The faces of the soldiers appear. Cops. Outlaws. Anonymous, mercenaries. Did they know in whose name they were killing? Did they know what kind of cargo they were driving? Did they enjoy the scenery whistling some then-popular song that was blaring from the radio? Where they thinking about their families? Were they sad, maybe scared? Or did they find ways to rationalize everything? Eye for an eye… Did they think of the last moments of those they were transporting in the darkness of their trucks? Were they carried away by the sight of bodies falling out of those trucks into a prepared pit? Do you still have a guilty conscience? Are you alive? Is it possible to live with such a crime on your shoulders?

Was the day sunny, full of flight and the chirping of birds rejoicing in spring? Or was it appropriately gloomy and gray, hazy, like this one today when I followed in their footsteps? Did the black ominous crows fly even then, tearing the gray fog with their cold feathers? Did this bow even then look so meaningless, a triumphal arch leading to shame, celebrating the shooting in the back of bound, helpless people?

Why kill another human being? The baby and her mother. Or the father first before their eyes? Someone’s father, someone’s mother, someone’s child! Why, in whose name, in the name of which ideology, religion or revenge? Why take the life of another human being, on whose order, on what basis, with what right? Why bury them heartlessly in a mine, in a pit, throw them in a lake … At the police base range? Why believe that a crime can go unnoticed, unpunished? Why not talk about things like this? Under what pretext? With what right?

The cry of strangers tears my soul apart!


Bitter Land’ is an interactive database of mass graves that aims to demonstrate the scale of the atrocities, ethnic cleansing and operations to cover up war crimes during the 1990s conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.