Mapping of the Serbian concentration camps for Muslims and Croats
The location of the dozens of Bosnia Serb concentration camps coincided with the shape of the country they wanted to form. For this, they needed to clear the territories of all traces of Muslim or Croat enemies in “their” land.
As a general rule their strategy, as set out in the RAM Plan and other documents, was to construct a “Greater Serbia” made up of land bordering Serbia on the east, bordering the Serbian-occupied Krajina (originally Croatia) on the west, and with a land bridge joining the two across the north. The most ferocious Serb fighting and repression was centered in this northern – and to the Serbs – most vulnerable area. (A notable example: Brcko, where Bosnia Serbs murdered 3,000 military age Muslim men in 1992.)
“In Germany they first came for the communists; and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews; and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists; and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics; and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Catholic. Then they came for me – and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.”
– Martin Niemoller
Despite the presumed advance of civilization the phenomenon of mass hate and killing continues. The impact of historical cases of genocide remains a potent root cause of the ethnic and religious divisions that fuel current violent conflicts.
The Jewish Holocaust has been ingrained in the world’s collective memory, but it is not the only case of genocide, nor even the worst. The Irish, Armenians, Chechens have all suffered the similar human devastation. In Africa, the killing fields of Rwanda have not yet recovered, and the memory of Khymer Rouge is still fresh in the minds of Cambodians. In Russia the purges of the Stalin era were among the worst cases of crimes against humanity.