Citizens and war victims gathered again in front of the Swedish Embassy in Sarajevo on Tuesday to protest over the Swedish Royal Academy’s decision to award Peter Handke the Nobel Prize for literature.
The Association of Survivors and Witnesses of War Crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina sent a new letter to the Nobel Prize Committee’s Chairman, Anders Olsson, saying that they received his response to an earlier letter they had sent him “with concern and deep sorrow.”
“It is obvious that we have a different understanding of Peter Handke’s literary work. However, I believe we share common ground on the fact that we all rely on the legal and careful conclusions of the Hague Tribunal. For us, the Tribunal’s decisions are the foundation for understanding the essential part of Europe’s tragic history from which, we hope, we can all learn,” the Nobel Prize committee’s Chairman wrote in his letter to the head of the association, Murat Tahirovic.
“Your response only confirms that our painful cries and demands to deny Peter Handke the Nobel Prize are justified and that they give you and other members of the Committee a chance to save the Swedish society from a historical and moral catastrophe. Not only because of that but also so that you and the Swedish society are not labelled as key inspirers for future crimes that would be committed in the name of war criminals convicted by international courts,” the Association said.
In October, the Bosnian Association sent a letter to the Nobel Committee, expressing protest and disappointment with the decision to award the Nobel Prize Handke, a strong supporter of late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic, arguing that it offends survivors of the wartime concentration camps and victims of rape, torture and genocide.