July 11, 1995 is a black day not only for Srebrenica and Muslim Bosnians, but for Europe as a whole and for humankind. On that day, the Serb-Bosnian army under Ratko Mladic sieged Srebrenica and started the “cleansing”. In the following few days, he proceeded in mass executions of Muslim men and adolescents, estimated up to 7,000-8,000. The massacre is considered the worst war crime in Europe since WWII, while the International Court of Justice labelled it a “genocide” in 2007.
All the above is known in great detail, at least to the European public. In Greece, the topic became very “popular” within the framework of the Greek-Serbian friendship, the Neo-Macedonian Struggle, nationalism, and the irredentist fantasies of the 1990s. What remains unknown (apart from a few attempts, such as those by the journalist collective Ios) is the role of the Greek Volunteer Guard (Elliniki Ethelontiki Froura – EEF), a group integrated in the regular Serb-Bosnian army that took part in Srebrenica’s capture and even placed the Greek, Byzantine, and Vergina flag, next to the Serbian one.
What remains unknown about this case outweighs what we already know. How many and what were the members of the EEF? What were their beliefs? How did they act and what was their involvement in the crime? What did they do after their return to Greece?
The blog XYZ Contagion is publishing an important and extensive research, named “Srebrenica slaughter, the Greek Volunteer Guard and the involvement of Golden Dawn“. XYZ Contagion team looked for information everywhere: evidence and statements of the International Court of Justice, publications, online photographs and videos, testimonials of EEF members. The monumental task of researching thousand of pages in order to find a small (but maybe crucial) detail was completed by the task of double-checking, identifying, correlating, and drawing conclusions (photographs and names, the presence of Greeks in specific places etc.). This research offers a series of important information, such as:
a) the complete list of names of Greeks who participated in EEF with as much information as they were able to gather for their lives and actions (35-40 people and three missing people). It also offers evidence of their activities after they returned to Greece (smuggling of arms and steroids etc).
b) photographic and video material that helps the identification of the actors and to understanding the role of EEF. The research, based on over 100 -up to now unknown- photos and on more than 10 films and videos from Bosnia traces the path of the Greeks: “military operations, combat positions, ceremonies within the army camps with other militias, church attendances, celebration feasts after Srebrenica’s fall, and parties with the war criminal General Mladic”.
c) information on the ideology of EEF’s members. As they say, “the ‘ideals’ of the majority were influenced by National Socialism, Golden Dawn and nationalism”. Therefore, and for general ideological reasons, “the newspaper Golden Dawn had dedicated several articles to its members and executives that went to the ‘front’ next to Serb Chetniks. After its entrance in the parliament and the adoption of a ‘nationalist mask’, Golden Dawn deleted all its enthusiastic articles about its volunteers from the internet”.
All the above are used in combination with evidence on Srebrenica’s massacre, on the role of the Serb-Bosnian army and key-persons, such as the “phillhelene” and one of EEF’s commanders Zvonko Bajagic (labelled a war criminal since 1992).
All in all, this research presents for the first time evidence, documents, testimonies, and visual evidence that shows that “Greek Golden Dawn members, fascists and others were present during the whole week of the atrocities in Srebrenica. They were present exactly at the places, fields, warehouses and football fields, at the time that mass executions of detained Bosnian Muslims were taking place, during the digging of mass graves where the men and boys had been taken […]. They had a very close relationship to elite paramilitary mercenaries of the Serb-Bosnian army. According to evidence of the International Court of Justice, they were also photographing the prisoners who were about to be executed and the executions themselves”.
Despite XYZ Contagion’s detailed research, there is still a lot that needs to be done, especially with regards to assigning responsibility. It is obvious that EEF men, who were at the execution locations and were taking photographs, were not tourists. Their exact involvement needs to be investigated. The participation of more researchers and the judiciary is needed – war crimes do not lapse. As a first step, let us all systematically study the material that XYZ Contagion is generously offering us.
The article is based solely on the research of the blog XYZ Contagion. We are grateful to their team that informed us of its content.
EEF members rally in Srebrenica on June 11, 1995, the day that the city fell and the slaughter began.