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'Fare well Mr. Rohde. Continue making your living by telling the Srebrenica story'
A letter from Prof. Drasko Jovanovic


Note: When Rohde did not reply to the letter from Max and me, which Professor Jovanovic had forwarded to him, Jovanovic wrote to Rhode. (His comments refer to Rhode's article in the 'NY Times' of July 9, 2000.)

Dear Mr. Rohde,

After reading your article today in the New York Times I have come to a closure: I will never learn the truth about Srebrenica. You have to make a living and thus mostly play the tune you are paid for to play. I am a scientist and in addition a Serb, and thus reluctant to accept anything but hard facts and true evidence.

I was expecting that you who have been there and talked to people will bring some solid, irrefutable evidence that civilian males, not soldiers, were taken away from their families, to some location and executed. Number always quoted is 7000. Now I mentioned to you that as a eleven year old I was almost a witness of a similar massacre of males, including high school seniors of 7000 in Kragujevac. No hands were tied , no eyes were wrapped, they were taken in groups of 100 in front of the machine gun and shot. To tie hands or to even screen the eyes would take too long, and yet the shooting lasted three days. You see after each group bodies had to be moved those still moving shot in the head again etc.

And they were buried at the same spot. Now you tell me that "huge Serb effort to hide bodies by moving and reburying them" has taken place. This operation would had to take longer than the shooting itself. I estimate that about 70 trucks had to be employed, designated sites dispersed over Bosnian hills dug up and bodies reburied. I find this hard to believe. The war was still going on. Gasoline was in shortage, bulldozers had to be used for exhumation and reburial. All that. I expected of you to tell me some details, believable how all that was executed. You were there. You talked to people. Presumably Serbs too. Could you not find one or two among the thousands and thousand willing to talk. Anonymously.

What you are producing is that 1,866 bodies have been found. In how many graves? Are they all civilians massacred or soldiers killed in battle. Armed or unarmed. All you say 1,866 bodies were recovered from mass graves. Do you think Serbs were planting the bodies all over like the potatoes? And with all the audacity you state: "in the thirty remaining graves, believed to hold as many as 2,000 bodies..." This still leaves 3,134 bodies yet unaccounted for. And yet you as well as others persist in calling the Srebrenica massacre of 7,000.

So fare well Mr. Rohde. Continue making your living by telling the Srebrenica story. I will have to find other sources which I can trust and believe before I assume the burden of guilt of being the Serb.

Sincerely yours,
Drasko Jovanovic

Senior Physicist, Emeritus, Fermilab
visiting professor UIUC