Yesterday, the first witness took the stand in the war crimes trial of former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic. He is charged with 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. One of these crimes is the July 1995 mass murder of some 8,000 Bosnian men and boys in and around the town of Srebrenica. An anonymous witness who survived this massacre is expected to take the stand during Mladic's trial.
More testimonies about the mass murder at Srebrenica appear in Selma Leydesdorff's book Surviving the Bosnian Genocide. Leydesdorff interviewed 60 female survivors—many of whom still live in refugee camps—to learn about their lives before the Bosnian war, the events of the massacre, and the ways they have tried to cope with their fate. Drawing on their memories, though fragmented by trauma, the women tell of life and survival under extreme conditions, while recalling a time before the war when Muslims, Croats, and Serbs lived together peaceably.
By giving them a voice, this book looks beyond the rapes, murders, and atrocities of that dark time to show the agency of these women during and after the war and their fight to uncover the truth of what happened at Srebrenica and why.