The Tenth Circle of Hell: A Memoir of Life in the Death Camps of Bosnia

The Tenth Circle of Hell: A Memoir of Life in the Death Camps of Bosnia

by Rezak Hukanovic, Ammiel Alcalay


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May 30th 1992, was an ordinary Saturday morning in Prijedor. The sun was shining, and in the distance could be heard the sound of gunfire. The Bosnian civil war had finally come to this once peaceful city of 112,000, where Muslims, Croats, and Serbs had lived side by side for centuries. The fighting had been going on for days, but what the inhabitants did not know was that the real horror would begin when the shooting stopped . The Serb occupation of Prijedor was an exercise in what the victors called "ethnic cleansing," whereby the town's Muslim and Croat citizens were to be rounded up and sent to concentration camps. What awaited them there was a vision of Hell undreamed by Dante.

Among those who lived through that hell was the journalist Rezak Hukanovic, whose riveting memoir is the first autobiographical account of the crimes against humanity that were committed by the Bosnian Serbs. Through his unbelieving eyes, we see the patina of civilization stripped away from aggressor and victim alike, revealing a bottomless brutality that calls into question all our notions of human decency. In the death camps of Omarska and Manjaca, Hukanovic and his friends, colleagues, relatives, and neighbors were subjected to terror, torture, and grisly death, as the rest of the civilized world stood by and wrung it's hands.

The stories he tells are haunting and damning. Once again it seems we must learn the lesson of 50 years ago, for as Elie Wiesel points out in his foreword, "It is false to pretend that we did not know what was happening." Rezak Hukanovic's powerful testimony reminds us of a moral truth so often forgotten: "never again" does not mean "so long as it's convenient"; it means "never again."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780349109343
Publisher: Abacus (UK)
Publication date: 02/29/2000
Pages: 164
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)

What People are Saying About This

Paul Hockenos

A harrowing first-hand account of the Omarska and Manjaca camps, vividly described by one of its survivors... The Tenth Circle of Hell is so moving because it gives faces to the victims as well as their persecutors.

Elie Wiesel

A poignant and overwhelming, often unbearable account, by a man who has witnessed and lived in the flesh the tragedy of the oppressed and the persecuted oof the former Yugoslavia.

Peter Maass

Hukanovic is fortunate to have survived his journey into hell, and we are fortunate to have his unforgettable account of it. -- Author of Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War

Fouad Ajami

This little masterpiece [is] a portrait of a dark time and place...A book of stunning power and truth.

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