by Virginia Siegel / Research by the Bosnia Oral History Project Committee
Today marks the 22nd anniversary of the start of the Srebrenica Genocide in Bosnia & Herzegovina, which began July 11, 1995. Many of our fellow Kentuckians are survivors of the Srebrenica Genocide and many lost loved ones.
This week, the Bosnian American community of Bowling Green is hosting events to commemorate and remember Srebrenica, as well as many other sites of genocide and atrocity during the Bosnian War of the 1990s. Many in our Bowling Green community lived in besieged Srebrenica and survived the events of the genocide; many of their loved ones did not survive.
The Srebrenica Genocide of 1995
“When we saw that there was no hope for Srebrenica and its people — that the final moment had come, the terror could be felt in the air. It is a strange feeling to describe, there are no words for it, but you knew that this day is like no other and you knew that this day will stand among the rest of your days.” – Mehmed Alić, as shared with Senida Husić, 2015
As nations of the former Yugoslavia began their struggles for independence in the 1980s, following the death of Tito and the breakdown of communism in other countries in Europe, Serbia used military strength to expand its power in the Balkan region. Between 1992 and 1995, the village of Srebrenica in Eastern Bosnia served as a stronghold and refuge for Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) facing ethnic cleansing from Bosnian Serb and Serb forces.