The psychiatric watchdog, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), says the recent capture (7/21/2008) of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic will bring to justice a psychiatrist whose genocide of thousands was reminiscent of Nazi psychiatric crime during World War II, and that few people are aware that the “ethnic cleansing” ridding a geographical area of racially “inferior” people – carried out in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and later in Kosovo, was based on the same psychiatric-inspired racial hygiene programs that led to the Nazi Holocaust.
In 1992, CCHR formally submitted to the World Psychiatric Association, the World Federation for Mental Health and the Mental Health Division of the World Health Organization information concerning the psychiatric atrocities committed in the region formerly called Yugoslavia.
CCHR presented the same information about psychiatry’s role in initiating and conducting the ethnic cleansing atrocities in Bosnia-Herzegovina to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
On September 1, 1999, members of the Council of Europe signed a Resolution, “Human suffering and degradation following ethnic cleansing”, that recognized the two psychiatrists as “the architects of the ethnic cleansing campaign” in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia.
The Hague Tribunal indicted Karadzic in absentia in 1995 for genocide over the 43-month siege of Sarajevo that claimed 12,000 lives and orchestrating the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslims. Dr. Edward Klain, a psychiatrist and advisor to the Serbian Military who features in a CCHR documentary, Psychiatry: An Industry of Death, detailed how in Nazi Germany it was “technically very difficult” to exterminate six million Jews. Concentration camps and gas chambers need to be established. In Bosnia, hatred and crimes against inhumanity were incited through propaganda: “Serbs would massacre, for example, one hundred to two hundred people. Or rape one hundred women, or one hundred girls, so that they would be terrorized so that they flee. Then you get an ethnically pure land”, Klain said.
CCHR’s evidence showed that Karadzic had trained under former Social Democratic Party (SDP) founder, psychiatrist Jovan Raskovic. Before his death in 1992, Raskovic told Belgrade television and Vjeskik newspaper that he and his party had “lit the fuse of Serbian nationalism” with Freudian principles about inferiority and superiority. Raskovic was talking about his and Karadzic’s propagation that Croats were “fixated on the castration complex”, a Freudian principle, while Muslims were domineering. Serbs, they said, possessed “the qualities of authority” and were destined leaders, while Croats and Muslims were the lesser races that needed to be eliminated. The psychiatrist pushed his Freudian-based theories on the races of Yugoslavia in his book Luda Zemla (A Mad Country) and as part of a media campaign in which he was hailed as the greatest psychiatrist and scientist of his era.
“I feel responsible because I made the preparations for this war, even if not the military preparations. If I hadn’t created this emotional strain in the Serbian people, nothing would have happened”, Raskovic stated.
Other evidence presented to the Hague Tribunal and Council of Europe was that former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, who also flamed the conflict against ethnic minorities, had been a patient of Karadzic’s for 25 years. Together, he and Karadzic established the ethnic cleansing program and allowed the mass torture, rape and extermination of the innocent.
CCHR said justice can be served now that the architect of the Bosnian ethnic cleansing has been captured, unlike in Nazi Germany where dozens of psychiatrists responsible for sterilization and genocidal crimes escaped trial and returned to practice in Germany and other countries around the world. Like Karadzic in Bosnia, Ernst Rudin was a psychiatrist who played a major role in setting the stage for the Holocaust. Rudin was president of the International Federation of Eugenic Organizations and world leader of the eugenics movement which sought to remove “inferior” individuals from society by segregation, sterilization, or death in order to create a “better” race. In 1933 Rudin was chosen by Hitler’s Reich Ministry to lead Germany’s racial purity program. Rudin would later publicly praise Hitler for making his “more than thirty-year-old dream a reality” by imposing “racial hygiene” upon the German people.
CCHR president, Jan Eastgate said, “Responsibility exists on all levels, and while the atrocities of ethnic cleansing and genocide are usually what capture our attention, it is important to recognize the ideology that spawns them and to hold those responsible for this to account.”