Secret - the true story behind the Srebrenica report
Alain van der Horst
December 12, 2003
Unable, unprepared and unwilling.
The survivors of 'Srebrenica' are suing the government of
the Netherlands. In contrast to the Netherlands Institute
for War Documentation [NIOD]
its report about the drama, they believe that the Dutch 'blue-helmets' could have acted to prevent
the murder of thousands of Muslim men.
How did the NIOD arrive at the conclusion that the
Netherlands should not be blamed? And why has the production of the report not
been examined thus far, nor the friction in the investigation team brought out
into the open?
1 - Wherein all the Dutch participants feel rehabilitated
Angry and bitter, the 'Women of Srebrenica' walked out of
the Hague [parliament building's] Rol Chamber while NIOD director Hans Blom was
presenting 'his' report to the nation about the fall of the enclave on the tenth
of April, 2002 . "A done deal," he was to say later. "The (TV) director had
already switched to the nearest camera before they stood up." Blom showed his
hand with that remark. At the least you could say that he had very little
respect for the viewpoint of the Bosnian survivors of the tragedy which he and
his team had analyzed. This stood in sharp contrast to his circumspect approach
to those Dutch political and military participants.
Last year November the 'Women of Srebrenica' and Dutchbat
interpreter Hasan Nuhanovic    initiated legal proceedings
against the country of the Netherlands because it had done nothing to protect
the Muslim refugees after the fall of Srebrenica. And last month it became
public that the 'Mothers of Srebrenica' also consider the Dutch government
co-responsible for the death of thousands of Muslim men. Their suit is for 875
million euros. The families and survivors, who are represented by an
international legal team, say that they have an abundance of evidence and they
will not shun the courtroom. They deny the conclusion by the Netherland's
Institute for War Documentation (NIOD)  of Hans Blom, which states that the
Netherlands had done what it could do.
The promised and long-anticipated translation into Bosnian
of the report Srebrenica. A 'safe' area  won't take much longer. It will
undoubtedly inflame the indignation in Bosnia-Herzegovina about the way in which
the Netherlands waved away its own involvement. The catastrophe is anything but
forgotten in Bosnia, while it's been declared history in Holland. The fall of
Srebrenica may be a "black page" in the country's history, to use a much-loved
metaphor from ex-premier Wim Kok, but that's all it is considered. Only when the
government decides that the Netherlands must show its heroic and/or humanitarian
face by sending a military contingent to some flashpoint on the globe, does
somebody or other toss in the S-word: "Remember Srebrenica". That stands for
naïveté, defeat, awkwardness, political failure, soldiers who cannot fight,
inability, shame and also for some seven and a half thousand deported and
murdered men, a beer-swigging minister and a dancing crown prince. In the first
few years after the fall Srebrenica was called our national trauma. But a trauma
should be followed by a diagnosis, and that came in a more than six
thousand-page report, counting the appendices, Srebrenica. A 'safe' area.
The Netherland's Institute for War Documentation, formerly
called 'Rijksinstituut' (RIOD), took nearly six years of research to analyze the
most gripping occurence for the Netherlands since the Second World War. On the
eleventh of July, 1995 the Muslim enclave protected by the Dutch UN
'blue-helmets' fell into Bosnian Serb hands; on the tenth of April, 2002 NIOD
director Blom presented his version of the events.
And then silence descended. Did ex-Minister of Defence
Joris Voorhoeve's wish come true -- after the evacutation of the enclave he
commented hopefully that the "book of Srebrenica" would someday be "closed"? It
became so quiet that it might be called remarkable. Was the oeuvre that the NIOD
had delivered simply so excellent that there was nothing more to say? That
doesn't seem to be the case - after all, the survivors themselves say that the
Dutch could certainly have intervened. But the question of how good the report
actually is has never been asked. There have been various stories dribbling out
concerning the manner of working inside the research team, about the quality of
the investigation and its goals. But it has never come to a serious debate. That
might have to do with the fact that the world of Dutch historians is so small;
everyone knows everybody; everybody meets everyone else continually. This fact
makes it difficult for the colleagues of the Srebrenica research team to express
their opinions. Off the record some historians have even spoken of fear of the
'academic mafia' that cannot be crossed.
THE STORIES SURROUNDING THE CREATION OF THE NIOD REPORT
JUSTIFY THE QUESTION WHETHER OR NOT IT ACTUALLY HAS THE VALUE THAT HAS BEEN
ASCRIBED TO IT
Whatever the facts may be, the stories about the
development of the NIOD investigation into the fall of Srebrenica were so
worrying that they justify the question - retrospectively - whether the NIOD
report actually has the value that has been ascribed to it.
After its publication a high-ranking military officer
was dismissed (Lieutenant-General Van Baal), but his reputation has since been
restored. A Cabinet fell, too, the second Kok Cabinet, but the careers of its
members have continued quite well since. The ex-Prime Minister turned in his
resignation to the Queen at the time, but immediately made it clear that no one
should even think of considering it as an admission of guilt. His wishes were
catered to, even though it was a strange thing to demand. If Kok had truly
wanted to accept his responsibility, as he proclaimed, then he could have done
so just as well in 1995, for even some seven years after the fall of Srebrenica
the NIOD did not present any new facts concerning his behaviour nor that of his
Dutchbat III, the Dutch batalion that could not prevent
"the largest mass murder on European soil since the Second World War", felt
rehabilitated by the NIOD report. Yes, what had happened was terrible, and their
actions had certainly not always been appropriate, but in the long run the
military (and political) Netherlands could not have done anything. After all it
was the cruel Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic who had made the decision to
slaughter as many Muslim men as possible from what had become the open-air
prison of Srebrenica. Among the all's-well-that-ends-well sounds that quickly
followed the charged final chords of the years of NIOD investigation in the
Netherlands, there were only two dissonant notes. Of the Cabinet members, the
morally superior Jan Pronk had enraged Kok by declaring that "the politicians"
and indeed he himself had failed. And the then well-admired Mient Jan Faber,
secretary of the IKV (the Dutch Inter-Church Council) had prepared his own
http://www.domovina.net/srebrenica/page_006/broch-nl.pdf] in which
a certain amount of Dutch guilt was ascertained. However, after a few strong
bursts of interest from the media, both were quickly forgotten. More to the
point, the resignation of the Cabinet (albeit just before its term in office
was due to end anyway) drew all the attention. In the aftermath the
Netherlands was drawn more and more to the politics of Pim Fortuyn.
2 - Wherein the question arises how independent the NIOD
That doubts have arisen concerning the value of the NIOD
report is not primarily a result of its content. Logically there is not much to
be said about that. The subject is simply too immense and too complex. No one
other than the authors of the report could possibly have enough time, money or
resources even to start a critical analysis of the utilized information it
contains. Even the important article on the report in the Journal of History (Tijdschrift
voor Geschiedenis), no. 2, 2003 'The Srebrenica Drama' offers no direct opinion
on its validity. And this journal is full of contributions from competent
historians. In the latest edition of Contributions and Annoucements concerning
the History of the Netherlands (BMGN), the in-house publication of the Royal
Dutch Historical Society, attention is paid to the NIOD report. Two of the
reviewers (J.W.L. Brouwer and Jan Willem Honig  ) are very critical: the
investigation took too long, the report appeared too late, is sloppy and has no
clear structure of inquiry. But the 'discussion file' is closed with a
rationalization from Hans Blom. He can do that with impunity because it is not
possible to hold him to account concerning the content. His report cannot be
read due to its size; therefore, it is practically impossible to check it, and
in fact it is unreviewable - a complaint that actually has been made against
other historical oeuvres such as Het Koningrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede
Wereldoorlog (The Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Second World War) and the
historical volumes concerning the Dutch cabinets since 1945.
The reasons to entertain serious doubts about the NIOD
report come from a different field. In the first place it seems that the
investigation primarily served a political goal instead of being aimed at
discovering the truth. In the second place, the situation in which the
investigation took place was from a scholarly viewpoint so bizarre and
unfavorable that it had to affect the result. No one paid any attention to that.
Only the sociologist and columnist J.A.A. van Doorn reacted quickly in Trouw
when the report was published and he was irritated by the flow of maddening
details without any possibility of distinguishing between main themes, auxiliary
subjects or trivia. There was no general index. The index of personal
names was messy. Names were switched or badly spelled. The page numbers given
were not correct.
Why did no one ask themselves how the NIOD report had
actually been produced? Why has no honest answer been given to the question of
what the real reason was that the publication of the report was postponed three
times? Why has not one government representative ever even suggested that it
would be smart to examine the NIOD's methodology? Why did the Cabinet act so
surprised, on the day the report was presented, when officials from various
ministries had already been given the agreed preview (which had been arranged
between the NIOD and the ministries at the time of the acceptance of the
assignment) of the text that the investigators produced? How independent
actually was the NIOD? Should the reconstruction of the fall of Srebrenica have
been handled in this manner? These matters have never been approached. Not in
the first days after the presentation when everyone made things easier for
themselves by relying on the conclusions and press releases . Nor later,
when a different political constellation had arisen to power and there had been
time enough to peruse the NIOD's thick volumes.
It may at the very least be called remarkable. The whole
investigation was surrounded with a rabid secrecy and until this day the people
involved remain stubbornly silent about what they went through in those six
years of toil. Those who approached them were stone-walled ("I don't feel
like discussing it." "There is nothing to tell." "The result is all that
counts."). During the past year several of these people have been contacted by
HP/De Tijd. They refuse to cooperate. Evidently the investigators do not feel
required or empowered to say anything about their manner of working, although it
is normally not usual for people in the academic world to do their work with
their lips shut tight. Only when the text of this article was presented to them,
did some of them decide to react. NIOD director Hans Blom declared that he found
this article "poor", "full of elementary [factual] mistakes, full of unjustified
suspicions and suggestions," but he "refrains from giving any commentary."
In relation to the matter of Srebrenica itself, so terribly
much has been said and written and shown and suggested and proven, that the
truly interested person has either lost the scent completely or become
exhausted. Cynically enough, that seems to have been the point when the bright
idea first saw the light of day in the Trêveszaal [a room in the Hague
parliament buildings - FT] in 1996 - according to the account of Hans van Mierlo
who, cost what it may, wished 'his' purple Cabinet [Holland's first-ever
coalition government of social-democrats, liberal-democrats and conservatives -
FT] to be a success. - to order "an independent and historically scientific
investigation" into the overrunning of what had been advertised by the United
Nations as a 'safe area' in war-torn, disintegrating Bosnia and Hercegovina.
Although it has never been officially admitted, few of
those involved doubt anymore that the political move to place the NIOD at the
head of the Srebrenica investigation, was at least partly engendered by the
necessity of diverting attention. Starting up an independent investigation which
would 'get to the bottom of things', has helped the sitting government of this
country out of a tight place more than once -- what comes to mind are the
Menten affair and the Lockheed scandal.
Even more to the point, although retrospectively difficult
to imagine, the fact that the political situation in the Netherlands in 1995 was
crumbling had an influence as well. The first purple Cabinet was nothing short
of revolutionary; [conservative] VVD and [social-democrat] PvdA governed
together, without the [christian-democrat] CDA. Both PvdA leader Wim Kok and VVD
leader Frits Bolkestein had stuck out their necks to make this most unusual
collaboration possible. The 'purple experiment' (that's what it was really
called) simply had to succeed, but the continual commotion about Srebrenica
threatened to eclipse everything. In other words, the government desperarely
needed a lightning rod with an aura of independence. There is no proof for it,
but the actual conclusion ('The government is not to blame') comes very close to
the envisioned outcome ('This government is not to blame'). "No good guys, no
bad guys," as Commander Karremans said by accident -- it had all been bad luck.
3 - Where it becomes apparent that nobody at the NIOD
understood the matters to be investigated
Could it have really been the intention of the Cabinet to
keep the outcome of this investigation into Srebrenica under control without
that becoming apparent to unsuspecting outsiders? It clarifies matters to look
back at a number of clues in that direction.
At any rate it is evident that those who commisioned the
Srebrenica investigation (the first Kok Cabinet) and those who accepted the
assignment (called RIOD at the time) in the summer of 1996, one year after the
withdrawal of Commander Karremans and his blue-helmeted troops, needed one
another. It did seem that the Cabinet was quite interested in smothering the
constantly recurring discussion about the Dutch failure and in avoiding a
politically dangerous parliamentary inquiry. Since 1995 War Documentation [the
RIOD, later NIOD] was seeking a broader field to investigate in order to silence
the ever louder call to disband them. (Wasn't just about everything there was to
document about WW II already documented?) New fields to plow were welcome.
War Documentation is de facto a governmental service. It
works under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and
is financed by them. Especially for this very reason it is strange that the
Cabinet, which had proposed an independent investigation to the community,
eventually chose this dependent organization. Indeed there was brief mention of
other possible solutions in the orientation phase (including the name of the
Clingendael Institute for International Relations). According to NIOD director
Hans Blom the Cabinet made 'honest attempts' to launch an international
investigation into Srebrenica. But for reasons known only to that Cabinet, the
NIOD was selected.
It is very odd then that the NIOD investigation was
officially paid for by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (the
Minister of Education was the commissioner and the contact person between the
NIOD and the government) while in reality the - unlimited - budget for the
investigation was drawn from the Defence Ministry. Via the budget line 'Miscellaneaous
Defence-wide expenditures' a total of two million euros was allocated in both
2002 and 2003 for the NIOD investigation. Defence transferred that amount to
Education, Culture and Science and they then transferred it to the NIOD.
Thus Defence was paying for a study about the functioning
of (among others) Defence, but it probably was considered smart to camouflage
It must be said that the Cabinet did its best to present
the impression that the investigation was independent. Take the way in which the
Cabinet reacted to the eventual publication: the members of the Cabinet were
surprised and shocked. Well, they acted surprised and shocked; they were not.
The NIOD had been visited in the last stages of their investigation by 'readers'
from at least four ministries: Education, Culture and Science, State, Defence
and the Cabinet Office (Algemene Zaken). Formally they only came to ascertain
whether the investigators were handling sensitive archives with care, but they
also reported back to their respective bosses. Added to that, the draft of the
report was to have been made known to the Cabinet some weeks before its
publication. Hans Blom did himself announce to one and all that he and some of
his colleagues had divulged the contents of the report to Prime Minister Kok and
the ministers of Defence and State. The huge surprise in The Hague concerning
the conclusions of the investigating team was, in short, an act, evidently only
meant as theatre.
If the government really intended to commission an
independent study, why did they eventually choose the NIOD? Why wasn't a team
chosen from among independent and even foreign historians? But the curious were
purposefully kept away. Blom didn't even want to allow a readers' group, as was
customary for historical studies at War Documentation. It is also apparent that
the two independent Srebrenica experts at the time, Frank Westerman and Bart
Rijs, authors of the book Srebrenica, het zwartste scenario  (Srebrenica,
the darkest scenario), provided material to be used; nevertheless, they were
never asked a single question by the NIOD investigators.
For other reasons, too, the choice of the NIOD was not as
obvious as it might have seemed at the time. No one who worked there had any
knowledge of the problems to be addressed. In short, the Cabinet chose an
organization to do the loaded Srebrenica job in which no person had any
applicable expertise. If Kok and his colleagues did not realize this, then they
were quite unworldly.
As of January 1, 1999, the Ministry of Education 's direct
control of the NIOD was changed to an indirect control. To mark that event the
name was changed from RIOD to NIOD. After that War Documentation fell under the
cloak of the KNAW, the Dutch Academy of Sciences. The minister responsible at
the time, Jo Ritzen, wished to emphasize the independence of the Institute, but
in fact it made little difference, since the KNAW was also paid for by the
government. The suggestion arises that this cosmetic operation (which was
done in the middle of the Srebrenica investigation) was also an attempt to pull
the wool over the eyes of possible critics.
Altogether the only buffer between the investigators and
the politicians was the man Hans Blom, director of the NIOD. Who is Professor
Doctor J.C.H. Blom? A hardened, aggresive rock of immutability? A pure scholar
who would never allow himself to be swayed by the leaders of this country? No,
not in the least. The utterly amenable establishment-creature Blom is up to his
eyebrows in boardroom positions; practically every organization of any
importance in the historical field had or has him in its midst (including the
Royal Dutch Historical Association and the biographical commission of the Prince
Bernhard Culture Fund). He also seems to enjoy being seen in the political
world. Those who know him describe him as someone who likes to be liked and who
avidly avoids conflicts. Blom had only been the director of the NIOD for three
days when he heard that the Cabinet had especially chosen him to do the
investigation into Srebrenica. What a miraculous coincidence!
Coincidence? Perhaps. But the fact is that there were
two people in the commission that nominated Blom for the position who had
already been involved in a very special manner with post-Srebrenica happenings.
They were G.L.H. Huyser and Professor Master J. de Ruiter. Govert Huyser,
retired general and ex-member of the Ministry of Defence staff and Job de Ruiter,
ex-minister of Defence and of Justice.
Later on it became known that the same Huyser and De
Ruiter were responsible for keeping unpleasant details about occurences in
Srebrenica under their hats.
One of the most questionable elements of the Srebrenica
affair is the so-called debriefing of Dutchbat in the autumn of 1995, organized
by the Armed Forces' top brass. Before an operation soldiers are briefed about
what they can expect and what is expected of them; after such an operation there
is an evaluation to determine whether the directives have been fulfilled in the
proper manner. It was crucial in this case, because the military personnel
present at the fall of Srebrenica in the summer of 1995 would have the
opportunity to tell exactly what they had seen, heard and experienced. Govert
Huyser and Job de Ruiter were there at the debriefing. They were there as
independent advisors who were to make sure that the information was collected
and handled correctly.
Only last year did the NIOD report confirm what had been
suspected all along: the military top brass had withheld from the debriefing
report certain evidence from Dutchbatters, which it thought was harmful to the
reputation of the Armed Forces. Huyser and De Ruiter had not resisted this.
They obviously found the reasoning of the Army's leaders more persuasive.
When Frank de Grave became Minister of Defence in 1998, he
was confronted with new Srebrenica facts and suspicions from the period of his
predecessor Voorhoeve. He decided on a separate investigation. Noord-Holland
Province Governor Jos van Kemmenade was put in charge of the investigating
committee and he concluded that nothing had been swept under the carpet. That
conclusion was absolutely rebutted last year when the NIOD report was published:
the Army's top brass had twisted and omitted certain facts in the debriefing
report. NIOD's press release says: "Minister Voorhoeve (-) counted on the
loyalty, support and proper political sense from the Army. The top brass of the
Royal Armed Forces in fact had other priorities such as protecting the image of
Dutchbat and of the army, whereby the Minister received late, often insufficient
and sometimes even no information. The debriefing report was inadequate. The
Royal Armed Forces clearly was able to mould it."
In addition the Netwerk (Network) television program
revealed that the Van Kemenade committee must have found out about this, but
refrained from letting it be known. The committee stubbornly ignored a number of
clues including eleven incriminating declarations from Dutchbatters. In his
interview with Committee chairman Van Kemenade the chief bureaucrat of Defence
De Winter seems to have said, "Some passages were not completely correct;
here and there matters had been obscured. I take it that the debriefing team
thought it better to keep it (-) quiet." And: "I have the impression that that
was left out on purpose."
Concerning the running of the NIOD investigation there
remains a complete and unbelievable 'omerta'. There has never been
anything made public about it. Odd, because it was not some secret activity, but
an historical - scientific study. Or is there something to hide?
4 - Wherein the NIOD methodology reveals inexplicable
The story of the newly appointed, ambitious director, his
temporary employees and the relationships between them begins on August 28,
1996. Blom has already started at War Documentation, but still needs to tie up a
few loose ends at his old employer's, the University of Amsterdam. He finds a
note in his room; during the last staff meeting the Minister of Education Jo
Ritzen had tried to reach him by phone. Would he please return the call ASAP.
Blom does. "Don't be startled, " Jo says to Hans (They know one another) and he
proceeds to explain that the council of ministers is considering designating him
to do a large and extensive investigation into the fall of Srebrenica. Just so
that he would know about it.
Blom was startled, he later remarked (in Vrij Nederland);
but he also couldn't be anything other than elated. Such an important task is a
fantastic entrance. Although afterwards he never returned to the subject, he
once openly let it be known why (in an interview in Trouw). He could see the
future mapped out before him; under his tutelage the backwater Institute for War
Documentation would expand into an organization where the whole of recent
history would be studied, one comparative to the prestigious Institut für
Zeitgeschichte in Munich.
At any rate, the manner in which media professor Henri
Beunders spoke about Blom in a portrait brought by NRC Handelsblad on April 8,
2002 says much about his elation in the early days of his directorship, when he
began to realize that Srebrenica could well become his magnum opus. Beunders
relates how Blom gathered an informal coterie of historians, who did 'nice
things' together with their partners. "When he became director of the NIOD, he
issued an invitation to all of us. He proudly showed us the wonderful new
building, and said, 'I have a coffee lady now, even catering. Would you like a
drink? A beer? Wine? Maybe a sandwich? That's all possible here.' He was as
happy as a child."
So Blom said "Yes." to the Cabinet's assignment, but the
NIOD was not, as stated, equiped to handle such a complex job. There were 25
employees, of whom six had attained the status of investigator. But there was
nobody who knew anything substantial about the current Dutch political scene,
about Defence or about Yugoslavia. Nobody.
What happened next shows an inexplicable amateurism.
Blom accepted an assignment which he could not fulfill with the exisiting team.
He needed to bring in new people. He brought in only three. That was very sparse
in view of the work to be done. Blom evidently decided to have the immense
investigation handled by only three people; the discrepancy between the size of
the matter to be studied and the number of team members was absurdly large.
There was also inadequate thought given to the
investigation's directives. The official text states that there will be an
"inventory" and "organization" of "relevant factual material" so as to "allow
insight". Vague enough to be susceptible to various interpretations. And yet
there had been a lengthy conference beforehand and it was Blom himself who
eventually choose the way it was formulated. Much of what was agreed between him
and the government is unknown to us. Only that the Cabinet had promised access
to secret information and that the investigators could use the notes (made
anonymous) from the ministerial councils.
The government wanted quiet in the country, so it was no
problem at all if Blom's investigation took a long time. In answer to difficult
questions from the press, reference could be made to the deep-digging and
therefore time-consuming investigation that was being done. No deadline had been
set, but expectations were around three years; about just after the
elections for the Second Chamber of Parliament (the "Commons" or "House of
Representatives") in 1998. With the support of the PvdA, VVD and D'66 [the
parties making up the coalition government] a motion was put down that called
for publication before the end of the first purple Cabinet. But even members of
the government parties such as D'66 House member Hoekema, did not imagine that
the investigation would take the whole of the new government's stay. The
decision was made not to make interim reports, because that would only lead to
The Cabinet could not have foretold that things would
become chaotic in Blom's team of investigators. The Cabinet could also not have
foreseen that the length of time the investigation would require was beyond
reason. That was against the wishes of the Cabinet and explains the anger that
Premier Kok displayed when Blom requested another postponement in the latter
phases of the Srebrenica study.
After accepting the task Blom had taken little time for a
serious selection procedure. Not only was the size of the team a matter for
conjecture, its make-up was curious, too. Albert Kersten (expert in the area of
international relations), Paul Koedijk (researcher and author of books about the
history of the Dutch press) and Dick Schoonoord (ex-Navy man, Colonel on the
Defence staff and author of books about Dutch battles) were added to the
Investigation section of War Documentation on a temporary basis.
How really independent were these three fresh
investigators? Albert Kersten, who took responsibility for that part of
the NIOD study that concerned the relation between the Netherlands and foreign
countries, was closely linked to the Department of State. His thesis
concerned it and he often contributed to Department of State publications. On
top of that Kersten is is the biographer of Joseph Luns [(in)famous Dutch
Foreign Minister of the cold war era] and his future is entwined with that of
the Department of State. Not only did he seem part of that establishment; he
also liked to have it said and preened about it.
Dick Schoonoord was a Navy man in heart and soul, so
certainly both Kersten and Schoonoord had ties to the field of investigation.
What could Blom have been thinking? That he was engaging expertise? Certainly.
But the down side (the taint of partiality) is something he missed.
Paul Koedijk to complete the whole, once a journalist at
Vrij Nederland, was the only one without prior connections. Blom knew him from
the period when Koedijk completed his studies with him. That goes for his other
ex-student Titia Frankfort, who became assistent investigator and later in 1999
5 - Wherein the chaos at the NIOD runs completely
What was this odd team planning to do? Considering the
limited size of the company and their nominal expertise in this field of
research, it could not have had too many pretentions. The number of subjects
to be handled (Dutch internal politics, Dutch international politics,
Yugoslavia, the United Nations, military matters, intelligence services,
communications) was huge. Because the researchers themselves realized that
their expertise had its limits they decided to confine themselves to "the Dutch
side" of the Srebrenica case. This has been stated in writing by Floribert
Baudet (political history, University of Utrecht) in the previously cited
Journal for History (Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis, TvG) who recalls a
"discussion with one of the investigators". The plan for the study remained as
vague as the directive for the study. As the same Baudet describes in the TvG, a
serious historically scientific examination ought to be built upon a clear
questionnaire. This should lead to a transparent analysis and then result in a
coherent account. "Should it be the case that the sources used by the NIOD were
not available to other researchers," he writes, "then it shall not be possible
to check the correct reproduction of certain discussions, which naturally would
have consequences for the value of the NIOD's analysis." Srebrenica. A 'safe'
area is shaky in that aspect: much of the collected information has been used in
the report without providing any critical sources to evaluate.
Based on various quotes from those involved and Hans
Blom himself one can conclude with hindsight that there was no delegation of the
many tasks nor any hierarchy. The original group of researchers was immediately
at odds over the methods to be applied. This disagreement became a clearcut
struggle for power because Blom did little about it.
Kersten had previously been at the Historical Institute in
The Hague and was of the opinion that he certainy knew how to undertake an
Koedijk, the archives rat, believed that he knew exactly
how to do it. After all he had a lot of experience in journalism and as a
political editor at Vrij Nederland he had been completely immersed in the Peter
Stuyvesant-world of the intelligence services. He considered himself the natural
leader of the investigation. Only Schoonoord had no intention of demanding to
be the leader.
It wasn't only internal strife that caused the NIOD
study's slow start; there were external problems plagueing the three
investigators, too. Although the Dutch government had promised to give the NIOD
team access to any archives that it considered necessary, this was not kept to
in practice. The Military History Department of the Royal Armed Forces
co-operated when put under intense pressure, but also kept some information
The French (crucial because of General Janvier, who at
the time in question had been the commander of the UN forces in Bosnia) had no
desire at all to be of assistance. The United Nations first wanted to devise new
rules concerning the revelation of UN information and in anticipation they
stalled. The Americans were "not at home". NATO would also not give sensitive
information up for nothing. A variety of archives stayed behind closed doors and
a selection of those responsible were not available [for interviews]. After a
year and a half Blom still had no hint of success for his mission. Astoundingly
an efficiency expert was taken on board in 1997, and that for such a tiny group
What that expert advised is not known to us. It's
redundant anyway, since nothing changed. In some aspects the situation even got
worse. Paul Koedijk got the idea that his vision was the guiding light and he
promptly took steps. That just led to even more friction.
In the Spring of 1997 the three researchers traveled with
the then assistent-investigator and historian Titia Frankfort and an
anthropologist who had been working in Great Britain Ger Duijzings (who would
become a full member of the team in 2000) to "The Area" as they called
Srebrenica and its surroundings for the first time, escorted by the American
Meanwhile there had been elections in the Netherlands, a
new Cabinet had been sworn in and there was also a new Defence Minister. After a
trying formation Frank de Grave had taken a week off to spend time at the
seaside in Bergen aan Zee with his family. His vacation came to an abrupt end.
The press disclosed one Srebrenica exposé after the other. Among them the
allegation that an armored vehicle used during the retreat of Dutchbat troops
had been driven over some refugees with fatal consequences.
Until then it had been comparatively quiet in the
Netherlands with relation to Srebrenica, but in the run-up to the elections the
opposition began to taunt. Especially the CDA, that had been shunted off so
deliberately during the first purple Cabinet, did its utmost to bring discredit
to the parties in power. Embarassing disclosures about the Srebrenica question
were ideal to this end. But the emotional wave created by this only reached its
highest peak after the second 'Purple Cabinet' had been sworn in. This was even
more touchy because the Defence- and State Departments both had new ministers,
Frank de Grave and Jozias van Aertsen of the VVD, neither of whom had had
anything to do with Srebrenica.
At this time there was a growing conspiracy theory about
the Srebrenica cover-up. PvdA, CDA and D'66 all decided that a parliamentary
inquiry was necessary.
With his feet in the surf and his mobile phone to his
ear De Grave tried to quiet things down, but he sidn't manage to do so.
Eventually, as stated, he appointed Jos van Kemenade, the Province Governor in
North Holland, to investigate whether or not the Armed Forces were withholding
information concerning Srebrenica. "NO," was his conclusion after six (!) weeks.
Prime Minister Kok promoted Van Kemenade to Minister of
State just before the presentation of the NIOD report. Felicitious, since he
came into the line of fire after the publication and it would have been much
more difficult then. The NIOD had not been able to avoid negating Van Kemenade's
investigation from 1998 ("No cover-up"). But he got away with the absurd
annoucement that he had destroyed all the information used during his
investigation. ("Van Kemenade cleaned it all up." Het Parool, April 18, 2002).
Destroyed! How could that be? The personal archive of ex-Army commander
Hans Couzy could not be used by the NIOD because it, too, had already been
destroyed. And wasn't there something that had gone awry with some rolls of film
filled with evidence? Indeed... Destroyed.
After the second Kok Cabinet took over, the
parliamentary inquiry was once again postponed. NIOD director Hans Blom
contributed to that. In an avid and pouting opinion piece in the Volkskrant of
August 18, 1998 he claimed that the prestige of his institution would be
undermined internationally through all these proposed extraneous investigations
(Ministry of Public Affairs, Defence, 2nd Chamber of Parliament) into
Srebrenica. Kok still had confidence in him and now he managed to convince
Defence Minister De Grave and Interior Minister Van Aertsen (neither tainted
with a Srebrenica past) that the NIOD wasn't twiddling its thumbs.
Blom was in a jam: a parliamentary inquiry would make
him redundant, but he couldn't make public how things really were going: the
investigation was barely started and there was hardly a line written of the
Paul Koedijk recognized this and offered himself, an
ex-journalist, as Blom's PR-man. That Koedijk then abandoned his real work did
not improve his relationship with the rest of the team.
Blom gathered his wits and promised that he would speed
up the process of investigation. To that end he was allowed to hire more
personnel in 1999. The Serbo-Croatian teacher Nevana (Nena) Bajalica (originally
from Serbia and already living in the Netherlands for a number of years) was
added and Cees Wiebes and Bob de Graaff (the authors of Villa Maarheeze, a
notorious book about the Dutch CIA, disbanded in 1992) were also pulled in.
Titia Frankfort was promoted from assistant to senior investigator. Later on
Rolf van Uye, ex-employee of the OCSE (Organization for Cooperation and Security
in Europe) joined the group and in 2000 the aforementioned anthropologist Ger
Duijzings completed the team.
This did not make the team more connected nor matters more
transparent. More and more differences of opinion arose, with the consequence
that each researcher retreated into his or her own field of specialization.
There were sources that some investigators evaluated in completely different
ways, resulting in varied interpretations. What one considered speculative was
taken at face value by another. Or as investigator Ger Duijzings stated in the
NRC Handelsblad on November 9, 2002, "Information from sources that I would
question, are used in section 1 by Bob de Graaff when they suit his purpose."
6 - Wherein investigators and their sources become
Another phenomenon popped up among some members of the NIOD
team who gradually adopted a pro-Serbian attitude from Dutchbat. Whereas the
military men related that one could make solid agreements with the Serbs, while
that was hardly possible with the Muslims, the [NIOD] investigators noted that
the Serbs arranged good hotels and that one did not have to sit on the ground
Investigator Titia Frankfort heard heroic stories about
Dutchbat doctor Gerry Kremer on one of her visits to "The Area". He had helped
the Muslim refugees when he had been forbidden to do so. According to Kremer his
superior officers had purposefully withheld medical aid from the local
population. Kremer determinedly ignored an order and went out alone to treat the
wounded. On top of that he also accused his medical colleagues (from the Navy)
present in the enclave, because they had not offered any medical assistance to
the Muslims. The matter of this "medical question" is not unknown, since Kremer
went public with it both before and after the publication of what in his opinion
is the faulty NIOD report. This to the irritation of both Navy and Army top, of
Early in July of 1995 Doctors Without Borders requested
assistance from the Dutch military stationed in Srebrenica. This was refused
because the Dutchbat commanders did not wish to use any of the so-called
"brass-tacks supplies" (a minimum medical inventory that was to be kept for the
treatment of their own troops). Kremer signed, after in his experience most
heavy pressure from General Vader the commander of the Medical Commando of the
Armed Forces, a rather mild statement about this matter when there was an
internal military investigation.
When Titia Frankfort visited this Gerry Kremer together
with Paul Koedijk during the Srebrenica investigation, she said to him that the
"Bosnian Gates of Heaven" were opened wide for him. She had heard nothing but
good about him from the survivors; he was the only hero in a sea of Dutchbat
"cowards", as the Bosnian Muslims saw it. Kremer was responsive to that kind of
compliment. It reinforced his opnion that he had acted honorably according to
his own conscience when he publicized these happenings, even if his
ex-colleagues now considered him a "buddy-fucker". He gave her a detailed
history of events and felt that the NIOD was doing a good job. Finally he was
being taken seriously.
When he contacted Frankfort later on to express his
surprise that there had been no follow-up to the first interview, he was
informed that Dick Schoonoord had evidently taken over the investigation into
this subject. But nothing was heard from him either. Frankfort indicated that
she would like to meet Kremer again. A more-than-friendly relationship flamed up
between these two, although both of them were married. Frankfort, who had become
very empathetic with the Srebrenica victims,was quite impressed with the
Dutchbat surgeon. Differentiating between the 'good' and the 'bad' persons
always had a big place in her life. She recognized a 'good' person in Kremer.
Whether Frankfort's scientific professionalism was influenced by this is not
exactly the crux of the matter. What is, is that some of her co-workers
considered that it was influenced. It certainly did not contribute to the
unity of the team.
The relationship that developped between the NIOD
investigator and the Dutchbat doctor, created an added problem for Hans Blom.
Various newspapers (including Trouw and the PZC, November 24, 2001) were going
to flaunt it, which could bring the objectivity of the investigation into
Happily Blom could make use of another team member, Dick
Schoonoord. This ex-Navy man would eventually take responsibility for a large
portion of the NIOD report. Blom and Schoonoord saw things the same way and they
had reservations about their colleagues Titia Frankfort, Nevana Bajalica and
Paul Koedijk, who accepted information they gathered from survivors and
eye-witnesses. That could lead to a version of events that would not
harmonize with the version of the Defence top brass. They were identifying
more with the common Dutchbatters (who had experienced the drama in situ) than
with the military commanders (who made decisions from a safe distance). In
Blom's eyes this "emotional empathy" of theirs and their determined search for
"the truth" made them troublesome dissidents. At the end he allowed Schoonoord
to write the 'medical' section concerning Dutchbat in the report, and that
caused quite some frustration among the 'dissidents'.
This decision must have affected the content of the report
in Gerry Kremer's opinion. Schoonoord was still a Colonel on active duty and he
had served in the Navy his whole life. Kremer was not in the Navy, but in the
Air Force. In his investigation Schoonoord relied on information from his
Navy friends, was Kremer's complaint. He had spoken only to the Navy medical
specialists (the other three in the enclave). Point in case: Schoonoord phoned
Kremer only at "one minute to midnight" immediately before the deadline for his
part of the NIOD report. As reaction Schoonoord offers that "This is just a
descriptive phrase.", but Kremer doesn't think he was taken seriously. When
Schoonoord had phoned him, he had not been at home, but the next day (January
18, 2001) he noticed that he had been called on his phone's screen. Kremer
dialed back to this unknown telephone number and reached Schoonoord. He was
startled that Kremer called him "out of the blue" and wanted to know "in God's
name" how Kremer had obtained his telephone number. In answer to Kremer's
question why he was only contacted at this stage, Schoonoord answered that he
wanted to dot the i's and that his director had not considered it necessary to
interview Kremer. The conversation lasted exactly 27 minutes and 31 seconds
(according to the phone company's bill) and that was all. But in the NIOD report
this conversaton is alluded to many times; as interview, as discussion, as
source. It also gives a date of January 17th instead of the 18th. Perhaps this
is a mistake, but maybe it is Schoonoord's attempt to disguise his only
contacting an important source at the very last minute. At any rate Kremer
accuses Schoonoord of doing his writing on the basis of talks with of a limited
number of Navy spokespersons, and specifically relying upon a colleague-surgeon
who in contrast to Kremer had only been in the enclave for two weeks and
therefore had much less knowledge about what was going on.
Schoonoord had been using the archive system at Defence and
allowed Defence itself to make copies of the pieces he used. The ministry
therefore could know exactly which documents the NIOD had and which it did not.
When closely inspected this NIOD investigation does not
seem to measure up qua "independence" and "objectivity". On November 1, 2002 the
VPRO radio program Argos devoted a broadcast to the contribution of Cees Wiebes
[in the NIOD report] on intelligence- and security services. With various
spokespersons the program's producers were able to to make a convincing point,
that both the American and German intelligence services knew that an attack on
Srebrenica was imminent. Wiebes states in the NIOD report that nobody knew
anything. According to Argos he had brushed aside all the witness statements
that said otherwise. Last September  The Bosnian Serb prosecution witness
Momir Nikolic, a former army officer, admitted at the ICTY that the mass murder
had been planned in detail and had not been "improvised" on the spot, as Wiebes
claims in the NIOD report. According to Wiebes (who does not agree with the
Argos assertions) this supports his position, because Nikolic stated that the
plans for the massacre were made on July 12th , after the fall of the
7 - Where the debacle within the NIOD team threatens to
be exposed to the outside world
The criss-crossed relationships that risked the objectivity
of the investigation were kept out of the public eye. But the chaos within the
NIOD team was revealed a little when in 2000 the 2nd Chamber of Parliament
itself got in harness. The Temporary Commission for Foreign Deployment, with
chairman Bert Bakker (D'66) studied all military missions, but obviously
concentrated on the most sensitive of them, Srebrenica. The members of the
commission tried to work together with the NIOD investigators. They not only
found that difficult, it shocked them terribly to see the systems that had
used and to hear about the deep conflicts. "Total desolation" one even
called it in HP/De Tijd of August 31, 2001. They then requested that the Cabinet
provide a public answer to the question of why the report still was not
finished. But Prime Minister Kok did not budge and the 2nd Chamber dropped the
In November of 2001 the relationship between Titia
Frankfort and Gerry Kremer, between the 'NIOD investigator' and the 'Dutchbat
surgeon' leaked out. Several newspapers published the story. NIOD spokesman
David Barnouw had to admit that the relationship existed, but declared that it
had taken place "in the Summer", was "short-lived"and now was "over".
Kremer himself now knows (from one of the journalists who
published the story but whose name he doesn't wish to disclose) that it was not
a jealous partner who spilled the beans, but a member of NIOD's investigation
The whole NIOD study was under the auspices of the BVD
(later AIVD, the national security service), mainly because they were working
with classified documents and state security was involved. Each investigator had
undergone a screening process before they could become a member of the team. In
the rather isolated whirlpool of the investigation some researchers were gripped
by a fear of spies and bugs. For instance Titia Frankfort had an extra dedicated
email address for her 'sensitive' contacts.
The tension mounted because a realistic publication date
seemed further and further away. When Wim Kok (with whom NIOD director Hans Blom
had had a good understanding) displayed public anger at the latest delay in
publication, panic really took hold. So much so that the board of the Royal
Dutch Academy of Sciences, to which the NIOD belonged since its name change in
1999, evidently demanded Blom have all the members of the team visit the company
doctor. According to a spokesperson from the Royal Academy (KNAW) the members of
the Srebrenica team had not had any "medical support". The social Annual Report
of 2001 from KNAW reads under the heading NIOD that, "In the foregoing year much
attention has been paid to the team that is conducting the Srebrenica
investigation." Mention is also made literally of "great pressure" and of
"direct support from the HR advisor and the company doctor." In addition to this
the HSK Groep, an organisation that specializes in diagnosis and treatment of
work-related psychiatric problems, interventions and training programs in
businesses and institutions, was called in. When information about this was
requested, an employee said apologetically: "The HSK Groep does not issue any
statements about this matter. That is all I am allowed to say to you."
The fear was great that public failure of the Srebrenica
investigation would not only damage the NIOD, but would affect the KNAW in its
totality. Blom was considered at such risk that Peter Romijn (the director of
Research at the NIOD) was added at the eleventh hour to be co-responsible for
the Srebrenica team: to cover Blom and to keep him out of harm's way. Not that
Romijn had any special expertise pertaining to the subject matter, but more so
that he could help the exhausted research team achieve a publishable report.
The reason for the last postponement (September, 2001)
of the publication date from November 2001 to April 2002 was officially that the
NIOD would be allowed access to the Serbian archives after the fall of
Milosevic. The real reason was that there was not yet any light at the end of
the investigation's tunnel. There were still many interviews to be done and
neither Paul Koedijk nor Albert Kersten had much written down. That irritated
the others and drove Blom perpetually to despair. Eventually he reprimanded
Koedijk. And Kersten was seconded at the last minute with the experienced
Amsterdam historian Piet de Rooy as a kind of 'ghostwriter'.
It was war with Blom and Schoonoord on the one front and
Koedijk, Frankfort and Bajalica on the other. There was no longer any
conversation possible across no-man's land; they didn't even greet one another.
However avidly Blom and Schoonoord would have liked to be rid of that trio,
Koedijk and Frankfort had control of an important part of the report. Blom could
not send them packing because then the devastation in the team would be evident
to the outside world.
To request yet another postponement was just not possible.
Blom and Kok had a gentlemen's agreement (according to Blom in an interview with
Vrij Nederland, November 2, 2002) that the report would not be brought out in
the middle of an electorial campaign, but well before time. In February of 2002
close to the due date the 2nd Chamber suddenly woke up and smelled the coffee. A
majority of the CDA, VVD and D'66 parties felt themselves tricked and wanted
immediately, "now" and at this very moment to have the contents of the NIOD
report made public. That definitely had something to do with the approaching
election. It wouldn't a bad thing for these parties if the position of the PvdA
party leader Kok should become somewhat instable. But the most important reason
for their outcry was an issue of the Twee Vandaag TV show which revealed that
the reason stated for the latest delay of the NIOD report - the opening of the
archives in Belgrade - was a lie. The archives were not opened at all. Bert
Bakker (D'66) said at the time in HP/De Tijd: "We agreed twice to a delay last
year. It seems only proper to me, that if the rationalisation behind requesting
a postponement dissolves, the Chamber and the Cabinet should be informed." Geert
Wilders (VVD) said at the time: "It is very odd and strange that we should be
hearing this via the media. Totally so, if they knew early on that the archives
would not be opened up. Why did they keep silent about it?" And Agnes van
Ardenne (CDA) said then: "Why does the Cabinet accept all this? Why weren't we
The NIOD had of necessity communicated less than the truth,
but during his weekly press conference Prime Minister Kok reacted with a stolid,
"The NIOD does what the NIOD wishes." and "It is not my responsibility." No, of
course not, was the immediate angry backwash. Kok isn't responsible for anything
anymore. He had already announced that he was going to quit and the elections
were soon to be held.
8 - Wherein the members of the research team fare as
badly as the Dutchbatters
During the trying close to the investigation (Blom had to
keep to his promise, even though many sections of the report had no conceptual
form.) the pizza delivery man beat a path to the house on the Herengracht and
the researchers who did not live in Amsterdam, were of necessity lodging in
Using the unbearable pressure of the deadline as an
argument, Blom invented a creative solution; he suggested that the aftermath of
the fall of Srebrenica, so anything that had happened after July 11, 1995, would
not be taken into consideration. The whole storm around the roll of film, the
cover-up at Defence, the infamous debriefing would thus be excluded from the
But most of the team considered this 'solution' worse than
the problem. They asserted to Blom that a six-year study to produce a report
could not ignore the aftermath, if it didn't want to be completely discounted.
Blom gave in and paradoxically scored the most points at the presentation of the
report with exactly the sections that he had wanted to leave out. Perhaps that
explains why the 'dissidents' within the team kept silent about the bizarre
manner of its creation.
When all the work was done, most of the Srebrenica team
members were close to the last straw. A big black hole loomed. Exit-discussions
were organized to prepare them for their return to society. Everyone was also
firmly instructed not to speak to anyone about the internal problems and to
immediately warn one another if an outsider should ask questions about that.
(NRC Handelsblad, September 9, 2002).
Months after presenting his report Blom admitted (in the
aforementioned article in Vrij Nederland) that he had underestimated the
difficulty factor and the management of the investigation and overrated himself.
He also recognized that there had been problems, but he did not wish to make any
statements about personal matters. No, of course not.
The fact that in the end all the contributors' names had
been placed on the title page of Srebrenica. A 'safe' area was called on camera
by Blom "The Miracle of the Herengracht". For in the last phase the
researchers would not even read one another's drafts and there was no one to
point out the contradictions between the various chapters. Thus Titia Frankfort
offers a sharp criticism concerning Dutchbat's preparation, where Albert Kersten
is much more mild. "We waited for somebody to point the finger at such
inconsistency." Frankfort and Ger Duijzings would later say (NRC Handelsblad,
November 9, 2002).
The haste with which the report was pieced together in
the last few months, becomes clear in the reading of it. Since the NIOD team
realized that journalists would want to quickly present the hottest news, there
was much care taken writing the synopsis. Still it reported wrongly that "the
largest proportion" of the Muslim refugees fleeing Srebrenica were armed
fighters - both a hurtful and a symptomatic mistake. The text had been checked
officially by nine investigators, including Hans Blom.
For Joris Voorhoeve (who never has given a public
reaction to the report) this is a pity; for the surviving relatives it is a true
scandal: the 'book of Srebrenica' should not have been closed by the NIOD
ritual. The unanswered questions remain. There have even been new questions
added. After some six years of study - that cost almost five million euros - the
NIOD could only confirm the vision that had existed since 1995. To be sure the
investigation did extend Kok's purple reign.
Now and then there are short pieces in the newspaper about
how the former Dutchbatters are doing. Not too well, it seems. Some have sought
refuge in criminality, many have physical or psychological problems and a few
attempts at suicide are known, marriages have failed, relationships have broken
up, and unemployment - whether or not due to disability - is unusually high.
And how are the nine investigators on NIOD director Hans
Blom's Srebrenica team faring these days?
Blom himself travels every day to his stately business
address on Amsterdam's Herengracht, and is occasionally in the public eye due to
new NIOD publications; he was proclaimed "historian of the year 2002" by the
Dutch Historical Newsletter (Historisch Nieuwsblad). Through this his status as
National Historian is definite. For three of the investigators the end of the
NIOD study coincided with the end of their marriages. Some of the investigators
developed problems with their health. In specific cases this meant lengthy sick
leaves. It is no secret that the long years of work for the NIOD has had a huge
impact on the lives of those involved. "Some of them threatened to collapse."
was Blom's comment.
Ger Duijzing is working again at the School of Slavonic
Studies at the University of London. Bob de Graaff is back at the University of
Utrecht. Albert Kersten is devoting himself to his Luns biography in this slack
period and Dick Schoonoord is a pensioned mariner. Titia Frankfort is
investigator at the Integrity Office of the county of Amsterdam and Paul Koedijk
(who for a short while was the dedicated commentator concerning Srebrenica on
the Netwerk TV program) is also working, by his own description, "in the sphere
of integrity supervision". Cees Wiebes was employed by the University of
Amsterdam in 1983, and is still there.
Army commander Hans Couzy acquired his pension already
in 1996. Commander Ton Karremans was promoted after the drama in Srebrenica to
Colonel, although behind the back of the then-serving Minister of Defence Joris
Voorhoeve. He works at the NATO headquarters Afsouth in Naples. Voorhoeve
himself is a member of the Raad van State, (Council of State), the most
important body to advise the government. Like Jos van Kemenade, both Hans van
Mierlo and Wim Kok were appointed Minister of State, an honorary, lifelong title
that is granted by the Queen in extraordinary situations. With his untarnished
image as a sucessful statesman Kok sits on the Board of Supervisors of one
company after the other and has been awarded many honorary doctorates.
The parliamentary inquiry into the fall of
Srebrenica, that followed the report like the horse after the cart, started in
June of 2002 and based itself without question on the conclusions of the NIOD
publication according to its final report in January of 2003. These were
obviously presumed to be above any suspicion. Nobody had an inclination anymore
to focus a magnifying glass on "The Miracle of the Herengracht". It was time to
call it quits about the whole matter.
For those concerned in the Netherlands the publication
of the NIOD report did mean the end of the Srebrenica question. For those
Bosnian survivors, anything but. It is clear that they are not convinced that
the Dutch government could not have done anything other than what was done. If
so, there would not be this gigantic claim for damages. And if they should know
how this report which was created by order of that very government about the
fall of their Srebrenica had come into being, they certainly would not gain any
more trust in the country that is host to the Yugoslavia tribunal.
FOOTNOTES (ADDED BY DOMOVINA.NET)
 Radio Slobodna Evropa/Domovina Net Radio Report, April
4 mins RealAudio stream (Bosanski)
 Hasan Nuhanović in De Wereld volgens Dummer, VPRO TV,
January 19, 1997
39 mins RealAudio stream (Nederlands/English/Bosanski)
39 mins RealVideo stream (Nederlands/English/Bosanski - NL
 Hasan Nuhanović in 7 Dagen, VPRO TV, April 7, 2002
32 mins - RealVideo (Nederlands/English NL ondertiteld)
 The NIOD report has not determined the level of
responsibility and guilt of the Duchtbat troops and officials for genocide in
Hasan Nuhanović's reaction to the NIOD report, April 21,
 Nederlands Instituut voor Oorlogsdocumenatie (NIOD)
Website, Nederlands, some English
 Srebrenica, a 'safe' area
NIOD's April 10, 2002, Srebrenica report on the Internet
 Srebrenica, De genocide die niet werd voorkomen
IKV rapport (Nederlands, PDF document)
 J.W. Honig, N.Both Srebrenica, reconstructie van een
Original title: Srebrenica, Record of a War Crime (Nederlands,
 NIOD Srebrenica, a 'safe' area
Dutchbat je morao odravati mir gdje mira nije bilo (Bosanski)
Summary for the Press (English)
Geautoriseerde perssamenvatting (Nederlands)
 Frank Westerman, Bart Rijs: Srebrenica, het zwartste
Domovina's webpage also contains information in English and scans
of classified documents which Rijs and Westerman made available to NIOD and the
ICTY. [Domovina.net is no longer available and was not archived.]
Formerly published at