War in the Balkans dominated headlines throughout the 1990s, displacing millions of ordinary people and renewing debate over responses to genocide in the modern era. St. Louis is home today to nearly 20,000 refugees from war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, one of the largest concentrations of any city in the United States.
As awareness of the large Bosnian community in St. Louis grows, relatively little is known about the actual lives and experiences of these refugees. After the Fall looks at the impact of the war and the reality of “ethnic cleansing” in the life of one extended Bosnian family in St. Louis.
Through richly textured photographs and compelling first-person interview narratives, After the Fall tells the story of the Oric family from the city of Srebrenica, survivors of the 1995 fall of the United Nations-declared “safe area” and what has been called the single greatest atrocity in Europe since the end of World War II.
From the Publisher
__________”Srebrenica is no longer an exotic word. It is a metaphor for man’s inhumanity to man. Tom Maday’s photographs and the victims’ words, through Patrick McCarthy’s probings, offer us a searing portrait of madness –as well as heroism.”Studs Terkel, oral historian, interviewer, and author of The Good War, for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize
“After the Fall succeeds in bringing Srebrenica, one of the most chilling examples of genocide in Europe since the end of World War II, down to the human level. This is a primary source that will keep its relevance for years to come and will be a classic in its oral history approach.”
Norman Cigar, author of Genocide in Bosnia: the Policy of “Ethnic Cleansing”
“The layers of truth that reside in McCarthy and Maday’s book of words and images give it a special place amongst survivors’ accounts of genocide. Americans will grow from hearing this nightmarish story of a family come to its heartland by way of epic nationalistic crimes and international complicity. No less impressive is the strength and beauty it reveals about how survivor families adapt and find meaning in a new country. The book shows that the struggle over the future of Bosnia and its people is a struggle over memory, which is what’s at stake whenever these stories are told, including in its American diaspora in St. Louis.”
Stevan Weine M.D., author of When History is a Nightmare: Lives and Memories of Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina