Letter: Placing blame for unspeakable crimes

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Sir: Robert Fisk's article (15 August) brought very sad memories for my husband. In April 1941, he was living in Banja Luka with his widowed mother and sister. His family had lived in Bosnia-Herzegovina for centuries.

Shortly after Germany invaded Yugoslavia, he witnessed dozens of lorries full of Serbian peasants being driven through Banja Luka. He estimates that there were between 50 and 60 lorries full. At the time, he did not know where they were going but only knew that they did not return. It later became clear that they had all been killed.

He and his sister and widowed mother were helped to escape from Banja Luka by a Croatian officer friend (not Ustashe, of course). My husband, who is a Yugoslav Nationalist, escaped from the Communists and eventually settled in England.

He still has Croatian friends and does not blame the mass of the Croatian people for the atrocities that were carried out in their name. What does hurt him, and millions of Serbs, is the fact that this crime has never been recognised by the world community, as the Holocaust was. Nor have any of the main perpetrators been brought to justice. The Croatian evidence is overwhelming. Under Tito, no one was allowed to mention it.

The bitterness of the Serbs against the Croats is largely because of the refusal of the Croatian authorities to admit and express regret for these atrocities. As my husband says: 'Forgiveness first requires that there be


Yours sincerely,



19 August