The following is a translation from the Swiss German-language national daily newspaper Tages-Anzeiger.
Menachem Rosensaft, General Counsel and Associate Executive Vice President of the World Jewish Congress, is outraged that Serbian politicians are denying the mass murder of Bosnian Muslims. He had a memorable appearance in Srebrenica the other day.
Don't be afraid of confrontation: Human rights activist Menachem Rosensaft
His parents survived the Holocaust, but the great freedom was initially denied them. They ended up in a refugee camp near the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where Menachem Rosensaft was born in 1948. Like most Jewish families, the Rosensafts looked forward to an uncertain future at that time. The father did not want to emigrate to Israel, it was "a hard country," he said. So he moved with his family first to Switzerland, then to the USA in 1958.
As a child of Bergen-Belsen and as General Counsel and Associate Executive Vice President of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), an association founded in Geneva in 1936 with headquarters in New York, Menachem Rosensaft dedicated himself to the commemoration of the Holocaust. And the fight against the genocide deniers worldwide and especially in the Balkans.
A Jewish delegation in Srebrenica
In mid-July, he travelled to Srebrenica with a WJC delegation to show solidarity with the victims of the genocide in the Bosnian small town. In a speech at the memorial there, where the mortal remains of 6751 Muslim Bosniaks are now buried, Rosensaft went to court, especially with the Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik. He constantly denigates the genocide, insults the victims and humiliates the bereaved, said Rosensaft.
The USA has imposed sanctions on Dodik for years, but the EU remains inactive. Rosensaft also named the Austrian writer Peter Handke as a genocide trivializer, who has now received almost as many orders and honorary citizenships as Vladimir Putin in Serbia and in the Bosnian-Serbian part of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
According to the Srebrenica Memorial, the genocide last year was denied or played down by Serbian politicians more than 400 times.
The facts about Srebrenica are undisputed - except for Serbian nationalists: Between the 11th and 16th In July 1995, about 8,000 Bosnian-Muslim men and boys were murdered by Bosnian-Serbian troops under the command of General Ratko Mladic. The UN judiciary has classified the mass murder as genocide and sentenced Mladic to life imprisonment. The former president of the Bosnian Serbs, Radovan Karadzic, will also spend the rest of his days in prison.
The architects of the terrorist campaign against the Bosnian Muslims are still glorified by many Serbs as heroes. According to the Srebrenica Memorial, the genocide was denied or played down by Serbian politicians more than 400 times last year alone.
After his return from Srebrenica, Rosensaft called for decisive action against history forgers. "Never again" means not only for Jews and should not only apply to them: "It means "never again" for everyone, for every people, for every minority." This is the only way to create a world beyond suffering in which genocide becomes unimaginable, according to the lawyer and human rights activist.
His appeal was not heard by some Serbs in Srebrenica. Only a few hours after the memorial ceremony on the 11th. In July, they held a concert that was perceived as irreverent by the Bosniaks who remained there. On that day, another 30 victims were buried.
With poems against genocide
The horrors of the past and the present try to capture rose juice with poetry. In a book of poems, he writes about bald-shorn guards who hum Mozart while they choose who should live and who should die. After that, the murderers would have ended their shift "with a bored smile before dinner." In his verses, Rosensaft deals not only with the Holocaust, but also with the genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda. In the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, more than 50,000 prisoners from many European countries, including Anne Frank, died under Nazi terror.
Rosensaft does not shy away from confrontation even with Jewish researchers who can be used for propaganda purposes. When the Holocaust historian Gideon Greif claimed in a report that no genocide had been committed in Srebrenica, Rosensaft strongly contradicted and accused him of "shameless manipulation". He had let himself be made a "useful idiot" of Serbian propaganda. Greif wrote the report on behalf of the government of the Bosnian-Serbian Republic.
The 75-year-old Rosensaft wants to give up his post as General Counsel and Associate Executive Vice President of the World Jewish Congress at the end of August. However, he will by no means give up the fight against anti-Semitism, racism and historical revisionism.