World War II and the Bosnian Genocide of 1992-1995
To what extent did the Axis occupation of Yugoslavia influence the Bosnian Genocide of 1992-1995?
Name: Topias Hokkanen
Candidate number: 03939051
Session: May 2012
School: Coppell High School
Supervisor: Michael Cook
Word count: 3,847
This extended essay deals with the Bosnian Genocide from 1992-1995, where the Bosnian Serb army committed various acts of war crimes towards Bosnian Muslims. It carries out a historical investigation of the causes of the war crimes, trying to make clear how the Bosnian Serbs could kill neighbors just because of their religion or where they resided. In more detail, the investigation deals with the origin of the tension between both groups, how Nationalistic influences from World War II were prevalent during the genocide, and how World War II influenced the practices sought to carry out the genocide, examining the question: To what extent did the Axis Occupation of Yugoslavia influence the Bosnian genocide of 1992-1995?
The limitations of this essay are restricted to the long-term causes of the genocide, because the immediate causes are not investigated. Furthermore, the essay does not go into every historical or social factor that caused the genocide. In pursuance to examine the research question, primary and secondary sources related to World War II and post World War II Bosnia are used.
This investigation leads to the conclusion that the Bosnian Genocide to a profound degree was a result of the Axis influence in the region from World War II. The Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Muslims did exist as separate identities religiously and ethnically before the Axis occupation, but with the brutal enforcement of Nationalistic dogmas through military and propaganda means, the dichotomization of both groups grew to another level. One can argue that the new way of depicting each group introduced by the Axis justified the genocide of 1992-1995. Although there are several other reasons that might have contributed to the reason why the genocide occurred, there is no doubt the Axis occupation in the region was one of great importance. (297 words) Table of Contents
Title Page… 1
Table of Contents3
1.The origins of Different Identities in the Region6
2.1 Spread of Nationalism during World War II………………………………………………. 8 2.2 Post WW211
3. Targeting of a Distinct Group12
4. Similarities in Holocaust and Bosnian Genocide14
During the duration of the Bosnian War that took place in present day Bosnia-Herzegovina in Southern Europe from 1992-1995, thousands of Bosnian Muslims were systematically killed for purposes hard to understand. According to the European Parliament it was the “biggest war crime to take place in Europe since the end of the Second World War" and consisted of the murder of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica as well as the mass expulsion of another 25,000–30,000 Bosnian Muslims. In total, the UN estimates the war accounted for 200,000 people killed, 12,000 of them children, up to 50,000 women raped, and 2.2 million forced to flee their homes. Just like Nazi Germany, the "intent was clearly to find a total solution; that is, to remove the Muslims from the land by whatever means feasible. Killings, torture, rape, and deportation” (Cigar 3). The Bosnian genocide was the slaughter of one group of people, the Bosnian Muslims also known as Bosniaks by the Bosnian Serbs. The two groups for centuries have lived together in the same region, a region with a political and cultural history unlike that of any other country in Europe. It was until the twentieth century when the major clashes between both...