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Turningpoint Srebrenica

Massgrave near Srebrenica
In August 1995 Serb forces overran the Bosnian city of Srebrenica and executed
nearly 8000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys. Photo: Source unknown

In 1995 the Bosnian war reached its tragic climax: Serb forces under General Ratko Mladic overran the UN-protected safe-haven Srebrenica and killed some 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys.

The singular magnitude of the Srebrenica massacre jolted many Germans - including Joschka Fischer - and forced them to abandon their objections to intervention on behalf of the Bosnian Muslims. More broadly, it set Germans to rethinking the roles that Europe, and Germany as part of it, should play in the world.

Within the Greens this debate was particularly polarizing. In an open letter, Fischer reversed his own position and exhorted the Greens to wake up to the reality that international policy in Bosnia had failed. He argued that the Greens' nonviolent options

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