Is it to spare her emotions that Slavenka Drakulic has not returned to Belgrade since the wars? She does not think so. Instead, her reasons have to do with the silence and denial of so much of Serbian society, and with a Serbian youth that is failing to ask the right questions.
Nicht viele Frauen waren am Krieg beteiligt, schon gar nicht auf höchster Entscheidungsebene. Biljana Plavsic stand neben den Angeklagten Radovan Karadzic und Momcilo Krajisnik an der Spitze der Republika Srpska. Sie wurde wegen Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit, Verstößen gegen die Kriegsgesetze und die Genfer Konventionen zu elf Jahren Freiheitsentzug verurteilt. Immerhin gehört sie zu den wenigen, die sich zu ihrer Verantwortung für Kriegsverbrechen bekannten.
Slavenka Drakulic, a committed European, expresses doubts in the continuing momentum of European integration amidst rising anxieties about a loss of national identity. Mirrored in the success of right-wing and populist parties across Europe and concerns being voiced in the post-communist countries queuing for “entry” as well, this anxiety, however, focuses on a cultural construct, the author argues. To make the project Europe work, a new kind of imagined community will need to be created – is Europe ready for that?
The death of toilet paper may not have been the sole reason for the collapse of communism, but it’s an apt metaphor for a regime unable to fulfil its subjects’ basic needs. Although Slavenka Drakulic’s bathroom is better stocked these days, she’s still prone to doubt: was the normality she and her fellow eastern Europeans longed for just another false paradise?
Triumph of evil
Radislav Krstic, General of the Republika Srpska army and Deputy Commander of Drina Corps, was the first war criminal sentenced for genocide by the ICTY. He was sentenced to 46 years of prison for ordering the deaths of over seven thousand Muslim men were executed, in the UN safe area of Srebrenica, between 13 and 19 July 1995, while 30,000 people were forcibly deported. Slavenka Drakulic witnessed the trial and traces Krstic’s biography.