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Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada

The letter of the Archbishop Lazar Puhalo

Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada
Published: February 23, 2011  

The letter of the Archbishop Lazar Puhalo to the Institute for Research of Genocide of Canada

As a Canadian of Serbian descent (Herzegovina), I must agree with your concern about the denial of holocausts. Like you, and most others who are aware of it, I am horrified that anyone would deny the Srebrenica massacre. The denial by Croatia of the genocide against the Serbs during WWII should certainly have sensitised our people to the fact that denying a mass murder only amplifies the crime.

One should allow for others to practice freedom of speech, but there are limits. Turkey is still in denial about the genocide of Greeks and Armenians, some (but certainly not all) Bosnian Serbs deny the mass murder at Srebrenica, and this continues to keep the wound open. It does not allow healing for either the Bosniaks or the Serbs. It continues to hinder a full reconciliation and peaceful sharing of the land. I can only say that Trifkovic does not speak for all Serbs. Many of us are deeply ashamed of what happened at Srebrenica, and desire that Serbs accept the responsibility for that so that a healing can take place. There were atrocities on all sides in that war, as there are in every war, however, Srebrenica stands out as a particularly evil moment in history for which there is no possible excuse. Only people deprived of their humanity and their senses could have committed such a deed.

Denial” has never been a solution to any problem, and it has never generated mutual human respect. Being able to take responsibility for our sins and well as our virtues is part of what makes us true human beings.

Your brother in our common humanity.

Archbishop Lazar Puhalo

Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada