Archives for posts with tag: EsadBoskailo


27 January is Holocaust Memorial Day. And the International Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust was commemorated at the United Nations last Friday with an inspirational message from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to  “Let us be inspired by those who had the courage to care – the ordinary people who took extraordinary steps to defend human dignity.”  From Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said that each and every person bore the responsibility to make sure such monumental crimes as those that occurred during the Holocaust never happen again.

Yesterday, the Author’s Circle of the Tuxedo Park Library in Tuxedo Park, New York, about 45 minutes from UN Headquarters, host a very special author whose presentation had a message that resonated “Once More, Never Again.”  I had met Esad Boskailo on a previous occasion in New York and read his book and looked forward to what I knew would be stimulated questions and commentary following his presentation.

“Wounded I Am More Awake – Finding Meaning After Terror” by Esad Boskailo and Julia Lieblich, is the true story of Esad’s journey from concentration camps in Bosnia & Herzegovina, the surrounding death, depravation, and crimes against humanity, to the personal transcendence of healing.  Esad, a successful medical doctor at the time of his capture, now practices psychiatry in Phoenix, Arizona and gives back to other survivors of war, personal adversity, trauma, and demons inflicted by society. Healing comes from within, and each person on his own timeline. Esad is their sounding board but does not dictate their pathway in the healing process.

Esad, a Bosnian Muslim, showed no animosity or need of revenge to any specific ethnic group. Ironically, lifetime friends and neighbors had been his accusers, guards and terrorisers.   His satisfaction was that he is now on the “outside” and that war criminals are currently standing trial at The Hague.  His message was clear that terrible events can and do happen. It happened in Bosnia & Herzegovina fifty years after the Holocaust, an educated, progressive, and multi-ethnic society.

Genocide is contemporary – witness the genocide between Tutsi and Hutu in Africa, present-day civilian genocide in Syria, Myanmar’s Rohingya.  Religion, or lack of, is not the source of conflict. Rather, it is used as the scapegoat to perpetuate horror stemming from greed, false nationalism confused with patriotism, and the need to victimize the “other.”

UN News Centre Source

“Acts of genocide illustrate the depths of evil to which individuals and whole societies can descend, but the examples of the brave men and women we celebrate today also demonstrate the capacity of humankind for good, even during the darkest of days,” Mr. Ban said.

Helping to open the ceremony, Raymond Serge Bale, Vice-President of the General Assembly, said it was fitting that the Assembly resolution that established the commemoration called not only for the remembrance of the suffering of Holocaust victims but also evoked a moral obligation to warn against the horrors of hatred and prejudice, to prevent further acts of genocide.

The annual International Day was designated by a General Assembly resolution as 27 January each year, on the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.

Perhaps the “Chicago Tribune” crystallizes “Wounded, I Am More Awake” best.  It “is a clear-eyed gem of a memoir with a message far beyond one man’s experience. It tells Boskailo’s story artfully. Above all, Boskailo’s courage and empathy help us imagine how it is possible to transcend the worst sufferings one human can impose on another.”

May we never forget the horrors and inhumanity of the Holocaust and vouchsafe “Once More, Never Again” to genocide.

By, Susan Sacirbey

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PHOTO Credit:  Cover – Ron Haviv/VII, Cover Design – Bruce Gore/ Gore Studio, Inc.

Blog Report: MY BOSNIA, I CALL YOU “MOTHER” – Brought to you from Susan Sacirbey  – Diplomatically Incorrect
“Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.” This quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. capsulizes plight of so many displaced & refugees in today’s world. Naida Sekic, member of Bosnian diaspora, & a guest writer for Diplomatically Incorrect, returned from a summer visit to Bosnia. Her essay below describes hurt of separation.