Like Eating a Stone: Surviving the Past in Bosnia by Wojciech Tochman (Translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones) - review by Adam LeBor

Adam LeBor

Atrocity in Europe

Like Eating a Stone: Surviving the Past in Bosnia


Portobello Books 175pp £12.99

In a transparent envelope, in a cardboard box in the archives of the Open Society in Budapest, there is a plastic comb. It is cheap and brown. The comb once belonged to a man killed at Srebrenica. We will never know whose it was. The victims were buried together at first, and then some were moved and reburied, so the parts of many corpses are still all jumbled up. The comb is part of David Rohde's archives – Rohde was the brave American reporter who travelled into Serbian-controlled Bosnia and first uncovered the mass graves. It is, in its way, quite as chilling as the piles of glasses and shoes at Auschwitz.

Some 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were slaughtered in and around Srebrenica by the Bosnian Serbs after the city fell in July 1995. Srebrenica was a UN-declared safe area but Dutch troops only fired over the heads of the Bosnian Serbs as they advanced. Their repeated requests for air-strikes

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