Thursday (May 26) Serbian security forces apprehended Ratko Mladic accused of war crimes and genocide. Trial at a war crimes tribunal in the Hague likely to follow. Mladic was a general in the Bosnia Serb army during the Bosnian War (1992-1995) and led the siege of Serajevo and the genocidal execution of 8000 men and boys (1995) in Srebrenica. Bringing him to justice is mandatory for Serbia’s welcome into the European Union. Mladavic’s motivation was to expel from Bosnia Muslim Bosnians and Croats and bring about unification of Bosnia.with Serbia. Motivation of revenge related to historical grievances against the Muslims. My wife and I experienced the historical Muslim Turkish presence in the Balkans and south-eastern Europe at the Hotel Minaret , lying under a minaret, in Eger, in northeastern Hungary. (A dramatic Hungarian defense in The Siege off Eger against the Turk in 1552 is celebrated in Eger today. However in 1596 Eger was captured by the Turks and occupied for 91 years before expulsion by Christian armies. Hence the minaret at Hotel Minaret) T his served as reminder of my 1961 MA thesis Luther and the Turk. The advance of the Ottoman Muslim Turks in the 16th century into the Balkans under Suleiman the Magnificent reached the very gates of Vienna. The result was a large Muslim presence in Albania, Croatia, and Bosnia. The expulsion of these non-Serb Muslims was Mladic’s motivation. Sixteenth century calls for a crusade against the advancing Turks was rejected in Luther’s theological polemic against the crusade tradition. (See the Introduction to Luther and the Turk included under Essays and Lectures in the Website) Instructive is the long ranged impact of particular events upon succeeding generations.
Addendum – Headline Star Tribune (5-17-2012): Ex-Bosnian Serb general defiant at war crimes trial. The war crimes trial of former Bosnian Serb Gen. Ratko Mladic for genocide in the 1992-95 Bosniam war opened in the courtroom at The Hague Netherlands Wednesday this week. Having spent 15 years on the run from the U.N. tribunal’s indictment although slowed by age he demonstrated his “trademark swagger”. Giving a “thumbs-up to the judges . . . offering mocking applause to those watching . . . (he) responded to a defiant gesture from a spectator by drawing a finger across his throat in a slitting gesture “.
Addendum – This blog was visited today (6-9-2012) from a reader in Serbia. This proved of interest for me. One may speculate whether the reader was a Christian Bosnian Serb or, perhaps, a Muslim Bosnian Serb or Bosnian Croat In either case a common interst would be shared.