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Rape Warfare

Rape Warfare: The Hidden Genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia

Copyright Date: 1996
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 200
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  • Book Info
    Rape Warfare
    Book Description:

    Allen provides a compelling testimony and analysis of the horrifying phenomenon of “a military policy of rape for the purpose of genocide.” She examines the complexity of identity in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia through the accounts of rape/death camp survivors and those who work to help them. By turns personal, polemical, and informative, Rape Warfare is a lucid guide for anyone seeking to make sense of what is happening in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8748-0
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xviii)

    This all began for me in August 1992, when I got a phone call at my home in Palo Alto from M., a former student, saying she had something to show me.¹ M. and I had been friends for several years, ever since she had studied with me at Stanford. She is fluent in several languages and had been translating from her native Croatian that summer. What she showed me were her translations of dozens of testimonies of Croatian and Bosnian women who had survived two things I had never before imagined:rape/death campsand what we later came to...

  4. Theme 1 IDENTITY
    (pp. 1-28)

    I begin with my own identity, the aspects of this place called my self that made it ripe terrain for M.’s translations. Rape and other violence based on gender and sex are not unknown to me. For almost ten years, I have been working with groups of rape survivors and battered women and have come to an understanding of the psychological processes involved in recovering from such violence. This experience with some of misogyny’s worst manifestations has prepared me somewhat for my relations with individual survivors and certainly made me more willing to believe the early Bosnian-Herzegovinian and Croatian testimonies...

    (pp. 29-40)

    On one of my visits to the Rome offices of theGuardian,the English foreign correspondent Ed Vuillamy lent me two maps of Bosnia-Herzegovina. One was a road map; it reminded me of maps of California. I could estimate by comparison, for example, that the Karlovac front line was about as far from downtown Zagreb as San Mateo is from San Francisco, or that the notorious concentration and rape/death camp Omarska was about as far from Sarajevo as Los Angeles is from San Diego.

    The other map was different. It was an “ethnic” map, one that showed where Serbs or...

  6. Theme 3 FACTS
    (pp. 41-86)

    The noted scholar of nationalism Eric Hobsbawm has written that “no serious historian of nations and nationalism can be a committed political nationalist” because “nationalism requires too much belief in what is patently not so” (Hobsbawm, 12). He quotes Renan, the father of critical European discourse regarding nationalism, who said, “Getting its history wrong is part of being a nation” (12). Although I have been sympathetic to Hobsbawm’s analysis for years, I must say that the versions of Serb nationalism that justify the ritual slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people in the name of a mythical “Great Serbia” have...

  7. Theme 4 ANALYSIS
    (pp. 87-102)

    Enforced pregnancy as a method of genocide makes sense only if you are ignorant about genetics. No baby born from such a crime will be only Serb. It will receive half its genetic material from its mother. Moreover, it will be raised within the mother's culture—if her culture survives anywhere, that is. The Serb policy of genocidal rape aimed at pregnancy offers the specter that making more babies with a people equals killing that people off. This illogic is possible only because the policy’s authors erase all identity characteristics of the mother other than that as a sexual container....

  8. Theme 5 REMEDIES
    (pp. 103-132)

    As I write about these things, I am reminded over and over again of the angel of history Walter Benjamin imagines in his “Theses on the Philosophy of History” (75-86). Flying backward into the future, the gape-mouthed angel sees the wreckage of the past grow ever more vast in its wake. What would the angel remake in this heap in order to guarantee peace in the future it rushes into but cannot see? Benjamin’s angel shows the tragic futility of hindsight, which, alas, is the only sight it has.

    To speak of political or military remedies in 1995 is to...

    (pp. 133-144)

    The events I have been discussing hold profound implications for current and future possibilities of social organization, not only in the countries immediately at stake, but also in the rest of the world. Clearly implicit in these events, for example, is a reevaluation of communal identity as national, and of national identity as congruent with that of a state. From the beginning of the “ethnic cleansing” of the Yugoslav National Army, a notion of the Serb people as a nation deserving power within the institutions of Yugoslavia has been operant. Then, with the independence of Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, those...

  10. NOTES
    (pp. 145-162)
    (pp. 163-170)
    (pp. 171-174)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 175-180)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 181-181)