June 23, 2005
UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM EXAMINES SREBRENICA 10 YEARS LATER THROUGH FILM SCREENING, DISCUSSIONS AND PHOTO DISPLAY
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience (COC) will mark the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre with two programs. On Thursday, June 23, the Museum will host a screening of the acclaimed BBC film, “A Cry From the Grave.” The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring journalist Mark Danner; Srebrenica survivor Elvir Mujic; and Jan Willem Honig, author of Srebrenica: Record of a War Crime.
On Monday, July 11, the 10th anniversary of the massacre, the Museum will open “Abandoned at Srebrenica: Ten Years Later,” a display of ten photographs documenting the legacy of Srebrenica taken by Bosnian photographer Tarik Samarah. Mr. Samarah’s photographs concern the exhumations of mass graves, identification of the dead and the lives of survivors. He will speak at the opening of the display, which marks the first time the photographs have been exhibited in the United States. Joining him at this event is Swanee Hunt, former U.S. Ambassador to Austria, author of This Was Not Our War: Bosnian Women Reclaiming the Peace and Chair of the Hunt Alternatives Fund.
As the former Yugoslavia disintegrated into civil war, Bosnian Muslims fled to Srebrenica to avoid attacks in nearby areas. Declared a “safe haven” in 1993, Srebrenica was to have been demilitarized and placed under UN protection. On July 11, 1995, UN forces failed to defend the town from attacks by the Bosnian Serb military. The Bosnian Serb army captured the town, and in the following days Serb soldiers systematically executed nearly 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys.
“The massacre at Srebrenica still reverberates,” says Jerry Fowler, Staff Director of the Museum’s Committee on Conscience. “It was a colossal failure to protect civilians, even when we knew the danger they were in. With civilians at risk in Darfur, the question we all have to ask is, ‘Have we learned anything in the past 10 years?”
Both programs are free and open to the public. “A Cry From the Grave” is being screened on Thursday, June 23 at 7:00 p.m. It is presented in cooperation with the Heinrich Boell Foundation and is made possible in part by the Helena Rubinstein Foundation. The opening of “Abandoned at Srebrenica” will take place on Monday, July 11 at 2:00 p.m. The display was made possible in part by the Hunt Alternatives Fund.
The Committee on Conscience was established to alert the national conscience, influence policy makers, and stimulate worldwide action to confront and work to halt acts of genocide or related crimes against humanity. In carrying out its mandate, the Committee uses a wide range of actions, including public programs and activities, temporary exhibitions and public or private communications with policy makers. For more information, visit www.committeeonsconscience.org.