The Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia to That During the Hitler Era
Ethnic cleansing in Bosnia is a typical example of Huntington’s fault line conflicts that occur between groups from different civilizations within a state especially between Muslims and Non-Muslims as was the case in Bosnia. In the case of Nazi Germany, the ethnic cleansing of Jews by the Nazis was driven more out of political expediency, exploitation of widespread social prejudices against the Jews, and an ideological basis of Germans being the pure race as compared to the ‘bloodsuckers’, ‘shylocks’ and ‘untrustworthy’ Jews. In Bosnia, the drivers for ethnic cleansing were basically religious and protection of group interests where Croats and Bosnians clashed along fault lines between the West and Islam as also a demographic shift that drove fears of being outnumbered by the Muslims leading to the rise of Serbian nationalism based on the twin pillars of religious differences and threat to survival.
In Hitler’s Germany, the widespread envy of Jewish economic success, their relatively closed societal interactions, rank poverty of the German populace, national humiliation heaped by the unequal Treaty of Versailles all required a convenient scapegoat for the Nazis to channelize the frustrations of its population, which was identified as the Jewish community. Later, the primary economic and social factors acquired greater ideological fervor with “Hitler’s personal preoccupation with Jewish cancer” where physical elimination of the Jews was considered as an imperative. In Bosnia, ethnic cleansing involved the governments but also independent groups devoid of central control, while in the case of Hitler’s Germany, ethnic cleansing was a carefully planned centrally controlled operation.