|"Mevludin Oric, in tears as he recounts the Serb genocide. Captured by the Serbs two days into the Death March, he miraculously survived a brutal mass execution by pretending to be dead."|
By Charlotte Eagar
Daily Mail, August 6, 2011
"The walkers come marching resolutely down the dusty track from the forests, seven and a half thousand of them in bright hiking gear and T-shirts. They are on their way to Srebrenica, an old silver town set in a bowl of rolling, wooded hills. They call themselves the Mars Mira -- the peace march -- but this is no bunch of weekend revolutionaries. There are women, and girls and boys too young to remember the war, but the real heroes of the Mars Mira are the surviving men of Srebrenica, sweaty in the 100-degree heat, clutching the plastic water bottles they wished they had 16 years ago. They set off three days and almost 70 miles ago from the village of Nezuk in northern Bosnia and you can only imagine what memories assail them as they walked through those woods. For the Mars Mira follows (in reverse) the route of Srebrenica's Death March -- the Put Smrti -- along which these men battled for five days, after their town finally fell to the Serbs on July 11, 1995. Srebrenica's name is now synonymous with the worst single act of genocide in Europe since the Nazi Holocaust, when more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men were murdered by the Serbs; the actual number is still uncertain, but more than 5,000 bodies have been found so far and thousands more are still missing. But less well known is the extraordinary story of the men who tried to escape the massacre. For although 2,000 wounded and old men did give themselves up and were almost immediately killed, the able-bodied men refused to surrender. [...]"
[n.b. Thanks to Jo Jones for bringing this source to my attention.]