Interview with Fadila Memišević, president of the Society for Threatened Peoples in Bosnia and HerzegovinaShare on facebook
"The fall of Srebrenica is for me the biggest humiliation of the West."
1. We know from reliable sources that you cried upon finding out that the Serbs had taken over Srebrenica. Were you immediately aware of the U.N.'s total betrayal?
The fall of Srebrenica was certainly extremely painful for me. I knew that Mladić troops' entry to Srebrenica would be followed by mass killings and deportations. The biggest crime after the Second World War was unfolding under the UN flag. Therefore, I perceive the fall of Srebrenica the biggest humiliation of the West whose inaction enabled Ratko Mladić to put an end to the UN enclave by spilling blood of those killed in Srebrenica.
2. Immediately afterwards, you went to the villa of the chancellor Helmut Kohl in Oggersheim and erected a graveyard with 1,000 crosses. How did he react? How did you perceive reactions of the German society?
I have a positive experience with citizens of Germany who expressed their solidarity and empathy toward the tragedy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, this is not the experience I have with German politicians. Namely, chancellor Kohl's government regarded the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina as an elementary catastrophe, sending over humanitarian aid and accepting Bosnian refugees; however, we who stayed in Bosnia and Herzegovina were in need of military intervention to prevent the genocide. Unfortunately, the German government was against any military intervention.
3. How do you see the fact that the Secretary-General of the United Nations does not want to express respect for the victims even by appearing in court although the surviving victims have taken the proceeding against the organisation he is running on their own shoulders?
I regard such behaviour as a sign of arrogance, but also of hypocrisy. The UN report on Srebrenica containing 180 pages and signed by the then Secretary-General of the UN, Mr. Kofi Annan, does include confession to the UN's responsibility, but not to its guilt of the genocide committed in Srebrenica. Therefore, I believe that, if not out of respect for the victims, then out of his personal responsibility, the Secretary-General should appear in court.
4. How do you regard the Pillar of Shame?
The Pillar of Shame stands as the victims' accusation against those who did nothing to protect the civilian residents of the Srebrenica enclave that had been placed under the UN protection. Simultaneously, it is an admonition to the UN to act efficiently and prevent another genocide from occurring under its flag.
5. Can the Pillar of Shame that will point to the direct responsibility of the UN for the Srebrenica genocide change the arrogance and ignoring relation of the UN toward the surviving victims of the genocide? What are the chances that the Pillar of Shame will motivate the UN to make preventing genocides their priority task?
I believe that the Pillar of Shame will open numerous moral dilemmas. I am certain that the Pillar of Shame will keep those individuals whose names it will bear awake at night. Beside moral punishment, the statue calls upon the UN to prevent genocides in the future. Srebrenica can never happen again, not to anyone.