July 09, 2015
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the genocide at Srebrenica, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum calls on the world to never forget the victims of that horrendous crime and to recommit itself to preventing such crimes in the future. “Just 50 years after the end of the Holocaust, genocide occurred yet again in Europe, at Srebrenica,” said Tom Bernstein, the Museum’s chairman. “Although the warning signs were clear, the international community failed to protect the people of Srebrenica when 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed by Bosnian Serb forces starting on July 11, 1995.” As part of its commemoration efforts, the Museum has sent an official delegation to Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to participate in the remembrance ceremonies.
“Srebrenica reminded us all of the risks of unchecked hatred and the need to redouble efforts to protect future generations from genocide and mass atrocities,” said Michael Chertoff, chairman of the Museum’s Committee on Conscience, which oversees the work of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. “This failure sparked important new efforts to pursue justice and accountability including through the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia, improve fundamental weaknesses in international peacekeeping, and strengthen legal norms and institutions for pursuing genocide prevention.”
“Despite the progress of the past 20 years, in far too many places across the globe—including Burma, the Central African Republic, and Syria—the international community continues to demonstrate that it has not fully learned the lessons of Srebrenica,” said Cameron Hudson, director of the Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. “We must examine and draw the lessons from this failure in order to enhance the international community’s capacity to recognize and respond whenever genocide threatens.”
In keeping with this commitment, the Simon-Skjodt Center recently partnered with the National Security Archive of George Washington University and The Hague Institute for Global Justice to conduct in-depth examinations of international decision making leading up to the genocide in Srebrenica. Conference documents and a full participant list are available on the Center’s website. This initiative is part of the Simon-Skjodt Center’s work to promote a better understanding of how the international community can recognize and interrupt the dynamics that lead to genocide and strengthen the will and capacity of policymakers to prevent and respond to such situations.
“Two years before the genocide at Srebrenica, at the opening of this Museum, Holocaust survivor and Museum Founding Chairman Elie Wiesel called upon President Clinton to urgently act to halt the crimes being committed against the people of Bosnia,” said Bernstein. “Yet even after it was horrified by the genocide in Rwanda, the world failed to respond to the increasing warning signs of genocide in Bosnia, with tragic results that continue to reverberate today.”
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum seeks to inspire citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. The Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide works to make the prevention of genocide and related crimes against humanity a national and international priority. Learn more about the Museum’s work on Srebrenica and other current cases of concern.
Content from United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Originally published at https://www.ushmm.org/information/press/press-releases/statement-on-the-20th-anniversary-of-the-genocide-at-srebrenica
originally published at HUMAN RIGHTS - USA DAILY NEWS 24