The story of Oslobodjenje is the story of Sarajevo, and Bosnia, writ small; but it is also a reminder that a "genocide" is made up of thousands of individual atrocities and outrages. While a genocide is an effort to destroy, in whole or in part, a people defined by race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion, it is still experienced by individuals.
The multiple humiliations suffered by the staff begin to add up in numbing detail. They become a demoralizing "new normal" as the idea that one must dodge sniper fire in order to travel from one's home to one's place of employment becomes accepted by the international community standing by watching as if this all is some grotesque freak show carried out by some exotic species rather than fellow human beings being subjected to cruelties not of their own making. Gordana Knezevic interviews General Lewis MacKenzie, who Gjelten portrays as a glib, arrogant man who brings his preconceptions about the nature of the war with him and never lets facts or the realities on the ground shake any of them. (Keep in mind this book was published in 1995; MacKenzie's career as a craven Serb nationalist apologist-for-hire is in the future). He is as ungracious (scheduling the interview at a time when it will be especially dangerous for Gordana to travel) and amoral as he would later prove to be.(he not only refuses a request about the aforementioned newsprint, he also refused a personal request for a mere two liters of petrol for her car--all in the name of strict neutrality, of course).
In the end, all this humiliation--all this sustained, deliberate, targeted dehumanization of the "other"--can only lead to one inevitable result. Death and suffering stalk the staff of Oslobodjenje just as it does the rest of Sarajevo's population. The final section of this chapter is simply entitled "Some Who Died."
Zeljka Memic, the wife of editor Fahro Memic, is killed by a shell. Senka Kurtovic's mother suffered the same fate. Kemal Kurspahic is seriously injured in a car crash while racing through the unregulated streets of Sarajevo, trying as always to avoid the snipers. The humiliations continue.