stoyanov, told Britain’s Daily Telegraph that, “There are a lot of powerful Jews, with a lot of money, who are paying the media to form the social awareness of the people. They are also playing with economic crises in countries like Bulgaria and getting rich. These are the concrete realities.” Stoyanov and his anti-semitic Attack Party are also known for their hatred of Bulgaria’s Roma, or Gypsy population, which they label as criminal and lazy. The Attack Party’s leader, Volen Siderov, who has made numerous anti-Jewish statements, finished second in the first round of Bulgarian presidential elections last October with 21.5 percent of the vote.
EQUALIZATION OF VICTIMS AND CRIMES
In his carefully crafted argument, he presents sugar-coated version of the Srebrenica genocide denial by evoking emotions of Serb casualties to introduce – what he calls – the ‘positive aspect’ of his motivations:
“What we wish to achieve – and now we pass on to the positive aspect of our answer – is to ensure that victims from around Srebrenica during the three year period, 1992-1995, receive the same notice and the same recognition as Moslem victims from Srebrenica during the three day period in July of 1995. Period. That is all. Has anyone anything to say against this?”
First of all, Karganovic’s attempt to label 151 civilian Serb casualties in villages around Srebrenica as victims of genocide is unacceptable and factually wrong. Karganovic’s case for giving them the “same recognition” is based on deliberate and motivated misrepresentations promoted by his own genocide denial “Srebrenica Historical Project” farce. Second of all, there can never be any equivalence or comparison between the individual war crimes and the monstrous crime of genocide. The extreme gravity of genocide makes it the crime of all crimes. Third of all, isn’t it time for Karganovic to recognize genocide at Srebrenica and stop lecturing us what we should and should not do? If Karganovic wants to be taken more seriously (which is impossible considering his public denials of Srebrenica genocide), then why doesn’t he acknowledge that Serbs around Srebrenica slaughtered approximately 1,000 Bosniaks between 1992 and 1995? And we are talking about events before the 1995 Srebrenica genocide.
People like Karganovic are more than willing to accept the version of history that suites their pre-conceived conclusions. This version of ‘history’ is excessively promoted by the Serbian Radical Party establishment. According to Human Rights Watch findings published on July 11, 2006:
“The ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party launched an aggressive campaign to prove that Muslims had committed crimes against thousands of Serbs in the area. The campaign was intended to diminish the significance of the July 1995 crime, and many in Serbia were willing to accept that version of history.
But as the Oric judgment makes clear, the facts do not support the equivalence thesis. Take the events in the village of Kravica, on the Serb Orthodox Christmas on January 7, 1993, for example. The alleged killing of scores of Serbs and destruction of their houses in the village is frequently cited in Serbia as the key example of the heinous crimes committed by the Muslim forces around Srebrenica. In fact, the Oric judgment confirms that there were Bosnian Serb military forces present in the village at the time of attack.”
Commenting on the allegations of Serb victims around Srebrenica, the Office of the Prosecutor within the U.N.-based International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia cautioned that Serb casualties around Srebrenica cannot be counted as victims in the same way as victims of the Srebrenica genocide:
“Military or Police casualties from combat should not be considered victims in a criminal investigation context, in the same way people are victims from war crimes, such as summary executions. Before speaking about the whole area of Podrinja, including at least the municipalities of Srebrenica, Bratunac, Vlasenica and Skelani, I would comment on the various figures circulating around the Kravica attack of January 1993. The figures circulating of hundreds of victims or claiming that all 353 inhabitants were ‘virtually completely destroyed do not reflect the reality.”
A CASE OF RETALIATION FOR “EARLIER CRIMES”?
Stefan Karganovic’s logic is based on a false assumption that Srebrenica massacre was a result of the so called Serb ‘retaliation’ for “earlier crimes” that Bosniaks allegedly committed against the ‘demilitarized’ Serbs around Srebrenica. At least, that’s how Karganovic sees his own version of history, based on his own opinion – not facts. But, the reality is different.
What Karganovic refuses to mention is the fact that Serbs stationed in villages around Srebrenica never demilitarized, even though they were required to demilitarize as per the demilitarization agreement. Militarized Serb-held villages around Srebrenica served as the bases from which Serbs launched military attacks on the Enclave – killing Bosnian Muslim civilians at will. For example, in 1993, Serbs from militarized villages around Srebrenica massacred 62 Bosniak children in Srebrenica, and wounded 152 (video link). In a period between 1992 and 1995 (and these events preceded genocide), Serbs in villages around Srebrenica killed approximately 1,000 Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) civilians, torched all Muslim villages in the area, and committed mass scale ethnic cleansing, rapes and murders in the Podrinje region.
In response to Karganovic’s allegation, here is a short excerpt from United Nations’ General Assembly Resolution 53/35, quote:
“A third accusation leveled at the Bosniak defenders of Srebrenica is that they provoked the Serb offensive by attacking out of that safe area. Even though this accusation is often repeated by international sources, there is no credible evidence to support it. Dutchbat personnel on the ground at the time assessed that the few ‘raids’ the Bosniaks mounted out of Srebrenica were of little or no military significance. These raids were often organized in order to gather food, as the Serbs had refused access for humanitarian convoys into the enclave. Even Serb sources approached in the context of this report acknowledged that the Bosniak forces in Srebrenica posed no significant military threat to them. The biggest attack the Bosniaks launched out of Srebrenica during the more than two years which is was designated a safe area appears to have been the raid on the village of Visnjica, on 26 June 1995, in which several houses were burned, up to four Serbs were killed and approximately 100 sheep were stolen. In contrast, the Serbs overran the enclave two weeks later, driving tens of thousands from their homes, and summarily executing thousands of men and boys. The Serbs repeatedly exaggerated the extent of the raids out of Srebrenica as a pretext for the prosecution of a central war aim: to create geographically contiguous and ethnically pure territory along the Drina, while freeing their troops to fight in other parts of the country. The extent to which this pretext was accepted at face value by international actors and observers reflected the prism of “moral equivalency” through which the conflict in Bosnia was viewed by too many for too long.”
PRAISING DENIERS, CONDEMNING HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS
Throughout his genocide denial web site, Karganovic re-publishes outdated and already discredited diatribes written by science-fiction experts advocating Srebrenica genocide denial. No new names here. It’s an old circle of deniers that quote themselves. To name a few: Christopher James – Slobodan Milosevic apologist; Tara McCormack – writer for SPIKED, the successors of Revolutionary Communist Party’s LM/Living Marxism that participated in denial of existence of Serb-operated Concentration Camps in Bosnia (see photos of Bosniak and Croat civilians in Concentration Camps); Lewis MacKenzie – alleged concentration camp rapist who was never at Srebrenica and therefore not someone who argues on the basis of an adequately informed position (MacKenzie’s Srebrenica genocide denial debate is based on a wilful disregard of ICTY deliberations). On Karganovic’s web site, we also find a group of other heavily unreliable sources, like George Bogdanich, Diana Johnstone, Phillip Corwin, Carl Savich, Michael Parenti, Edward Herman, Jonathan Rooper, and other revisionists and apologists for war crimes and genocide.
Karganovic refers to Srebrenica genocide as “the phony Srebrenica narrative,”and labels Serbian human rights activists as “Self-Hating Serbs.” The target of Karganovic’s rage is projected toward respected Serbian human rights activists with an international repute, namely Natasa Kandic, Biljana Kovacevic-Vuco, and Sonja Biserko. He also targets other respected Serb journalists, like Svetlana Lukic and Svetlana Vukovic. Vojvodina political activist Nenad Canak, who argued in support of a change in Serbia’s criminal code to make genocide denial a criminal offense, can also find himself on Karganovic’s “Self-Hating Serbs” list.
Furthermore, Karganovic goes on to condemn legal findings of the Srebrenica genocide handed down by the two highest World Courts (ICJ and ICTY), arguing in his own stupidity that “the truth needs no laws to support it.” His version of the “truth” is, of course, manufactured and promoted by the Serbian ultra-nationalist circles. Karganovic’s “truth” is based on unsubstianted personal opinions, a cricle of sources with no credibility (we already mentioned some of them above), manipulations, fallacies, and distortions used in Srebrenica genocide denial purposes. In other words, his version of the “truth” is a bold faced lie.
KARGANOVIC’S PHOTOS OF SERB GRAVESTONES
Stefan Karganovic published a gallery of Serb gravestones he claims to be located in Srebrenica. He labeled all photos with one word: Srebrenica. In fact, these gravestones are located at a Serb Military Cemetery in a nearby ethnically cleansed town of Bratunac (bordering Srebrenica municipality). The cemetery contains gravestones of Serb soldiers (Chetniks), most of whom died attacking “safe haven” area of Sarajevo. They died under the leadership of two Bosnian Serb terrorists, namely Gen. Stanislav Galic and Gen. Dragoljub Milosevic.
The Bosnian Serb Gen. Stanislav Galic had been convicted on terrorist charges for his involvement in terrorizing citizens of Sarajevo during the longest siege in the modern European history. Galic was sentenced to life imprisonment by the U.N. based court at the Hague. Another Serb General, Dragoljub Milosevic, had also been convicted on terror charges and sentenced to 33 years in jail for his involvement in Sarajevo terror campaign.
According to the Research and Documentation Center in Sarajevo (research data certified by the experts from the U.N.-based International Criminal Tribunal):
“Under the Dayton Peace Accords, the suburbs of Sarajevo held by the VRS [Bosnian Serb Army] were to be re-integrated into the city of Sarajevo . The then leadership of the RS called on the local Serb population to leave Sarajevo and even take the graves of their loved ones with them. In fact, such a large majority followed the instructions that parts of the city of Sarajevo remained deserted for months. The remnants of their loved ones have been buried in Bratunac after the war, but their deaths are presented as the result of actions taken by the Bosnian Army units from Srebrenica.”
WHY KARGANOVIC CHOSE LOCAL CIVIL COURT?
Karganovic’s goal is to make grossly inflated numbers of Serb casualties around Srebrenica “the subject of an official finding by a foreign court,” namely a local Dutch civil court which is unqualified to pass judgments of international importance, especially judgments that concern grave violations of war crimes in another country. Only the UN-sponsored International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia can deliberate serious issues of war crimes in the Former Yugoslavia and make factual verdicts based on the international law. The local Dutch court that Karganovic filed his lawsuit with is the same local court that dismissed the case filed by Mothers of Srebrenica Association against the Netherlands for the failure to prevent Srebrenica genocide in 1995. Karganovic’s case will also likely be dissmissed – and he knows it – but he will use bits and pieces of information from the trial transcripts to support his discredited claims and continue misinforming the public.
AND THE LAST POINT, BUT NOT LEAST
To prove his point about the Serbian ‘victimhood’ in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Stephen Karganovic uses the so called “UN Document” titled “Memorandum on War Crimes and Crimes of Genocide in Eastern Bosnia (communes of Bratunac, Skelani and Srebrenica) committed against the Serbian population from April 1992 to April 1993.” This document, filed under “A/46/171 and S/25635“, does NOT contain any official U.N. conclusions. The copy of this document is used on many Srebrenica genocide denial web sites, one of them being “Emperor’s Clothes” (web site run by Jared Israel, long-time Milosevic’s apologist and disgraced Srebrenica Genocide denier). The document had been carefully drafted by Slobodan Milosevic’s “Yugoslav State Commission for War Crimes and Genocide” and submitted to the U.N. on June 2 1993 by Serbian ambassador Dragomir Djokic. At the time, Djokic had worked in concert with then-Bosnian Serb “Iron Lady” Biljana Plavsic, professor of biology whose ‘scientific research’ included such genetic discoveries as her theory that “Muslims are genetically deformed”.
READ MORE & LEARN MORE:
1. In 1993, Serbs from militarized villages around Srebrenica massacred 62 Bosniak children in Srebrenica, and wounded 152
2. Stefan Karganovic (Stephen Karganovic) – Denier of Genocide at Srebrenica
3. Karganovic’s Genocide Denial Circle of Friends: Alexandar Gavrilovic and Marco Van Hees
4. Serbs File Lawsuit Against the U.N. to Diminish Significance of the Srebrenica Genocide
5. Dutchbat III Veterans Condemn Marco Van Hees’ Claims About Srebrenica
6. Testimony of Christina Schmitz and Daniel O’Brien (Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières)
7. Lost Images of Srebrenica Genocide: Serbs Tried to Hide Evidence of Genocide Against Muslims
8. Dissecting Milosevic’s Propaganda Machine, Spreading Fear and Disinformation
9. Beware of BalkanPeace.org (aka: “Balkan Peace”), Toronto-based Denial NGO
10. So called “Jasenovac Research Institute” run by Srebrenica Genocide Deniers and Serb War Crimes Apologists
11. Photo forgeries of Serb “victims” in Villages Around Srebrenica Used to Justify Genocide against the Bosnian Muslim Population
Ljiljana Bulatovic-Medic, the author of several ‘books’ celebrating indicted war criminals and denying genocide in Srebrenica, is a Serbian extremist writer and a ‘source’ without any credibility.
PHOTO: You’re looking at a face of Ljiljana Bulatovic, Serbian extremist writer and Srebrenica genocide denier. In May 2005, Ljiljana Bulatovic participated in Milivoje Ivanisevic’s Srebrenica genocide denial “panel discussion” titled “Truth about Srebrenica” at the law school at the University of Belgrade. She said that “there was no genocide in Srebrenica” and that “Karadzic and Mladic are truly heroes of Serbian nation.” She called for graves of Srebrenica genocide victims to be removed from ‘Serbian’ Srebrenica to the Bosniak-Croat Federation entity, because the graves “occupy a very productive part of land which should be used in agricultural production.”
FACT #5: The Serbs never demilitarized around Srebrenica. Instead, Bosnian Serb military and paramilitary troops continued using surrounding Serb villages to launch attacks on Srebrenica and kill trapped civilians. In 1993, for example, 62 Bosniak children were massacred and 152 wounded as a result of a single attack coming from surrounding Serb-held villages. (see: U.N. Report: The Fall of Srebrenica)
Buyer Beware: Here is a short review of “Krici i Opomena,” the latest book written by a radical Serbian ultra-nationalist writer Ljiljana Bulatovic-Medic:
There is a new Srebrenica genocide denial / Srebrenica genocide justification book written by discredited Srebrenica genocide denier Ljiljana Bulatovic (aka: Ljiljana Bulatovic-Medic). The book ‘Screams and the Omen’ (Krici i Opomena) contains depressingly familiar rhetoric of manufactured lies and distortions fabricated by the ultra-nationalist Srebrenica genocide denial factories in Serbia. As respected British historian, Dr Marko Attila Hoare, once noted: “The average MPhil student here at Cambridge would be embarrassed to produce the sort of rubbish churned out by Michael Parenti, Diane Johnstone, Kate Hudson and other ill-informed genocide deniers…“ We agree.
In Ljiljana Bulatovic’s twisted mind, Ratko Mladic is a ‘hero’ and the symbol of everything ‘good’ Serb people have to offer. On the other hand, crimes like Markale market massacres in Sarajevo (see Q/A #12) and Srebrenica genocide are just another examples of ‘western conspiracy’ against ‘courageous’ Serb people. In fact, this is not the first extremist book she published. Ljiljana Bulatovic wrote a number of radical ultra-nationalist books celebrating genocide and Bosnian Serb war criminals.
In 2002, Ljiljana Bulatovic published another book titled “Radovan” (2nd edition). The book follows usual war-crimes apologist agenda and radical ultra-nationalist rhetoric praising the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic as being the best among Serbs. Karadzic is currently in prison facing two separate counts of genocide, and other crimes against humanity.
Updated: October 17, 2008.
PHOTO: Srebrenica genocide mass grave at Pilica farm, twenty feet deep and a hundred feet long, was excavated by forensic pathologists in 1996. Photo by Gilles Peress (from The Graves: Srebrenica and Vukovar [Scalo Books, 1998]). At least 8,372 men, children and elderly were summarily executed and dumped into mass graves during 1995 genocide in Srebrenica. In a U.N. assisted ethnic cleansing, at least 20,000 women were forcibly expelled from the enclave. As the ICTY Judges found, the decision not to kill all women and children may be explained by the Bosnian Serbs’ sensitivity to public opinion.
(Estimated reading time: 15 minutes)
1. Seeking help to deny genocide in Srebrenica
2. Response to Stefan Karganovic, denier of genocide in Srebrenica
3. Generating media attention to deny genocide in Srebrenica
4. Editors’ Pick: Grossly inflated (and UN-discredited) numbers of Serb victims used to deny genocide in Srebrenica
1. Seeking help to deny genocide in Srebrenica
Karganovic is a man of many ‘talents,’ but he is not a lawyer. He is currently in the Netherlands, working as an “interpreter” for the defence of a convicted Serbian war criminal Momcilo Krajisnik at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Previously, he worked as an interpreter for the Salvation Army in Seattle, WA.
Recently, he tried to pass himself as a person with credibility. He told B92 journalists that the Bosniak victims cannot be denied, but that he wants to talk about “the story of the Serb victims during the war in the Srebrenica area between 1992 and 1995.” He added that “the NGO’s goal is to uncover the truth of what happened during the war in the various municipalities of the Srebrenica region.” He even announced legal action against the UN and the Netherlands.
And then we received an E-mail from krajisnikcase@*****.com, signed by Stefan Karganovic himself, asking for assistance to “investigate the allegations of genocide against Moslem prisoners and correct the record on that score.” Note that he used the term “allegations” when he referred to the Srebrenica genocide. According to Google, his e-mail seems to be associated with Darko Trifunovic, another Srebrenica genocide denier who is also involved with the Krajisnik case. Here is a full copy of Stefan Karganovic’s e-mail sent to us:
I am the head of an NGO based in Den Haag, the Netherlands. Our mission is to collect information about the events surrounding Srebrenica in July 1995, as well as the background of those events, but with a focus on crimes committed against Serb civilians by Moslem forces from the enclave. Our parallel task is to investigate the allegations of genocide against Moslem prisoners and correct the record on that score. In that connection, I am very interested in locating Mr. Carlos Martins Branco, a Portuguese UN official who was in Bosnia at the time, and who has written about these events. I believe that he has valuable first hand information to offer and I would like to interview him. I see that you have published a letter by him on your website. Would you be so kind as to give me his contact information if you have it, or ask him to contact me by giving him my email?
Thank you very much.
President Srebrenica Historical Project
Den Haag, The Netherlands
Telephone: + 31 64 878 **** (Four digits edited for privacy reasons)
2. Response to Stefan Karganovic, denier of genocide in Srebrenica:
We’ve never published any letters from discredited Srebrenica genocide denier Carlos Martins Branco nor we are interested in his opinions. First of all, opinions are cheap, everybody has them. Srebrenica genocide is not a matter of anybody’s opinion; it’s a fact first recognized by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and subsequently by the International Court of Justice.
Srebrenica genocide is an undeniable truth and a historical fact that claimed lives of at least 8,372 men, children, and elderly Bosniaks.
Second of all, you should check your facts straight before you knock on the wrong door and solicit people to assist you in denying Srebrenica genocide. Next time you decide to send solicitation E-mails to unknown addresses, just pause for a moment and look yourself in the mirror. What you will see is an individual who has reduced himself to a Srebrenica genocide denier.
Goodbye and do not contact us again,
3. Seeking media attention to Deny Genocide in Srebrenica
Recently, Stefan Karganovic organized revisionist Srebrenica genocide ‘symphosium’ in Banja Luka. He conveniently dubbed it as the so called “International Symposium About Suffering of the Serbs in Srebrenica.” At this ‘symphosium,’ Karganovic said that he would file a lawsuit against the Netherlands, because Dutchbat (Dutch batallion) troops failed to protect Serbs in Srebrenica. What Karganovic does not understand is the fact that Bosnian Serbs were not even located in Srebrenica, but in the surrounding villages which they conveniently used as military bases to stage attacks against the besieged Bosniak population of the enclave. Nonethless to say that many of these “Serb-held villages” around Srebrenica were ethnically cleansed Bosniak Muslim villages. Dutchbat troops were under the U.N. command and in charge of defending Srebrenica from the Bosnian Serb attacks. Unfortunately, Srebrenica was never safe, because the Serb Army never demilitarized around the enclave even they were required to do so.
One might wonder, what’s the point of Karganovic’s lawsuit against the Dutch state? For example, he knows that Bosniak survivors of genocide recently lost their lawsuit against the Netherlands due to diplomatic immunity enjoyed by the United Nations. Serbs don’t even have any case to begin with, since they had not suffered genocide at Srebrenica, but their Army sure did commit genocide against the Bosniak population of the U.N.-designated “safe area.” But, Karganovic speculates he has nothing to lose. At least, the lawsuit will give him something that he badly needs, namely a better exposure to the mainstream media so he could gain some ‘legitimacy’ promoting innacurate and grossly inflated numbers of Serb casualties around Srebrenica, the same numbers doctored and published by his associate Srebrenica genocide denier – Milivoje Ivanisevic (aka: Milivoj Ivanisevic). Continue reading below….
4. Grossly inflated (and UN-discredited) numbers of Serb victims used to deny genocide in Srebrenica
In order to justify Srebrenica genocide, Serbian right-wing nationalist and a prominent Srebrenice genocide denier – Milivoje Ivanisevic – claimed that more than 3,000 Serb civilians were murdered around Srebrenica. What are the facts?
Florence Hartmann, Spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at the Hague, made the following statement. Asked to comment on the different number of Serb victims in the Srebrenica region published in Belgrade, Hartmann replied that:
“First of all, the OTP is always very careful in the use of the word ‘victim’. Military or Police casualties from combat should not be considered victims in a criminal investigation context, in the same way people are victims from war crimes, such as summary executions. Before speaking about the whole area of Podrinja, including at least the municipalities of Srebrenica, Bratunac, Vlasenica and Skelani, I would comment on the various figures circulating around the Kravica attack of January 1993. The figures circulating of hundreds of victims or claiming that all 353 inhabitants were “virtually completely destroyed” do not reflect the reality…. For the whole region, i.e the municipalities of Srebrenica, Bratunac, Vlasenica and Skelani, the Serb authorities claimed previously that about 1400 people were killed due to attacks committed by the B&H Army forces for the period of May 1992 to March 1995, when Srebrenica was under the control of Naser Oric. Now the figure has become 3,500 Serbs killed. This figure may have been inflated. Taking the term “victims” as defined previously, these figures just does not reflect the reality.” (source: ICTY Press Release)
In a “Myth of Bratunac: Blatant Numbers Game” the internationally evaluated findings by the Research and Documentation Center examined Ivanisevic’s claims and concluded the following:
“The allegations that Serb casualties in Bratunac, between April 1992 and December 1995 amount to over three thousand is an evident falsification of facts. The RDC research of the actual number of Serb victims in Bratunac [just outside of Srebrenica] has been the most extensive carried out in Bosnia and Herzegovina and proves that the overall number of victims is three to nine times smaller than indicated by Serbia and Montenegro. Perhaps the clearest illustration of gross exaggeration is that of Kravica, a Serb village near Bratunac attacked by the Bosnian Army on the morning of Orthodox Christmas, January 7, 1993 . The allegations that the attack resulted in hundreds of civilian victims have been shown to be false. Insight into the original documentation of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) clearly shows that in fact military victims highly outnumber the civilian ones. The document entitled ‘Warpath of the Bratunac brigade’, puts the military victims at 35 killed and 36 wounded; the number of civilian victims of the attack is eleven…” [source: Research and Documentation Center]
Serbian Human Rights Watch’s made similar conclussions , quote:
“The ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party launched an aggressive campaign to prove that Muslims had committed crimes against thousands of Serbs in the area. The campaign was intended to diminish the significance of the July 1995 crime, and many in Serbia were willing to accept that version of history. But as the Oric judgment makes clear, the facts do not support the equivalence thesis. Take the events in the village of Kravica, on the Serb Orthodox Christmas on January 7, 1993, for example. The alleged killing of scores of Serbs and destruction of their houses in the village is frequently cited in Serbia as the key example of the heinous crimes committed by the Muslim forces around Srebrenica. In fact, the Oric judgment confirms that there were Bosnian Serb military forces present in the village at the time of attack. In 1998, the wartime New York Times correspondent Chuck Sudetic wrote in his book on Srebrenica that, of forty-five Serbs who died in the Kravica attack, thirty-five were soldiers. Original Bosnian Serb army documents, according to the ICTY prosecutor and the Sarajevo-based Center for Research and Documentation of War Crimes, also indicate that thirty-five soldiers died. The critics also invoke unreliable statistics. A spokesman for the ruling Democratic Party of Serbia in the wake of the Oric judgment, for example, claimed that “we have documents showing that 3,260 people were found dead around Srebrenica from 1992-1995.”
However, the book Hronike nasih grobalja (Chronicles of Our Graveyards) by the Serb historian Milivoje Ivanisevic (the president of the Belgrade ‘Centre for Investigating Crimes Committed against the Serbian People’), uses the significantly lower figure, of “more than 1,000 persons [who] died,” and contains the list, mostly made of men of military age. Among those killed, there were evidently a significant number of Bosnian Serb soldiers who died in the fighting, like in Kravica.” [source: HRW in Serbia]
He wasn’t even present during the terrible events of July 1995 but still feels qualified to pronounce about them and is anxious to testify before the International Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in defence of Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader who publicly vowed to commit genocide by destroying Bosnian Muslims from the face of Earth.
Did Dutchbat troops witness crimes against Bosniaks at Srebrenica?
Recently Marco Van Hees met with Srebrenica genocide denier Milivoje Ivanisevic in Belgrade and informed him that no Dutch soldier had witnessed any crimes committed against the Bosniak (Muslim) population of Srebrenica – a claim easily dismissed by evidence previously offered by Dutch soldiers.
“One of the Dutchbat soldiers, during his brief stay in Zagreb upon return from Serb-held territory, was quoted as telling a member of the press that “hunting season [is] in full swing… it is not only men supposedly belonging to the Bosnian Government who are targeted…women, including pregnant ones, children and old people aren’t spared. Some are shot and wounded, others have had their ears cut off and some women have been raped.”
In another incident recorded in the ICTY’s 260 page-ruling in the case of Prosecutor vs. Krstic, “a Dutch Bat medical orderly came across two Serb soldiers raping a young woman:
“[W]e saw two Serb soldiers, one of them was standing guard and the other one was lying on the girl, with his pants off. And we saw a girl lying on the ground, on some kind of mattress. There was blood on the mattress, even she was covered with blood. She had bruises on her legs. There was even blood coming down her legs. She was in total shock. She went totally crazy.”
Hans Thijsen, now President of Reünieverband Dutchbat 3, the association of Dutchbat 3 veterans who served in Srebrenica in 1995, has angrily condemned former Dutchbat member Marco Van Hees for denying genocide at Srebrenica and also for misrepresenting the Dutchbat III web site in Vecernje Novosti. This is Thijsen’s press release translated into English:
We Got You – Fraud Unveiled!
Dutchbat troops,This week in the Serbian media an interview was conducted with the so-called Dutchbat 3 member who has claimed that he represents 15 Dutchbat troops wanting to testify on Karadzic’s behalf and deny genocide at Srebrenica. He also passes himself off as someone associated with our web site. His name is Marco Van Hees (who served in Dutchbat2 from June 1994 to January 1995). The board of the Reunion Connection for Dutchbat 3 members wish to make it clear that this Marco DOES NOT and MUST NOT speak for us. On behalf of all our members we distance ourselves from this individual and his claims about us, and we will take the necessary steps to prevent any repetition.
Voorzitter reünieverband Dutchbat 3
We would like to thank Hans Thijsen for his heartfelt support. Hans Thijsen appeared in a documentary “Monument to Unresolved Grief” commemorating the tragic events and his emotional visit to Srebrenica 10 years after the genocide. For more information, click here.