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The Graves: Forensic Efforts at Srebrenica and Vukovar Hardcover – 1 Oct 1998


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Scalo; First Edition edition (1 Oct. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3931141764
  • ISBN-13: 978-3931141769
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 762,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

In May 1996 William Haglund, an American forensic anthropologist, along with a team of forensic scientists from 19 countries, was sent by the international war crimes tribunal in the Hague to oversee the investigation into mass graves discovered in the hills around Srebrenica in Bosnia, and at Vukovar in Croatia. What they discovered were some of the worst atrocities since World War II. This book is the account of how, from a hell of mud and decomposing bodies, Haglund began to piece together the victims' identities and the terrible ways they died. Over 40,000 Muslim refugees were living in and around Srebrenica when it fell to the Serbs, under General Ratko Mladic in July 1995. Of the men who fled or were rounded up by the Serbs, many were never seen again. Stover talks to the surviving families, women and children, including the Women of Srebrenica, still clinging to the hope that their men are alive even as Haglund's investigations prove otherwise. Mladic has since been charged with crimes of genocide, but Stover identifies lack of political will to arrest the criminals and bring them to trial.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Miguel Duarte Laranjeira on 1 April 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is very well writen, showing us the world of forensic studies, in the particular case of Vukovar and Srebrenica, giving us an overview on how felt the forensic workers about their job and how bad and good reactions were obtained from the population living in the graves's areas, from strong opposition by some to enforcement by others.
This job is a very important one in order to provide proofs of many attrocities commited during the Bosnia 92-95 war.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Powerful, Powerful Account of War Crimes 4 Feb. 2000
By Richard R - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stover and Peress, through searing words and photographs, have created a record of the two greatest war crimes in the conflicts that accompanied the breakup of Yugoslavia. The sack of the eastern Croatian town of Vukovar in 1991 by Serb forces, and the subsequent mass murder of over 200 patients and staff from the local hospital is still a powerful and pivotal event, not only because of the sheer magnitude of the atrocity, but also because it was the first. Vukovar came before the siege of Sarajevo, the rape and torture camps in Prijedor and Foca and elsewhere, before the destruction of Mostar bridge, and the massacre at Srebrenica. Vukovar set the standard for the atrocities that were to come, and eight years after its destruction, the town is still a hollowed-out ruin with weeds poking through shattered buildings and one-fourth of its prewar population clinging precariously to subsistence in a destroyed economy. The siege and fall of Bosnia's Srebrenica in 1995, engineered by indicted war criminal Ratko Mladic has been amply documented elsewhere, but this book is not a military history or the reconstruction of the crime. Rather it is about the search for the missing and the identification of bodies pulled from mass graves. The authors follow the forensic specialists, the anthropologists and physicians who have created a sad but necessary specialty in this field. The exhumations are part of the search for the truth, not only for the half-grieving, half-hopeful survivors who cling to rumors about their loved ones, but for all people of compassion who hope that finding some finality, and perhaps some justice, at the bottom of these graves will serve both the living and the dead. The exhumations and identifications are carried out according to strict forensic standards so the results can be used as evidence at the Hague war crimes tribunal. If we are to forge any positive legacy from these atrocities, it may lie in allowing the children of both the victims and the executioners to lead normal lives, free from fear and revenge and poisonous hatred. Memories are long in this region, and vengeance can take decades. The woman who runs an orphanage for young Srebrenica survivors observes, "What is important now is the message the international community sends to these boys and what they then tell their own children. If you say to a child, `Look, that man there killed your father, and now he lives in your house.' What kind of message is that going to send? But if you say, `That man killed your father and that is why he is in prison.' The message is very different. So, for now, there might not be a lot of hatred or revenge, but if we don't find a way to punish those responsible for these crimes, it will surely be something we can count on in the future." To date, neither Mladic nor the "Vukovar Three" are in the tribunal's custody. For the children's sake, we can do better.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Peress' photographs convey much more than words. 17 Nov. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Having seen first hand the atrocities carried out in the former Yugoslavia, I was surprised by the stark reality of the superb photographs in this book. Black and white images always seem much more effective than colour. The text does not confuse the reader who knows little about the work of PHR but gives an idea of how immense the scale of the identification programme is. The book tells it like it was, and still is, for not only those people who lost friends and family, but for those people involved in the grave work. Forensic Archeologists, Anthropologists, Pathologists, Technicians and SOCOs' from all over the world give their time and energy to help identify bodies and bring the perpetrators to trial. This book puts across, in words and pictures, the real horrors of what happened in the former Yugoslavia. It is a most effective way of telling the world what did go on,and how it is still affecting, and will continue to affect peoples lives for a long time to come.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Excellent 9 Jun. 2001
By Pepper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is an amazing book, detailing evidence collection by the ICTY war crimes tribunal at two mass grave sites - Srebrenica, a predominantly Muslim town in eastern Bosnia; and Vukovar, a mixed Serb-Croat town in eastern Croatia (contrary to the view of the previous reviewer, Vukovar is neither Muslim nor Bosnian). The photos are phenomenal. After a wrenching reading, one comes away with a few scattered thoughts. Namely: 'never again, and 'thank god there is an international tribunal to carry out prosecutions for these events when domestic courts are unwilling to do so'.
There have now been two ICTY indictees arrested for Srebrenica, the trial is ongoing as of this writing. None of the 'Vukovar Three', reportedly hiding out in Belgrade have been arrested yet.
Justice is far too slow. But at least with the ICTY, there is some chance for a bit of justice after all.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Deeply Moving and engrossing 11 Oct. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The war crimes comitted in Bosnia should be more at the forefront of today's headlines. The photographs by Gilles Peress are absolutely magnificent. They capture the love, life and death of a group of people as I haven't seen since photographs of the holocaust in Germany. Each picture tells a story, and though it could have said much as a pictorial the text only enhances the things we don't see. Eric Stover has brought to life the group of people working for Physicians for Human Rights and lets each reader know them and what the organization is about. This is not only a historical document, but a testament to the good and bad in humankind.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A book about human sorrow and misery..in images and writing. 27 Sept. 1998
By Stefan Schmitt (sss4407@garnet.acns.fsu.edu) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was involved in some of the forensic investigations which took place in the former Yugoslavia and are described in the book. If there is a way to bring this human misery, sadness and sorrow closer by reading a book, Eric Stover and Gilles Perez have managed to do it. I will be teaching a class at University. This book will be instrumental in explaining why it is so important that issues such as the genocides of our world have to be documented and investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.
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