End Game: The Betrayal and Fall of Srebrenica: Europe's Worst Massacre Since the Holocaust

David Rohde, Author
David Rohde, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $24 (440p) ISBN 978-0-374-25342-4
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-0-8133-3533-9
Paperback - 446 pages - 978-0-14-312031-5
Open Ebook - 480 pages - 978-1-101-57509-3
Open Ebook - 480 pages - 978-1-101-57424-9
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Rohde, now a reporter for the New York Times, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1995 (at age 28) for his stories in the Christian Science Monitor on the war in Bosnia that exposed the massacre of more than 7000 Muslims after the fall of Srebrenica. He found the mass graves and witnesses who could attest to the active role of Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic in the slaughter. This book is a more detailed, even more horrifying examination of that atrocity. Employing a less flamboyant version of the eyewitness technique popularized in such books as The Longest Day, Rohde followed seven people step-by-step, day-by-day over 10 days in July 1995: three Muslim villagers from Srebrenica, who saw their neighbors systematically killed; two men who fought with the Bosnian Serbs and took part in the killing; and two Dutch U.N. peacekeepers who found themselves helpless to do anything about it. The power of this book--which matches that of Schindler's List--comes from the cool, almost mundane way in which the author recounts how one thing happened after another until a village was wiped into oblivion. Rohde also steps away from his eyewitnesses on the killing ground to follow the bureaucratic dithering of U.N. officials, who could have called in air strikes to save the village. ""The fall of Srebrenica did not have to happen,"" he concludes in a pointed epilogue, but it did happen because the West chose to be powerless and because a leader on the spot--General Mladic--was more than eager to fan ethnic animosity. It is hard to imagine how this ugly story could be better told. (May)
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