Dealing with the Past for a Nonviolent Future – War Veterans for Peace

How can one find words, gestures, and sites that address past wars and atrocities in an appropriate manner? How can one remember the violent past without repeating the pain? War veterans from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia and experts from Germany discussed these issues at a workshop in Berlin on 18 October 2012.

The event was chaired by Martina Fischer (Berghof Foundation) and Nenad Vukosavljevic (Centre for Nonviolent Action, Belgrade) as part of a study tour to Berlin. The former soldiers, who fought each other in the Bosnian war in the 1990s, are active for peace today by visiting sites of atrocities in their local communities. The group visited memorial sites for victims of the NS-regime and the Holocaust. The workshop provided space to reflect on impressions of Germany and the Balkans.




Centre for Nonviolent Action (Belgrade, Sarajevo)


German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

A documentation of the workshop and impressions of the study tour are available in English and in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian. They can be downloaded from our partner CNA’s website:

  • Martina Fischer & Miriam Schroer-Hippel (Eds.): Horror Always Has the Same Face. Cultures of Remembrance in the Balkans and Germany. 2013. Documentation of the Workshop and Study Tour in Berlin with War Veterans from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, October 2012. Belgrade/Sarajevo: Centre for Nonviolent Action. Link >
  • Ivana Franovic: Dealing with the Past in the Context of Ethonationalism. The Case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. 2008. Arbeitspapier / Occasional Paper No. 29. Hardcopy >

  • Martina Fischer: Confronting the Past and Involving War Veterans for Peace. Activities by the Center for Nonviolent Action, Belgrade / Sarajevo. In: Martina Fischer (Ed.). Peacebuilding and Civil Society in Bosnia-Herzegovina - Ten Years after Dayton. 2007, 2nd edition. Münster/Hamburg/London: Lit-Verlag, 387-416. Chapter >
  • Centre for Nonviolent Action. Four Views. How I Found Myself in War, How to Reach Sustainable Peace. (Translation of special articles published in Vreme, No. 600, Belgrade, 4 July 2002, 24-26). 2002. Belgrade/Sarajevo: CNA. Link >