Monograph “Our Confession”, which contains the testimonies of 15 Serb women from Republika Srpska on tortures they underwent during the war in BiH, was promoted in New York. The monograph was promoted yesterday within the conference “Defeat of Fascism and Remembrance of Victims,” that was organised by the Jasenovac Research Institute on the occasion of 71st anniversary of the breakthrough of Jasenovac inmates.
Leader of the Association of Women Victims of War of Republika Srpska, Bozica Rajilic Zivkovic, has said that the members of this association that currently registers 420 women, had found the strength to speak up about their destinies and thus testify that there were victims on all sides in the BiH war.
“Women from Republika Srpska have never been seen as victims, but only as mothers, sisters and wives of war criminals, which does not correspond to the truth. Our distressing testimonies confirm it. We believe that `Our Confession`, will correct this injustice at least partly and that the truth will find its way to the world public, that has not been favorable to us,” said Rajilic.
She has added that the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina is seen through the interpretation of the events happened on one side only.
Rajilic has pointed out that the testimonies of 15 women are included in the monograph, but that she is indebted to all other women who somehow managed to overcome the past showing they are ready to fight for the truth.
Director of the Republika Srpska Centre for Research of War, War Crimes and Tracing Missing Persons, Milorad Kojic, introduced the conference participants to the activities of the Centre, as well as the activities that preceded the monograph.
“`Our Confession` is the result of cooperation between the institutions of Republika Srpska and Serbia, particularly a project `Strength is in Us (Snaga je u nama) `, which included psycho-social assistance to the women victims of war. After these workshops, we were determined to overcome all obstacles and go for a monograph development,” said Kojic.
He says that the monograph is not devaluing or diminishing the victims of the others, but intends to raise awareness of both local and international publics that the Serb women and the Serb people were the victims of war crimes in the previous war, too.
“There is no reconciliation and a common future unless all face the dark side of their past,” said Kojic.
The director of the Republika Srpska Centre for Research of War, War Crimes and Tracing Missing Persons spoke, among other things, on the extent of the crimes committed against the Serbs during the war in BiH, as well as double standards in prosecuting war crimes.
Gideon Greif, a leading expert on genocide based in Israel, who is also one of the authors of the foreword to the monograph “Our Confession”, has warned of the scale of historical revisionism, which includes minimizing the Serb victims.
Robert McCormick, the head of the Department of History and Political Science at the University of South Carolina and author of the book “Croatia under Ante Pavelic” has recalled, among other things, that during the Second World War, the American public was not sufficiently informed about the Serb victims in Jasenovac, and that even today the suffering of Serb people is little known and discussed in the US professional community and the media.
Director of the Representative Office of Republika Srpska in Washington, Obrad Kesic, welcomed the participants on behalf of Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik, who supported the development of the monograph.
The Republika Srpska delegation including Bozica Rajilic Zivkovic, Milorad Kojic and Aleksandar Vranjes, an editor of the book, will use this stay in the USA to discuss the suffering of Serbs in the war in BiH with the representatives of governmental and non-governmental organisations dealing with human rights.