Vice-President of the World Jewish Congress Menachem Z. Rosensaft said that the glorification of convicted war criminals and the denial of the genocide in Srebrenica by those trying to shift the blame to innocent victims should not be allowed, Anadolu agency reported Wednesday.
“It is a great honour for me to be able to participate in the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica Memorial Center. My only regret is that today I cannot be with all of you in person and I look forward to the next opportunity to be in Potocari and to join all my friends from the Bosniak community again,” Rosensaft said in an address via video link.
He first addressed the mothers of Srebrenica, the survivors and the families of the victims of the genocide in Srebrenica and sent them a message of support.
“Know that many of us around the world are with you. Know that many of us around the world understand your pain, your agony and are absolutely committed to helping you so that the genocide in Srebrenica and all the suffering the Bosniak people suffered in the 1990s, culminating with the genocide, not only not be forgotten, but engraved in the international consciousness. I address the following words to my friend Emir Suljagic and his colleagues at the center; you have created an extraordinary, absolutely superb Center, a world-class memorial center on the level of the Auschwitz Birkenau State Museum, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Yad Vashem, and the Bergen Belsen Memorial, as an example of how genocide and crimes against humanity are commemorated. You are a world-class institution and this must also be known internationally,” said Rosensaft.
Recalling that twenty years ago former American President Bill Clinton spoke of genocidal madness that resulted in the genocide in Srebrenica, Rosensaft said that he did not agree with that because it was not about any kind of madness because the perpetrators of that heinous crime knew exactly what they were doing.
“There was no madness. Insanity implies individuals who somehow don’t control their actions, who somehow don’t know what they are doing. The perpetrators of the genocide knew exactly what they were doing. Mladic, Karadzic and their like-minded people had the absolute intention to destroy the Bosniak people in BiH, and there was nothing crazy about that. The same applies to those who today in Republika Srpska and elsewhere glorify Mladic, glorify Karadzic, who try to deny that what happened in Srebrenica was genocide and who tried to blame the victims. We won't let that happen. That is why I joined the Mothers of Srebrenica and my friend Dunja Mijatovic, the Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe, in calling on the United Nations to declare July 11 as the official international day of remembrance for the genocide in Srebrenica. This has to happen,” Rosensaft noted.
Pointing out that the commemoration of the genocide cannot and must not be only for the victims, survivors and their families, Rosensaft said that it must be an international opportunity for the world, for the international community, to remember what they allowed to happen.
“This is our obligation as human beings. It is my duty as the son of Holocaust survivor parents. And I want you all to know that we will not give up until the memory of the genocide in Srebrenica is permanently engraved in the consciousness of the international community,” Rosensaft concluded.