In the past ten days, I have been collecting stories of people whose childhoods were marked by the Srebrenica Genocide (1995) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Starting tomorrow, I will begin sharing these stories on Humans of Amsterdam.

These are stories of survival, pain, hope, and strength. Each person photographed brought a personal item to the interview. This item is strongly connected to the person’s story and is often the only item they still have from the war. This series will give a unique and very personal insight into life before, during, and after the war in Srebrenica.

I created this series together with the War Childhood Museum from Sarajevo. An incredible museum that continuously focuses on researching and documenting stories of people whose childhoods have been affected by war.We hope you will learn more about the Srebrenica genocide, through the personal perspective of these courageous survivors, and share them with your community, family, and friends.

Each story is unique, but because many of them occur during the same tragic historic event, I want to give you a short explanation of what happened in Srebrenica 25 years ago. This way, you will be able to understand the context of these stories better.

In the summer of 1995, the Bosnian-Serb Army started an offensive aiming to overtake Srebrenica. Civilians from all over the area began taking refuge, and most of them went to Potocari, where the Dutch UN-Base was stationed. The UN-Base, used to be an old battery factory. To this day, people still refer to it as ‘the old battery factory.’

Within a few days, around 25.000 refugees arrived at the Dutch UN-base. About 6.000 of them stayed inside of the UN-Base, while the rest remained outside. On the 12th of July 1995, women and children were deported by buses to the safe territory, in Tuzla. Boys and men were separated and later executed. On the 13th of July, the Dutch UN-soldiers threw out the refugees sheltering inside of the UN-base. Amongst them were boys and men who were then captured by the Bosnian-Serb Army and later executed.

As rumors were spreading that, mostly boys and men were being captured at the UN-base by the Bosnian-Serb Army, many of them decided not to go to the UN-base. Instead, they tried to get to the safe territory (in Tuzla), 100 kilometers further, on foot. These boys and men walked in a long convoy, many of them were ambushed and executed. In total 8372, mostly boys and men, were executed during the genocide. Still, to this day, about a thousand people have not been found yet.

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(4/4) "Years later, we found out, through a reconstruction based on stories from different people, that Sadif was seen carrying Enesa through the forest while she was already dead. People had told him to leave her body behind. Sadif had told them that he wouldn’t...

(3/4) "Years went by without any information about what happened to Enesa and Sadif. My mom had put the set of bed sheets in a plastic cover under her bed. Once in a while, she would take them out of the cover to wash them. Sometimes she would sew a flower on it....

(2/4) ''Days went by and we didn’t hear from Enesa and Sadif. Every day new refugees came in from Srebrenica. My mother and I would go to the refugee camps and ask people if they had seen Enesa and Sadif. We would show them pictures but nobody recognized them. Every...