Woman with hijab is crying over the coffin of Srebrenica Genocide victim

Srebrenica Genocide -''HISTORIA EST MAGISTRA VITAE''

In the mid-July in 1995 one of the biggest atrocities of the decade happened in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the city of Srebrenica.

This event was not shocking “just” for this region, but for the whole continent and the planet as well.

Genocide in Srebrenica; it took place between the 13th and 19th of July in 1995.

The war in Bosnia and Herzegovina has plagued the country for 4 years by this point; it started back in 1992. One of the most violent affairs in modern warfare history opted for a bloody curtain call, and not many have expected what was about to come back then.

During that short period – a week – more than 8000 thousand people were killed. The current number stands at 8372 as the remains of victims are discovered annually.

The Ancient Roman orator Cicero once said “historia est magistra vitae”, and one could argue that he had events of this magnitude in mind when famously saying that. 

The main idea of his words is to pick up the harsh lessons from the past and, by learning from that experience, prevent all future similar horrors, to work towards a better future.

If we are not fortunate enough to enjoy the fruits of our progressive labor, then our successors should. If we follow Cicero’s teaching then Srebrenica must be our main course. 

Ratko Mladić and Radovan Karadžić in war uniforms
Two most important charachters in the creation of Srebrenica Genocide. Ratko Mladić and Radovan Karadžić lead Serbian forces in Srebrenica.

The number of victims becomes even more impactful if we remember that they were not; that they are not merely numbers. Every ”number” had its story, memories, happiness and sadness. Each ”number” was a light of life that was interrupted untimely in a gruesomely brutal way. And the story of one light is not finished once it has been turned off. Since its ignition there were those who cared for its brightness, who nurtured it from mere ember to a warming and inspiring fire. Mothers, fathers, grandparents, wifes, friends and children lost the light(s) that made their life bright. Sadness and sorrow filled up the space that was glooming with hope and happiness.

Survivors of that monstrous week have witnessed horrors that could made them to lose all hope in humanity and to be left with lasting mental scars. And it is understandable, one might argue, that these scars evolved into hatred and a thirst for vendetta.


This is the main reason why we must take the events from Srebrenica as a lesson.
Killing even one person takes your humanity away, and if you manage to motivate someone to do this to thousands of other people you have managed to create a monster. Srebrenica must be remembered as an atrocity, and not as a fuel for future hate motivated acts. Shakespeare once wrote that violent delights have violent ends. Srebrenica is the most violent end imaginable for a violent delight that was the end of one terrible regime in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is up to us to keep it like that: an END.

Old looking man, probably grandfather is crying next to coffins of the Srebrenica Genocide victims
Coffins of Srebrenica Genocide Victims

 A lot of survivors from this genocide remember the horrors and they are trying to learn from that.

One group that does just that is Remembering Srebrenica. They remember their pain and suffering and work towards preventing the same fate for anyone on this planet through the active learning and education. And it’s them who learned from our teacher History, and it’s them from whom we should learn.

They motivate people to fight against injustices and hatred, and these are the real enemies of our communities.

So, the foundations for a better future are laid down and let’s now strengthen them and build upon them.  

If you wish to learn more you can follow us on our Srebrenica Case Study Tour.

Case Study Srebrenica Day Trip provides you a full day excursion about the Srebrenica Genocide in July of 1995.

Srebrenica Genocide must be remembered and never forgoten. It should be a voice of reason to never commit and allow anything similar.

Ammar Zeljkovic

Written by: Ammar Zeljković

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