ČUDNA ŠUTNJA. ZAŠTO NEMA SPOMENIKA ZA MUSLIMANSKE CIVILNE ŽRTVE UBIJENE U BOSNI U DRUGOM SVJETSKOM RATU?
THE STRANGE SILENCE. WHY WERE THERE NO MONUMENTS FOR MUSLIM CIVILIANS KILLED IN BOSNIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR?
Published by: Institut za istoriju
Keywords: Bosnia-Herzegovina; Kulen Vakuf; silence; Muslims; insurgents; monuments; mass killing
Summary/Abstract: Newly available documentation from the State Archive of Bosnia-Herzegovina indicates that the majority of sites where Muslim civilians were killed during the Second World War remained unmarked as late as the mid-1980s. The existing scholarship, most of which argues that Yugoslavia’s communist regime sought to “de-ethnicize” the remembrance of all of the interethnic violence of the war, has failed to notice and explain this apparent bias against Muslim civilian war victims. This article seeks to answer the question of why so many sites in Bosnia-Herzegovina where Muslim civilians were killed remained unmarked after the war. It does so through the reconstruction and analysis of the wartime and postwar history of Kulen Vakuf, a small town located in northwestern Bosnia. The analysis of the dynamics of mass killing in the region reveals that the communist-led Partisan movement absorbed large numbers of Serb insurgents who had murdered Muslims earlier in the war. The transformation of the perpetrators of the massacres into Partisans created a postwar context in which the authorities, to avoid implicating insurgents-turned-Partisans as war criminals, and the Muslim survivors, out of fear of retribution and a desire to move on, agreed to stay silent about the killings. The end result was the absence of monuments for the victims.
- Issue Year: 2011
- Issue No: 08
- Page Range: 109-147
- Page Count: 39
- Language: Bosnian