1. Some Dutch UN soldiers who were supposed to protect the muslims wrote some racist comments on the walls of their compound.For example: ‘No teeth, a mustache, smells like shit? Bosnian girl!’ Maybe this was just a way to ventilate the enormous pressure they were under, but in light of what happened later it looks like some Dutchbatters lacked the proper motivation to do their duty. The Bosnian refugees reported they were looked down upon by the very arrogant Dutchbatters. It also didn’t help that shortly after the massacre they were caught on tape partying like frat boys during spring break. This article in a Dutch magazine describes the condescending attitude of the boys and girls of Dutchbat. Parts of that article are repeated in this article in English. 2. After the enclave had already been overrun the Dutch also kicked out some Bosnians who had worked for them. An electrician for example. He did not survive. He was the father of Alma Mustafic.She survived. She speaks Dutch like a native speaker today. The Netherlands is trying hard to make up for their poor performance back in 1995 and these days, July 2020, lots of survivors have been interview in the Dutch media. Many of them speak impeccable Dutch.On the days of the massacre she carried a small knife with her determined to kill herself if a Serb attempted to rape her. She was 14.3. The Serbs forced some of their captives to convince fleeing family members to trust the Serbs and join them in captivity. If any responded it ended badly for them.4. The Bosnians claimed that the Serbs were using some sort of chemical against them that disoriented them, made them panic and start attacking each other. This was probably the result of exteme stress and fatigue. It also didn’t help that some Serbs infiltrated their fleeing columns and started attacking them.5. The Bosnian fighters in the enclave chose to break out before the Serbs launched their attack. Therefore making it likely that most of those more than 8,000 men and boys were slaughtered were innocent.6. The Serbs still deny that what happened at Srebrenica was a genocide. According to some Serb officials the events do not fit the dictionary definition of a genocide. In their eyes it would only have been a genocide if they had also massacred all the women and children in the enclave.7. The role of the Dutch is highly controversial. They are those who say Dutchbat had zero chance of stopping the Serbs and there are those who say that as representatives they could have done more.8. In interviews members of Dutchbat tend to say they signed up for the adventure or to become a real man, but entirely overlooked is the financial incentive. Dutchbatters were paid a lot for going to Bosnia. Let’s be honest here… A number of them must have signed up for monetary reasons. We all need to put food on the table, so am not judging anyone, but it’s worth mentioning. Let’s not pretend the people who went there necessarily went there for humanitarian reasons. Am sure some did, but others will have had more selfish reasons. Perhaps for a mission like this a strict screening of the candidates and their motivation should have taken place.9. Lieutenant-colonel Thom Karremans, in command of Dutchbat, was going through the mental strain of a divorce at the time. His performance during military exercises in Germany had not been splendid. Once there he left a lot decisions to his second in command. He should have been replaced.10. The Dutch had no heavy weapons and the air support they were promised turned out to be a joke.11. The area of Srebenica used to have only a minority of Serbs. Now they make up the majority and dominate the local political scene. It’s sad to say but the horrible crime of those July days in 1995 had the results the perpetrators were aiming for. You can watch the docu ‘Srebrenica. Denying genocide’ if you wish to know more about it. This article deals with it.12. Some of the victims actually survived the killings. A small number was not fatally wounded during the mass executions and managed to slip away. Nedzad Avdic was 17 at the time. He suffered multiple wounds, but none of his vital organs were hit. Together with a fellow survivor he managed to reach a village and he was taken to a military hospital. He chose to live in Srebrenica as a an act of defiance. By staying he wants to show that the criminals did not win.13. The controversy surrounding Srebrenica would eventually lead to the fall of the Dutch government.14. Hasan Nuhanovic, an interpreter, has successfully sued the Dutch government over the way Dutchbat treated his father and others. The Dutch were found liable for three deaths. You can read more about that here.15. Colonel Karremans found it difficult to live in The Netherlands. He got epithets thrown at him in the streets of his home country. He is retired now and lives in Spain.16. The daughter of the ‘butcher’ of Bosnia, general Ratko Mladic, killed herself. With his pistol. One year after her suicide the massacre at Srebrenica took place. Some say his descent into madness is partially due to this loss. She was a promising medical student. Why she decided to take her own life is not clear.17. Not all the victims have been buried or even identified. In many cases only a bone was found. The Serbs buried their victims in mass graves but later uprooted those graves and reburied the victims. In the process they destroyed the bodies.18. It’s hard for us to understand how such vicious atrocities could take place, but it was also incomprehensible for those involved. In some cases Bosnian men fled to Serbia, hoping to find protection there as they simply could not imagine that people who they had gone to school with, had worked with, had lived in peace with their entire life could want them death. The Dutch media reported on a Bosnian man who fled Srebrenica, turned to a Serbian police station for protection only to he handed over to those who wished him dead. I hope I got his name right, but according to this tv report he was called Ahmed Tepic. His children, two daughters and a son, did survive. The son was just a baby back then so he has only one picture of him and his father together. The Tepic family lives in The Netherlands now. Their uncle lives in Austria. If you wish to watch this Dutch report you should be able to find it here.19. Not only were the men killed many of the women were raped. Two soldiers would each hold one leg up it the air while the others went at it. In some cases babies had their throat cut in front of their mother. In one case twins were cut out of a living woman and crushed. The pain this inflicted on the victims that never be healed. These events have hurt all of humanity.20. The name Srebrenica is derived from the Slavic word for silver. There were silver mines there in the past. It was a famous spa resort where people came to relax and to heal. The town was well-known for this even as far back as the Romans. Here is a picture of a Roman tombstone.21. In 2008 I spent some time with a Bosnian guest family in the area of Srebrenica. I don’t remember exactly how many times I was told a new war was bound to erupt, but it was often. Back then you could still see bombed out houses like this one. How to destroy a house Yugoslavian style? Open the gas in the kitchen. Close all the windows. Shoot at it from afar. Boom. Only the walls are left. Sometimes the staircase. The picture you see here was taken back in 2008 by Jochem Oomen – I think – who was there with me.
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