Comparing the Srebrenica genocide to the Holocaust angers me a lot, because the Holocaust was a crime of the German state against the Jews, which resulted in the disappearance of over 7 million Jews, said Gideon Greif, the head of the so-called Commission for Srebrenica, set up by authorities in Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity of Republika Srpska that would deal with the suffering of all peoples in the eastern town of Srebrenica during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.
“The aim o the Commission is to establish the truth which can be only one, and it is the Commission’s moral obligation to be loyal to facts, the truth and the victims. The others will never accept anything because they’re living on a completely different world,” Greif told RTRS.
He reiterated that every commission must be loyal to the historical truth and facts, which is the most important thing. Bosnia's three biggest ethnic groups, the Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats, do not have a common stance on the events that took place during the war in the early 1990s.
The RS authorities never accepted or recognised international court rulings saying that what happened in Srebrenica was genocide. They argue that it was an atrocity and that all sides in the war had suffered under.
On July 11, 1995, Bosnian Serb forces overran the eastern Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica and rounded up the town’s Muslim Bosniaks, separated men from women and little children and systematically executed some 8,000 men and boys.
The International Criminal Tribunal (ICTY) for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice later ruled that the massacre was an act of genocide.
Asked to comment on the comparisons between the Srebrenica genocide and the Holocaust Greif said it angers him a lot.
“The Holocaust is the crime of the German state against the Jews and it can’t be compared to anything because it resulted in the disappearance of over seven million Jews. According to the latest research, it can’t be compared to any other crime on the planet,” Greif said.
He noted that crimes in Auschwitz and Jasenovac, Nazi concentration camps from World War II, were acts of genocide, but that it will take time for the Commission to establish the truth about Srebrenica.
“I have to research the documentation, photographs and evidence; I have to speak to people… It’s a long process,” Greif concluded.