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Nobel Prize for Literature for Peter Handke

An award for a stubborn genocide denier (Press Release)

Nobel Prize for Literature for Peter Handke. Picture: Gorupdebesanez/Wikimedia Commons.

The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) criticizes the fact that Austrian writer Peter Handke was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature: "During the Bosnian war, Handke had unconditionally sided with Serbian war criminals," recalled Jasna Causevic, STP Expert on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect. "Instead of acknowledging that there were genocide crimes, he fabulated about a 'global journalist conspiracy to the detriment of Serbia', and he was loyal to Slobodan Milosevic, a war criminal, until his death in prison in The Hague." At the funeral of the Serbian politician, he had even given a funeral oration. "It's completely incomprehensible why the Nobel Prize committee should recognize intellectual support for genocide crimes," Causevic stated.

In 1996, the STP had already accused the writer of ignoring all evidence of the genocide in Bosnia – with 100,000 dead and about 30,000 raped women, with over 100 concentration and internment camps and about 750 mass graves that have been discovered until today. Under the title "Die Angst des Dichters vor der Wirklichkeit" (The Poet's Fear of Reality, 1996), the human rights organization had published a volume of 16 contributions by writers, journalists, and human rights activists in order to counter Handke's crude theses.

Handke's pamphlet "Wintry Journey to the Danube, Save, Morawa and Drina – or Justice for Serbia" had caused widespread consternation at that time, due to the fact that the author consistently denied the war crimes and crimes of genocide. Further, the writer rejected an invitation by the STP to speak with to surviving victims of the genocide in Bosnia and to visit scenes of the massacres – and Handke left a podium discussion in the Frankfurt Schauspielhaus with General Tilman Zülch, the former General Secretary of the STP, after only a few minutes, because Zülch had mentioned the Serbian concentration camps in Bosnia – shouting "Zülch, you asshole, this discussion is over!"

Header image: Gorupdebesanez via Wikimedia Commons