The biggest massacre in Europe since World War Two, the Srebrenica genocide took place in July 1995 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Serbian soldiers rounded up unarmed Muslim men and killed them, leaving behind women and girls to mourn their immense loss.
It is a cold winter day, with grey skies and a chill that cuts to the bone. Several elderly women who lost husbands and sons during Bosnia Herzegovina’s civil war, specifically the Srebrenica genocide in 1995 are huddled together for comfort and warmth. They speak little other than a few sentences in Bosnian but they don’t need to say much: the pain they have suffered is etched on their faces.
The Srebrenica–Potocari Memorial and Cemetery for the Victims of the 1995 Genocide is a vast green space dotted with white headstones carved with the names of victims who were killed and buried in mass graves all over the area. The DNA testing of remains continues to this day, and the wounds, even though the war was 24 years ago, are still as fresh as if the massacres happened just yesterday.
Despite the magnitude of the horrors inflicted during the war, there are some who still deny that the massacre occurred, such as recent Nobel literature prize winner Peter Handke. The Austrian writer has downplayed the genocide, defending the Serbs who killed and buried Muslims in mass graves.